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Ohio Prisoner Killed by Cellmate Who Mistakenly Thought He Was a Child Molester

by Scott Grammer

Kevin Nill, 40, was serving 18 months at the Lebanon Correctional Institution for attempted domestic violence involving an adult family member. On April 23, 2018, prison staff thought it would be a good idea to put 33-year-old Jack Welninski in the same cell as Nill. Welninski, serving a 69-year sentence for the attempted murder of a police officer, had been on suicide watch in a one-man cell when he asked to be housed with Nill. The psychologist treating Welninski, as well as a prison official, approved the move.

Less than an hour after being placed in the cell with Nill, Welninski allegedly removed a bandage from his broken right arm and used it to strangle Nill to death. He allegedly told investigators he thought Nill was a child molester, and that he killed him to get transferred out of the prison. After Welninski was indicted on October 15, 2018, he reportedly said he killed Nill to get transferred “because it worked for” Casey Pigge, who was moved to another facility after he killed another prisoner by beating him to death with a concrete block. [See: PLN, Dec. 2018, p.29].

Welninski and Pigge are both now being held at the Ohio State Penitentiary. At his earlier trial for attempted murder and other charges, Welninski told the jury to “find me guilty on everything.”

Welninski delayed his arraignment in the Nill homicide case due to problems with his court-appointed lawyers. He was eventually arraigned in November 2018. Welninski faces the death penalty if convicted; his trial is scheduled for March 2020. 



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