Man Executed for ’94 Garfield Heights Murders
LUCASVILLE, Ohio – Harry Mitts, Jr., 61, died by lethal injection Wednesday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, for the 1994 murders of John Bryant and Garfield Heights Police Sgt. Dennis Glivar.
Mitts’ time of death was 10:39 a.m.
On August 14, 1994 at an apartment building on E. 88th St. in Garfield Heights, Mitts, then 42, was drunk, armed, and on a rampage.
His first victim, 28-year-old John Bryant, was walking with his girlfriend and carrying groceries.
According to court records, Mitts shot him in the head while yelling racial slurs at him.
Mitts barricaded himself in his apartment.
Police Sgt. Dennis Glivar, 40, and Lt. Tom Kaiser were outside Mitts’ door when he opened fire.
The standoff ended six hours later. Mitts was arrested.
Bryant and Sgt. Glivar died at the scene. Lt. Kaiser and Maple Hts. police officer John Mackey were injured.
“He cared about you. He cared about what you did out there,” Garfield Heights Police Detective Pete Stroe said of Glivar. Stroe was a rookie officer 19 years ago.
Sgt. Glivar was his boss. Stroe was at the scene that night.
“It was devastating. It was absolutely devastating. Garfield Heights never went through anything like that before. Nobody on the police department ever went through anything like that before,” Stroe said.
Mitts was sentenced to death in November of 1994.
He pleaded for clemency from execution this August. The parole board denied it.
At the hearing, Bryant’s brother told the board, in part, “John lived 30 minutes after you shot him, but you had 19 years to continue living until your death on September 25, 2013. I am happy to say that justice is finally being served,” Johnnal Bryant wrote, according to state records of the hearing.
“John Bryant was an innocent victim in this whole thing too, just like Dennis. Both of them, wrong place at the wrong time. Just horrible,” Stroe said.
“This was a long time coming. Justice is finally being served,” Stroe said.