Ryan Place shooter’s death sentence confirmed


Damantae Graham is taken away after the jurors were sent to deliberate by Judge Laurie Pittman at the Portage County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016.

Alex Delaney-Gesing

1116-FC-PKG-Graham Trial from KentWired.com on Vimeo.


The suspect in the shooting of a Kent State student earlier this year has been sentenced to death.

Akron resident Damantae Graham, 19, was officially sentenced to death by lethal injection Tuesday in the Portage County Court of Common Pleas. The final verdict was read by Judge Laurie Pittman, according to court records.

Graham was also sentenced for the full jail sentence conviction each carried. The total for all sentences came to over 60 years, and he will remain in the penitentiary until his death sentence is carried out.

Graham and three other suspects — Marquis Grier, 18; Ty Kremling, 18, and Anton Planicka, 18 — were arrested in the homicide of freshman Nick Massa at Ryan Place apartments this past February.

All four suspects have been charged with six felonies — aggravated murder, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and three counts of kidnapping — and are being tried in court as adults.

Graham was found guilty of all six charges in the Portage County Court of Common Pleas on Nov. 3 after being identified by two witnesses. 

The witnesses identified Graham as two of three men who entered an apartment within the complex and held them at gunpoint while searching the property for money and alleged drug paraphernalia.

Kremling and Planicka will sit before Judge Pittman for a criminal pretrial Wednesday morning. Grier will appear before Pittman Thursday morning for his own criminal pretrial hearing.

The other three suspects will appear in court on Nov. 22 for criminal trial hearings.

Sam Lough contributed reporting to this story.

Alex Delaney-Gesing is a senior reporter, contact her at [email protected].