news from the Prosecutor's Office

Life Sentence Causes Courtroom To Be Cleared
August 15, 2008

Press Release For Immediate Release June 11, 2008


(Hamilton, Ohio) Michael Dougalss, an 18-year old Hamilton man was sentenced earlier today to life in prison without parole for his role in the brutal murder of Sabysachi Debnath.

On November 12, 2007, Douglass, along with two other co-defendants, bound Sabysachi Debnath with duct tape in a room at the Tri-County Inn in West Chester, stabbing him multiple times and then stealing jewelry, credit cards, and numerous other items. The defendants then went on a shopping spree, using the victim’s credit cards to make purchases and withdraw money. Douglass was indicted for Aggravated Murder, Aggravated Robbery, Kidnaping, Aggravated Burglary, Theft, Tampering with Evidence and Breaking and Entering for his role in the slaying.

The life sentence caused Douglass to go into a rage, spitting at the Judge, swearing and struggling with deputies. Douglass’ family began shouting and crying, with one man becoming so outraged he stood and appeared to be heading toward the front of the courtroom before being stopped by deputies. Judge Hedric immediately removed Douglass’ family and spectators from the courtroom. After a brief recess, the defendant was brought back into the courtroom, so sentencing could continue. While Judge Hedric continued sentencing Douglass on the remaining charges, Douglass continued to murmur obscenities toward the Judge. Judge Hedric concluded the hearing by saying that Douglass’ behavior in court today confirms that the sentence given was appropriate.

Prosecutor Piper stated, “Douglass’ sentence will keep the rest of us safe from a homicidal maniac. The evidence at a co-defendant’s trial revealed that Sabysachi Debnath was brutally stabbed several times after he had been duct taped and posed no threat. After the killing, Douglass was filmed apparently licking the knife bragging he was a killer. Society will only be safe if people like this are removed from the community. The West Chester Police Department and the Prosecutor’s Office appreciate Judge Hedric’s recognition of the depraved nature of this crime and the necessity for a strong sentence.”

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For more information contact the Prosecutor's Office at (513) 887-3474
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