Donna Roberts

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Donna Marie Roberts
Born (1944-05-22) May 22, 1944 (age 74)
Criminal statusIncarcerated at Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville, Ohio.
Spouse(s)William Raymond (1966-1971)
Burton Gelfand (1972-1980, deceased 2010)
Robert Fingerhut (1983-2001, deceased 2001)
ChildrenMichael Raymond
Parent(s)Michael Roberts
Pauline Terrago
Conviction(s)Complicity to Aggravated Murder,
Complicity to Aggravated Burglary,
Complicity to Aggravated Robbery
Criminal penaltyDeath sentence

Donna Marie Roberts (born May 22, 1944), an American convicted of being an accomplice to murder, is the only woman on death row in the State of Ohio.[1]

Early life[edit]

Roberts was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, and was a student of Austintown Fitch High School. She enrolled at Youngstown State University for two years and in 1966, she married her first husband William Raymond and moved to Miami, Florida. She had one child, Michael Raymond, in 1969. She and William Raymond divorced in 1971. She remarried to her second husband Burton Gelfand in 1972 and later divorced him in 1980. Roberts converted to Judaism while living in Miami, Florida, and worked as a plastic surgeon assistant for over 20 years in North Miami Beach, Florida. Roberts met her late husband Robert Fingerhut in 1980. They married and bought a home in Miami, near Miami Gardens and Ives Estates in 1983. They later sold their home and moved to Richmond, Virginia for one year, and in 1993, the couple moved back to Roberts' hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. Roberts purchased their new home in Niles in 1994 on Fonderlac Ave. During this time, Roberts and Fingerhut managed the Avis car rental franchise at the Youngstown–Warren Regional Airport for several years. They later managed both the Youngstown and Warren Greyhound bus stations and turned them into successful locations. For a short period of time, Roberts also ran a small restaurant located within the Youngstown Bus Terminal called "Just the Ticket".[2]

Murder conviction[edit]

Roberts was convicted in 2003 of recruiting Nathaniel E. Jackson while he was still in prison to kill her ex-husband Robert Fingerhut, which he did on December 11, 2001, in the house Roberts and Fingerhut continued to share after their private divorce. In her appeal, it is alleged that the police performed an illegal search of her car parked inside the garage since the search warrant was only for the home. Nate Jackson stated that Donna Roberts had no knowledge of his planned actions and this was video taped during his confession by the police and he also stated this during his trial. Jackson has also since been sentenced to death for his role in the murder.[3] Jackson's story did not hold water when the Trumbull County Sheriff's department intercepted several letters of their plans as well as recordings of their jailhouse phone calls.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Donna Marie Roberts". Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "WKBN 27 firstNews". Archived from the original on July 18, 2011.

External links[edit]