Cuyahoga County

Cleveland Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Killing 94-Year-Old Woman and Raping 16-Year-Old Mentally Disabled Girl During Random Home Invasions

6/17/2021

 

CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced that Cornelius Pames, 27, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for numerous crimes he committed in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood between September and October 2018.

“This individual is a monster who terrorized Slavic Village during this three-week crime wave,” said Prosecutor O’Malley, “We hope that this will bring a sense of closure to the victims and some tranquility to the residents of this neighborhood.”

On August 17, 2018, Pames failed to report to his parole officer which he had been ordered to do as part of post release control supervision for several prior convictions. In 2014, he was convicted of Felonious Assault in Lorain County. In 2013, he was convicted of Burglary, Theft, and Possessing Criminal Tools in Cuyahoga County. In 2008, he had juvenile adjudications for Rape, Aggravated Robbery, and Kidnapping in Cuyahoga County.

On September 12, 2018, Pames and the female victim, 14, were at a Gertrude Avenue residence near East 65th Street when he pushed her onto a bed, grabbed her shirt, and repeatedly tried kissing her despite her resistance before she was able to push him off.

On September 17, 2018, the victims, a 94-year-old woman and her 74-year-old daughter, were staying at a family member’s Gertrude Avenue home while visiting from Honduras when Pames broke into the residence in the middle of the night. He pushed in a window air conditioning unit, physically assaulted both victims while they were sleeping, and stole several items – including a cellphone, iPad, jewelry, and cash – before fleeing the scene. Officers with the Cleveland Division of Police (CPD) and EMS responded to the scene and transported both victims to the hospital. The 74-year-old victim was treated for multiple injuries and the 94-year-old victim was pronounced deceased. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the victim’s death as a homicide due to blunt force trauma to her head and neck. CPD’s Homicide Unit investigated and linked Pames to the crime through DNA evidence he left on scene.

On October 1, 2018, the victim, 16, was finishing her schoolwork at her Park Avenue apartment near East 74th Street when Pames broke into the residence in the middle of the day. He broke in using a crowbar, sexually assaulted the victim several times, and threatened to kill her and her mother if she told anyone. Pames then duct taped the victim to a chair and stole several items – including two laptops, a set of car keys, and a Kindle – before fleeing the scene. CPD responded to the scene and the victim was transported to a hospital where a sexual assault kit was collected. CPD’s Sex Crimes Unit conducted an investigation that connected Pames to the crime through DNA evidence from the kit as well as DNA collected from the duct tape left at the scene.

Pames was arrested by CPD on October 15, 2018. 

He previously pleaded guilty to the following charges:

  • Two counts of Rape
  • One count of Involuntary Manslaughter
  • One count of Attempted Murder
  • Four counts of Kidnapping
  • Two counts of Aggravated Burglary
  • One count of Gross Sexual Imposition
  • One count of Escape

Pames was sentenced today to 40 years in prison.  He will also be classified as a Tier-III Sex Offender, which requires him to register every 90 days for the rest of his life.