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Ohio man accused of serial killings may face death sentence

Michael Madison (L) is led out of court after appearing for a pre-trial hearing in Cleveland September 9, 2013. Madison, 35, is accused of m
Michael Madison (L) is led out of court after appearing for a pre-trial hearing in Cleveland September 9, 2013. Madison, 35, is accused of m

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An Ohio man charged with the murder of three women whose bodies were found wrapped in plastic bags and dumped near his East Cleveland apartment will face a possible death sentence, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Michael Madison, 36, has been re-indicted by a Cuyahoga County grand jury with wording that allows prosecutors to seek the death penalty if he is convicted of the three killings in July.

Police found the remains of Shirellda Terry, 18, after neighbors reported a strong odor coming from a closed garage behind Madison's apartment. Madison, a registered sex offender, was arrested the same day.

The following day authorities found the plastic-wrapped bodies of Shetisha Sheeley, 28, in a weeded lot two houses from Madison's apartment and Angela Deskins, 38, in the basement of a nearby vacant house, police said.

Madison has been indicted on 14 counts, including two counts each of aggravated murder. Madison also is accused of three counts of kidnapping, three counts of gross abuse of a corpse, one count of rape and one weapons charge.

The re-indictment added an allegation that the three killings were a "course of conduct" by Madison and that the murders were committed in the course of another felony - which could lead to a death penalty, prosecutors said.

During the interrogation in July, police said Madison mentioned the name of convicted Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell. The bodies of 11 women wrapped in plastic garbage bags were found in and around Sowell's home in 2009. Sowell was convicted and sentenced to death.

It will be the fourth time since taking office last year that Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty, who also charged Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro, will seek the death penalty.

Madison has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is being held on a $6 million bond.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by David Bailey and Gunna Dickson)

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