Michael Madison (born October 15, 1977) is an American serial killer from East Cleveland, Ohio who committed at least three murders.
Madison was born October 15, 1977 to Diane Madison and John Baldwin, the result of an accidental pregnancy. Baldwin denied that he was Madison’s father and was not a part of his life.
Discovery and arrest
On July 19, 2013, police responding to reports of a foul odor investigated a garage leased to Madison and discovered a decomposing body lying inside. Two more bodies were found the following day – one in a backyard and the other in the basement of a vacant house. The bodies, which all belonged to African-American women, were found 100 yards (91 m) to 200 yards (180 m) apart and were each wrapped in plastic bags. After obtaining a search warrant, police entered Madison’s apartment and found “further evidence of decomposition.” After a brief standoff with police at his mother’s house, Madison was taken into custody without incident.
– Court appearance
On July 22, 2013, Madison was charged with three counts of aggravated murder. His bail was set at six million dollars and he also waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
Trial and conviction
On October 31, 2013, Madison’s attorney David Grant entered a not guilty plea to an updated indictment that included aggravated murder charges; prosecutors had announced that they were now seeking the death penalty, a move his attorney had tried to prevent but had expected. The case has drawn comparisons to that of the now-deceased Ariel Castro, of Cleveland, who kidnapped three area women (Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus, and Michelle Knight) and held them for 10 years, and also that of death row inmate and fellow Cleveland-area serial killer Anthony Sowell, who was convicted of killing 11 area women. The 14-count updated indictment includes two counts each of aggravated murder for each victim, three counts of kidnapping, three counts of gross abuse of a corpse, one count of rape, and one count of weapons possession by an ex-convict. He had originally been registered as a sex offender in 2002 after serving four years for an attempted rape conviction, having had previous drug convictions in 2000 and 2001.
Madison’s trial began April 4, 2016. On May 5, 2016, Madison was found guilty in the murders of Shirellda Terry, Shetisha Sheeley and Angela Deskins. The jury spent less than one day deliberating before returning a guilty verdict on all 13 counts. Madison told the court he plans to appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court. On May 20, 2016, the jury recommended that Madison should be sentenced to death. On June 2, 2016, Cuyahoga Common Pleas Judge Nancy R. McDonnell sentenced Madison to death. During the sentencing, the father of victim Shirellda Terry tried to attack Madison in anger for his daughter’s murder.
The victims were identified as:
38-year-old Angela Deskins, a resident of Cleveland who was reported missing in June 2013.
28-year-old Shetisha Sheeley, who had been missing since September 2012.
18-year-old Shirellda Helen Terry, who was last seen July 10, 2013, leaving a Cleveland Elementary School where she had a summer job.