On September 21, 1984, fourteen-year-old Tryna Middleton and her two friends were walking home from a high school football game. Suddenly, a car without its lights on came towards the girls. The driver, screaming “Come here, bitch!” threatened Tryna with a knife, and dragged her into the car. Two hours later, her body was found in a parking lot, stabbed seven times in the chest and stomach, and raped repeatedly.
After two more unsuccessful abductions involving even younger girls, witnesses were able to get the license plate number of the vehicle. It was quickly traced back to Romell Broom, who voluntarily accepted a DNA test to prove his innocence. The test, however, would prove his guilt instead.He would wait 25 years on death row.
At 2:01 p.m. on September 15, 2009, the medical staff began searching for a vein to administer the drugs. They were unsuccessful for over two grueling hours, forced to take breaks in between attempts. Broom began crying during the attempts, being prodded with needles multiple times, over and over. He even attempted to help technicians find a suitable vein to use, but to no avail. Blaming his past drug use, they soon realized they could not execute Romell Broom with lethal injection—not in a humane way, at least. He was granted a one-week reprieve from the death penalty, and he ate a dinner that night he never expected to.
As of today, Romell Broom remains on Ohio’s death row, serving his 31st year there.