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Death penalty on the table for Portage County murder

By Dave O'Brien | staff writer Published: December 5, 2012 4:00 AM
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Two people who allegedly murdered a Windham man inside his home on Thanksgiving Day have been indicted on criminal charges that could allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty against them.

Traci Y. Wolfe, 40, of 10540 Oak St., Paris, and Thomas W. Walters, 43, of 3153 Polly Road, Shalersville, were indicted Nov. 29 by a Portage County grand jury on seven felony charges each. They include two counts each of aggravated murder, all unclassified felonies; two counts each of aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery, all first-degree felonies, and one count each of tampering with evidence, both third-degree felonies.

Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci said specifications to the charges contained in the indictment "would permit" his office to seek the death penalty against Traci Wolfe and Walters. He declined Tuesday to say if a decision had been made, saying only that "it's a possibility."

One of the aggravated murder charges alleges that Walters and Traci Wolfe murdered her estranged husband, Blake A. Wolfe, 37, "purposely, with prior calculation and design," inside his house at 9302 E. Center St. in Windham on Nov. 22. The other alleges the murder occurred while Traci Wolfe and Thomas Walters were committing, attempting to commit or fleeing after committing aggravated burglary or aggravated robbery. Blake Wolfe's cause of death has not been released.

Traci Wolfe was arraigned Monday in Portage County Common Pleas Court. Her bond was increased to $3 million cash, Vigluicci said. She remains in the Portage County jail pending a trial scheduled to begin in Judge Laurie Pittman's courtroom on Jan. 23.

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Walters will be arraigned in Judge John Enlow's courtroom at 9 a.m. Thursday, according to court records.

Follow Dave O'Brien on Twitter at @RCCrimeWatch

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com

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whitwhit7654 Dec 31, 2013 5:20 PM

I went to school with Blake. I may not have been close to him but he was a nice guy and wouldnt hurt anyone. This is such a shame and they should both get the death penalty.

anonymous Dec 7, 2012 11:57 AM

i think they are horrific people if they are the ones that murdered him . i can believe that the woman did it but for sure did the guy?? did anyone see him?? maybe she is lying and said he did it??? maybe ?? if you arent 100 percent sure then giving the death penalty would also be murder. two rights dont make a wrong killing them even if they did it wouldnt bring the father back and it would only help the two if they did it not have to suffer i dont believe that it is right to kill any human being it is GOD that they must face and 40 years in prison will be horrific but eternity in **** will be punishment enough and it will be given by someone who 100 percent knows who did or if they did it.. just saying i do have such compassion for the family and the kids but its GODs choice to kill these people not any courts

anonymous Dec 6, 2012 10:01 PM

they will be put to death but not before they sit and rot for many years for which id gladly pay for for there stay as they slep with one eye open..

anonymous Dec 6, 2012 4:21 PM

To date, Ohio has executed a total of 389 convicted murderers. These two hopefully will be #390 & #391.

anonymous Dec 5, 2012 8:29 PM

you people seem to want them to die , like you want to kill them too? More's the pity. Can't have a talk about justice without some bloodthirsty jerks hungering for death. Yeah they should put it on tv they should put all executions on tv what are they afraid of? Maybe that basic human decency would win out?

anonymous Dec 5, 2012 7:11 PM

The death penalty is on the table for the American economy as well. Congress is poised for summary execution. There can be no appeals.

anonymous Dec 5, 2012 2:01 PM

They should both fry, don't drag it on so that us tax payers have to keep them in jail, just give them the needle!! They deserve everything they got coming, i hope neither one sleeps a wink knowing what they put those poor children through and Blake's friends and family. Maybe if this court system gets a little tougher on people instead of slapping them on the wrist we wouldn't have as much crime. Justice needs to be served for Blake!

anonymous Dec 5, 2012 11:00 AM

All they have to do is say there were drugs involved and then plea bargain down to probation and treatment in Warren. I do not think our judges have the guts to give out the death sentence, but in this case, I hope I am wrong.

I agree that the appeal should last 1 year and should not be allowed to give these scumbags 2o more years of free room and board at the prison. The taxpayer should not have to pay for these scumbags up keep.

anonymous Dec 5, 2012 10:51 AM

Death penalty would suffice if they would be executed within a certain time frame. To put them in prison and pay to feed them, house them, and give medical care that the victim didn't receive is injustice. Once convicted, appeals process lasts 1 year then execution !

anonymous Dec 5, 2012 9:07 AM

Hope they both fry ! They should show it on TV.