Robert Van Hook, 51, cried out for grace and mercy to the Ohio Parole Board after being sentenced to death row for killing a gay man in 1985, reported 10 TV News.
Hook said he had “homosexual panic” the moment he strangled and stabbed David Self. The two met at a bar in Cincinnati, Ohio and after going back to Hook’s apartment, he stabbed Self multiple times in the neck. After the killing, Hook escaped to Florida where he was later found and arrested.
Prosecutors dismissed his “gay panic” claim and noted Hook’s history of violence and abuse.
The Hamilton County prosecutor’s office said in a filing: “this is a man who had cynically manipulated homosexuals for years. He posed as a gay, and preyed on vulnerable victims who were gay.”
Hook’s defenders said he suffered from a long history of untreated mental illness and abuse as a child.
Using “gay panic” as an excuse to harm an individual has come under much scrutiny in recent years.
California, Illinois, and Rhode Island all prohibit this defense, and the American Bar Association is fighting to prohibit the defense throughout the country.
Hook’s execution is scheduled for July 18.