COLUMBUS, Ohio — A condemned Ohio prisoner scheduled for execution next year for killing his 3-year-old son in an arson fire has died of a heart attack, the state said.
Michael Webb, 73, was sentenced to die for setting a 1990 fire at his Clermont County house in southern Ohio. Authorities said Webb meant to kill his wife and children and collect insurance money to be with his mistress.
Records show the family escaped but his son, also named Michael, died of smoke inhalation. At the time of his sentencing, Webb did not dispute the fire was arson, but denied being the one to start it.
Webb died of cardiac arrest at a Columbus hospital May 2, said JoEllen Smith, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
Webb was scheduled to die in July 2023, though the likelihood of that happening was small. Gov. Mike DeWine has postponed multiple executions in recent years in keeping with his contention that lethal injection is no longer an option in Ohio because of the ongoing lack of drugs with which to put inmates to death.
The state’s last execution was July 18, 2018, when Ohio put to death Robert Van Hook for killing David Self in Cincinnati in 1985.