Jury recommends death for man convicted of killing two in Parma Heights

Thomas Knuff

CLEVELAND– A Cuyahoga County jury recommended the death penalty for a man convicted of killing two people in Parma Heights in 2017.

Thomas Knuff, 44, was found guilty of aggravated murder, aggravated murder, kidnapping, grand theft and other charges after a seven-week trial. Common Pleas Judge Deena Calabrese will officially sentence him on on Aug. 14.

Knuff fatally stabbed John Mann, 65, and Regina Capobianco, 50, inside a home on Nelwood Road on May 11, 2017, according to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. He covered the bodies with garbage bags and spent days trying to clean the crime scene.

Capobianco’s sister reported her missing, but their remains weren’t found until more than a month later when neighbors reported a strong odor coming from the house.

A month before the murders, Knuff was released from Noble Correctional Institution, where he served 16 years for aggravated robbery. Mann and Capobianco picked him up from prison.

The prosecutor’s office said Knuff and Capobianco developed a relationship through a prison pen pal program.

Knuff also faces charges for plotting to escape from the Cuyahoga County Jail. Corrections officers said they found homemade sheriff’s badges and other items hidden in his cell.

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