AKRON, Ohio — A 37-year-old Canton man has been found guilty of purposefully running over two people—including a toddler—with his car nearly two years ago, and it remains possible he could be executed for his crimes.
A Summit County jury on Thursday convicted Shawn Allen of three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of murder, and one count of tampering with evidence in the deaths of 43-year-old Horace Lee and 1-year-old Azeria Tucker. He now faces a minimum of 25 years to life in prison, and jurors will reconvene next month to decide whether or not to recommend the death penalty in this case.
Allen turned himself in to Akron police in July of 2020 just hours after officials say he mowed down both Lee and his daughter Azeria in a Crouse Street driveway. Court records show he has been held in the Summit County Jail on a $5 million bond ever since, and a roughly weeklong capital murder trial culminated with jurors convicting him after two days of deliberation.
The jury will return to Summit County Common Pleas Court on June 13 for a hearing to determine a recommendation for Allen's sentence. Under Ohio law, all jurors must be in unanimous agreement to recommend the death penalty for any defendant, with even one dissention nullifying such a sentence and preventing a judge from overruling.
If the jury does recommend Allen be executed, Judge Susan Baker Ross would have the final say. It is legal for judges in Ohio to differ from the jury and instead issue a life prison sentence, but such moves are considered extremely rare.
Besides the death penalty, jurors can also suggest sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole, life with the opportunity of parole after 30 years, or potential parole after 25 years.