Anthony Pardon to represent himself during capital murder trial

Anthony Pardon (WBNS-10TV)

COLUMBUS (WBNS) – Anthony Pardon plans to represent himself during his upcoming capital murder trial.

Pardon is accused in the January 2018 kidnapping, burglary, rape and murder of 24-year old Rachael Anderson.

If convicted, Pardon faces the possibility of the death penalty.

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“I want to do the whole thing, I don’t want them to do nothing,” Pardon said in court Friday.

Judge Stephen McIntosh accepted a waiver signed by Pardon Friday morning – dismissing his two attorneys, Larry Thomas and Isabella Dixon, from representing him.

Thomas told 10 Investigates that Pardon was unhappy with his representation.

Thomas and Dixon will still serve as “standby” attorneys should Pardon decide during the trial that he is in over his head and needs legal representation. Pardon indicated Friday he did not want their help.

Because of victims' rights laws, Pardon’s decision to represent himself could further complicate the trial. There is certain evidence that Pardon might not have access to because it may contain sensitive information – including personal identifiers of the victim and witnesses.

Jury selection is expected to start Monday.

Rachael N. Anderson (Shaw-Davis Funeral Homes)

Despite a warning from Judge Stephen McIntosh that it might not be a good idea to act as his own attorney, Pardon said that he wanted to go it alone.

Prosecutors said that the Anderson and Pardon did not know each other – a claim that Pardon disputes.

In a letter written to 10 Investigates in December, Pardon wrote that he did know Anderson, that he had been inside Anderson’s apartment, that they got high together, but denied that he was responsible for the crime.

“I didn’t kill anyone,” Pardon wrote. “I feel deeply for the Anderson family but I did not kill their loved (sic) one. And I can and will prove it.”

Prosecutor Ron O’Brien has rebuked Pardon’s claims – saying there is no evidence that Pardon and Anderson knew each other.

The prosecutor’s office plans to present evidence that will show that Pardon’s DNA was on Anderson, that Pardon’s cell phone location data places him near the scene of the crime at the time of the murder and that surveillance video shows Pardon with Anderson’s stolen credit card after her death.

Pardon has pleaded not guilty.

Pardon has previous rape convictions – including a rape conviction as a juvenile and one as an adult in which he was convicted in 1982 of rape and attempted murder of a high school classmate’s mother. Pardon spent nearly 25 years in an Ohio prison on those charges.

After his release, Pardon moved to Georgia where he was later convicted of forgery and failing to register as a sex offender.

He served nine years in a Georgia prison before returning to Ohio in the spring of 2017 to serve out the remaining 20 years of his probation. Pardon returned to Ohio as part of a prison exchange program between states known as the interstate compact.

While a Georgia judge ordered that Pardon wear an ankle monitor and pay for its expenses, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction – which administers the prisoner exchange agreement – chose not to place an ankle monitor on Pardon in 2017 because of the time and the “expense issue,” records reviewed by 10 Investigates show.

After returning to Ohio, 10 Investigates found that Pardon had at least two encounters with law enforcement in which he was caught driving without a license.

During one traffic stop on August 21, 2017, Pardon was stopped along Cleveland Avenue with a prostitute. He told sheriff’s deputies that he was giving the woman a ride. But the woman, later contacted by 10 Investigates, said that Pardon was interested in sex. Pardon was not charged, but the woman was arrested later that day on an outstanding warrant.

Months later around 4 a.m. on January 27, 2018 – one day before police say Rachael Anderson was murdered in her Columbus apartment – Pardon was again caught driving without a license in the Linden area but also had with him a pocket knife.

A kitchen knife and a pellet gun were also found in the car Pardon was driving, which belonged to his sister.

Pardon was not arrested following that traffic stop.

Instead, a state trooper gave him a ride home.

A spokesman for the Ohio State Highway Patrol told 10 Investigates for a 2018 story that “our trooper stopped Mr. Pardon and completed the necessary wants and warrants and drivers history checks required. Mr. Pardon did not have any outstanding warrants and was released.”
The incident was not directly reported to Pardon’s parole officer.

None of Pardon’s interactions with police ever threatened to send him back to prison, 10 Investigates has learned.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct an early version to provide clarity on Pardon’s past convictions.

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