Victims: Tyajah Nelson, 18; Daniel Sharp, 26; Angela Harrison, 35; and Michael Ballour, 41. T.N., 16, survived.
Crime location: Columbus, Ohio
Crime date: June 13, 2015
Age at time of murder: 16 & 11 months
Partner in crime: Robert Adams Jr., 28
Crimes: Quadruple murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, home invasion, & aggravated burglary
Murder method: Gunshots, mostly to the victims’ heads
Murder motivation: Robbery
Convictions: Aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, kidnapping, aggravated murder, attempted murder, & weapon under disability
Sentence: 172 1/2 years to life later reduced to 25 years to life by Senate Bill 256
Incarceration status: Incarcerated at the Ross Correctional Institution and had a parole hearing scheduled for March 2144
Summary of the crime
Wade participated in a quadruple murder along with one attempted murder during a home invasion robbery. Wade’s 28-year-old partner Robert Adams shot four victims to death and shot and wounded another victim. The survivor, a 16-year-old girl, was able to testify at trial. Wade was convicted and sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility in 172 1/2 years. Though Wade was not the principal offender or the “trigger man” he had an active role in the massacre–Adams asked Wade, “should I off them all?” and Wade answered, “yes.” The butchering then began.
On that fateful night in June 2015, 16-year-old T.N. was with her half-sister Tyajah at Tyajah’s father Michael Ballour’s house. Ballour’s friend Daniel Sharp was at the residence as well. T.N. and Tyajah fell asleep at around midnight and were awakened at around 3:30 am when Adams, whom T.N. knew, along with Wade and Angela came to the home. Tyajah and T.N. went with Wade to a Waffle House and a McDonald’s and then returned with food. The girls ate while Wade stayed on the porch outside. When Adams and Ballour started to argue, Ballour attempted to leave but was dissuaded by Adams. Adams summoned T.N. and Tyajah to the kitchen. There, Adams was holding Sharp and Ballour at gunpoint. Adams ordered Ballour, Sharp, T.N., and Tyajah to the floor and yelled for Wade to enter. Wade entered with a gun. Adams ordered Sharp and Ballour to “give us everything that you have.” Ballour told Adams that he had something upstairs. Adams sent Wade upstairs to retrieve it and announced to the hostages that it would be too loud if they were shot in the kitchen. He ordered them to the basement. There, T.N. found Angela hiding behind the washing machine. Adams asked Wade, who was now at the bottom of the basement stairs, “should I off them all?” to which Wade answered, “yes.” Adams then shot Sharp in the head.
After murdering Sharp, Adams ordered Ballour to put his head under the pillow, putting his gun in Tyajah’s face, and threatening to shoot her in front of Ballour if he did not comply. Ballour did not immediately cooperate, saying, “I am not going to let you kill me in front of my kids.” Adams shot Ballour in the shoulder. Ballour then wrestled for the gun and then tried to escape up the basement stairs. As he was fleeing, Adams kept shooting, ultimately killing Ballour.
Next, Adams shot Angela in the head, ignoring her pleas for her life. He then shot Tyajah, who was also begging for mercy. After watching the murders of four people, T.N. was shot in the head but survived. She lay motionless until Adams went back upstairs. She continued to play dead, lying motionless and holding her breath, when one of the perpetrators came back downstairs and paced around the basement. When the assailant went back upstairs and the back door shut, T.N. cautiously exited the house and found help.
Both murderers were apprehended. Prosecutors offered to speak with Wade about a plea deal that would have spared T.N. from having to testify, but Wade declined. In May 2016 Wade was convicted of four counts of aggravated murder, one count each of attempted murder and aggravated burglary, and multiple counts of aggravated robbery and kidnapping. He was given four consecutive sentences of 30 years to life for the aggravated murders, along with more time for other convictions and gun and gang specifications. The total sentence is 172 1/2 years to life. T.N. wrote in a letter to the court that Wade “permanently destroyed my mind, heart, and soul….I will always have a deep, deep hatred for Jordyn Wade…just a little boy who played followed the leader and lost his life… it feels great his life can be taken away, the way he took my sister and father’s life.”
Wade, who was three weeks away from his 17th birthday, had an extensive criminal history, including aggravated arson at age 12. He was on juvenile probation three times but never successfully completed probation. Wade was on probation at the time of the quadruple murders. He was also an active gang member at the time of the murders. When arrested, he claimed it was a “frame-up.” “He’s taken absolutely no responsibility. None whatsoever,” said one of the prosecutors. “He has the audacity to say that this was a cover-up.”
Wade appealed, arguing, among other things, that he was sentenced to LWOP without the court considering “youth and its attendant characteristics” and without finding that his crimes do not reflect “transient immaturity.” Ohio’s Tenth District Court of Appeals affirmed his convictions but vacated his sentence and remanded the matter to the trial court. While his direct appeal was pending, Wade filed a motion for a new trial, which was denied. Ohio’s Tenth District Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision. Wade was re-sentenced in April 2019. The court considered his criminal and gang history. The court also found that, rather than being coerced into participating in the crimes, Wade encouraged Adams to commit them. After considering these factors, along with the killer’s youth, the court again sentenced him to 172 1/2 years to life. Wade now is appealing to Ohio’s Tenth District Court of Appeals, arguing that his sentencing hearing was not individualized as required by Miller and that he did not have effective counsel.
In 2021, Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 256. The bill, which was promoted by well-funded juvenile offender advocates, makes juvenile murderers who are responsible for one death eligible for parole after 25 years. Juveniles who murder two people are eligible after 30 years. Only juveniles who murder three or more victims can receive LWOP. However, the triple murder exception does not apply to Wade. Neither does the double murder exception. The law requires that the juvenile be the principal offender in each killing. Because Wade was not the principal offender, he is now eligible for parole after 25 years, even though he actively participated in and encouraged the murders of four people.
Wade is incarcerated at the Ross Correctional Institution. His first parole hearing was scheduled for March 2144.
Adams plead guilty and was sentenced to LWOP.
Teen won’t get parole for role in homicides for 172 years by The Columbus Dispatch
4 killings described by girl who lived by The Columbus Dispatch