Ohio death row inmate Charles ''Chucky'' Lorraine called the elderly Warren
couple he befriended and then murdered in 1986 ''the 2 nicest people you would
ever want to meet.''
''But that night this happened, I was at a friend's house and they was getting
high, smoking weed and drinking, and they were shooting drugs that was new to
me. I never been around or saw anybody ever do that before,'' Lorraine wrote
last May 15 when he reduced his life story to 17 typewritten pages.
He titled it ''Where I Went Wrong and How I Got to Where I am Today.''
Lorraine, 45, who has spent the last 25 years in prison awaiting execution,
forwarded the autobiography to members of the Ohio Parole Board when he was
preparing to present his case for clemency in November.
The hearing was recorded on video and viewed by Trumbull County Prosecutor
Dennis Watkins, who successfully argued against clemency on Dec. 13 before the
execution was halted by a federal judge, who declared the state was not
following its own protocol for carrying out the death penalty.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear any arguments, leaving the case in the
federal appellate court, where arguments are scheduled well into the summer.
In Watkins' copy of the inmate's life story, the prosecutor who put him on
death row after a capital murder trial made at least 11 notes in the margin of
what he called lies, or at least claims by Lorraine that have never came to
light in the last 25 years. The prosecutor calls the document self-serving and
one of the final attempts to have his death penalty set aside.
After reading the document, Watkins was quick to point out that Lorraine's
account of ''shooting up drugs'' before the murders was never substantiated by
any of the friends he was in contact with immediately before or after the
murders of Raymond Montgomery, 77, and his wife, Doris, 80.
''Lorraine clearly knew what he was doing. He bought drinks for friends at the
Olympic (Inn) and even stole a car after he killed the Montgomerys,'' Watkins
The prosecutor said Lorraine's recollection of putting on rubber gloves after
he was inside the Montgomerys' home doesn't fit with his confession to police,
when he admitted that he put the gloves on before entering the house, a clearer
indication of intent to kill.
Watkins also says that instead of Lorraine's account of being scared the
morning after the murder, Lorraine was actually trying to pawn Mrs.
Montgomery's diamond wedding ring and having breakfast at Denny's Restaurant.
Watkins also said that although Lorraine doesn't offer any explanation for why
he murdered, he can refer to trial testimony from a relative of the defendant
who pointed out 2 days before the murder and while they were playing bingo that
the next time he is locked up it would be for killing someone.
Lorraine starts his story from his earliest recollections when he was 6 or 7
''I can hear my mom and dad fighting over him wanting more pills and her
telling him she has no more. She says we have no money either and back and
forth they argue until both are tired and they stop talking.
''Growing up we weren't the kind of family that said 'you be careful when you
leave' or 'we love you' or give hugs or anything like that. I guess I just knew
they loved me in their own kind of way without having to say it.''
Lorraine explores what he remembers as good times visiting relatives in West
Virginia, smoking cigars, chewing tobacco and drinking beer. He talks about
getting drunk at age 7 and his parents laughing at him.
He talks about an older brother teaching him how to prostitute himself by
entering parked cars with homosexual men at age 12 and earning $40.
''He said have you ever come down here before. I said no and he reached over
and started touching me and he was unzipping my pants and I went and stopped
his hands. He said don't worry I'm not going to hurt you, trust me...''
Lorraine said he learned how to endear himself to his father by stealing pills
for him and continues describing his life of juvenile crime, including stealing
his first car at age 15.
At age 16 and when his 14-year-old girlfriend, Rhonda, becomes pregnant, he
talks about both of them getting permission from their parents to get married
and living in the basement of the home where his girlfriend's mother lived.
Lorraine points out later that his son developed spinal meningitis, a condition
that would handicap him the rest of his life. Lorraine said his son died at age
But it was when his young wife became pregnant again with a daughter that she
was able to convince a judge to delay her husband's three-to15-year sentence
until after the birth. The sentence was for taking part in three burglaries and
stealing the purse of an elderly woman. The sentence never took place as
It was during that period that Lorraine murdered Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery,
stabbing them repeatedly inside their Haymaker Avenue N.W. home - a home he was
familiar wife while performing yard work and shoveling snow for the couple.
''I don't know what made me think about killing anybody. But I just remember
going to a friend's house and getting some gloves from his garage. They were
rubber gloves and a big butcher knife from a kitchen set he had and I asked him
if he would drop me off somewhere and I showed him where I wanted to go and he
took me there and he left.''
Lorraine writes about getting inside the Montgomery house on the premise that
he left a necklace inside the place. Mrs. Montgomery, who was confined to a bed
in the living room, motioned for him to come in. Lorraine told Mr. Montgomery,
whom he called ''Red,'' that he thinks the necklace was lost upstairs.
When Mr. Montgomery and Lorraine went upstairs, Lorraine admits: ''I came up
behind him and put the gloves on and pulled out the knife and grabbed him
around the head and I just kept sticking him in the throat with the knife. I
don't know how many times I did it but I felt his body go limp.''
''His wife heard the hit to the floor and yelled out, 'What's going on up
there.' I yelled back, 'Nothing, something fell off the dresser.'
''So I went downstairs and I forget that I still had the gloves on and I put
the knife in the back of my pants. I walked to the top of her bed behind her
and I took my hand and held her head down and I pulled out the knife and
stabbed her in the throat several times.
''I wish people could understand that this night it was different than any
other night because I didn't feel anything like compassion or sorrow for what I
was doing. What I was doing, it didn't bother me at all,'' Lorraine wrote.
He blames alcohol and drugs with clouding his memory about buying drinks for
friends at the nearby Olympic Inn and then going back to the murder scene where
he and a friend burglarized the home again.
Lorraine only touches briefly on the confession that he gave to Warren
Detective Bill Seese and on a subsequent capital murder trial.
He recalls in his story friends that he's made while living on Ohio's death
After he was convicted and sentenced to die, he was admitted to a receiving
prison, where he said he met up with Richard Cooey, a death row inmate from the
Akron area who was convicted of murdering 2 college students after playing Good
Samaritan before kidnapping, raping and murdering the pair.
Cooey, nearly the same age as Lorraine, waged a last-minute battle to have his
execution set aside by arguing that he was too obese to die.
The 5-foot-7, 267-pound Cooey was executed Oct. 14, 2008.
But Lorraine said it was the Feb. 3, 2004, execution of John Glenn Roe that hit
him the hardest.
Roe had murdered a 21-year-old woman in 1984 when she was on her way to pick up
her 9-month-old child. She was kidnapped and shot to death before Roe took her
car and money and then used the information to try to get out of serving time
on other crimes he had committed.
Lorraine said he shared a cell with Roe until the state did away with
''doubling up'' in death row cells.
''It was a lot of fun. We played chess every day and dominos and we cooked,''
The morning Roe was executed, Lorraine said, ''It hit me hard. I missed him so
much. Inmates on death row become like brothers to you and when they get
executed, it's like losing a brother. I kind of pulled back a lot from talking
to a lot of people after that. I didn't come out for recreation so much
anymore, mainly just when I needed to call and talk to my mom and dad. Then I
would lock right back up.''
His wife, who has remained in the area, divorced him soon after he went to
prison and she remarried about 15 years ago. And his daughter also has remained
in Warren and has since given birth to her own daughter - Lorraine's
granddaughter who is now 5. Lorraine's former wife declined to be identified
for the story.
Lorraine said he started writing to a girlfriend of Roe's after his execution
and through her, he met and became friends with a pastor who helped him turn to
Lorraine writes that religion has helped him though the death of both his
parents and his son, all of them passing while he has been behind bars.
He urges youngsters to ''turn to the Lord'' rather than making the mistakes he
''Man, I wish I would have stayed in school. I could have been anything but I
chose drugs and having fun. My mom and dad died of a broken heart. Out of 6
kids, not one ever finished school. I think about it every day.
''I don't know what else to say. I wish I could find the right words that would
reach you so that you and others can understand how easy it is to throw away
your life,'' Lorraine wrote, apparently as a way of advising youth.
(source: Tribune Chronicle)