Parole has been denied for a Hillsboro man convicted of stabbing his girlfriend to death in 1992, according to Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins.
Collins told The Times-Gazette that Dale Waugh, 43, who has spent the last 25 years in prison, was reviewed for parole by the Ohio Parole Board and was denied for the second time since his mandatory prison term expired in 2007.
Waugh was intially sentenced to 15 years to life in prison after being convicted of murder in a jury trial in 1992.
Waugh and Kelli Hess, both 18 years old at the time, had been in a romantic relationship until Hess said she wanted to break it off. Highland County Assistant Prosecutor Jim Roeder told The Times-Gazette that Waugh later testified he “blacked out” during the conversation, and when he came to, Hess had been stabbed about 19 times. Waugh and Hess had both attended Hillsboro High School, but never graduated.
The incident occurred in a shed where Waugh was living behind his grandmother’s house on Long John Silver Trail near Rocky Fork Lake. Tom Horst, Highland County sheriff at the time, said the sheriff’s office received a call that evening from Waugh’s grandmother, reporting that a woman had just been killed near her home. Horst and other deputies responded to the address and found Hess’ body in the shed with multiple stab wounds.
Waugh was arrested at the scene.
Highland County Common Pleas Judge Rocky Coss, who was the county prosecutor at the time, prosecuted the case.
The parole board heard testimony from Hess’ family, as well as Highland County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Randy Sanders, who processed the murder scene. Roeder represented the Highland County Prosecutor’s Office at the hearing, while a state public defender represented Waugh. The board also heard testimony from Somer Williams, an advocate with the Highland County Victim/Witness Assistance Office.
“I’m really proud of Jim, detective Sanders, our victim/witness office and the parole board for making the right decision,” Collins said.
Waugh will be up for parole consideration again in 2022, 30 years after he was convicted.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.