Anthony Belton v. State of Ohio, Case No. 2012-0902
Lucas County Common Pleas Court
Anthony Belton of Toledo was charged in 2008 with the murder of a convenience store clerk at a gas station. After Belton waived his right to a jury trial and pled no contest, a three-judge panel found him guilty of murder and other charges and then sentenced him to death. Belton is appealing his death sentence and convictions.
On the morning of Aug. 13, 2008, a woman stopped at a Toledo BP service station to pick up a muffin and coffee. No one was attending the counter. As the woman left, she glanced back through a window and saw a man surrounded by blood on the floor behind the counter. She called 911.
The clerk, Matthew Dugan, had died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head. According to the store owner, a number of prepaid phone cards and approximately $600 in cash also had been taken. Security video showed a man entering and exiting the store three times that morning, minutes apart. The third time, the man walked up to the counter with two bottled drinks and then pointed a gun at Dugan. Dugan gave cash to the man and handed over other items. The man subsequently made motions toward something behind Dugan. When the clerk turned around in that direction, the man shot him.
Information led police to Belton, who was arrested along with two other men. Belton gave varying accounts to police about the events of that morning. With Belton's help, police searched the yard of the house where he was living and found a 9 mm gun.