A year and a half after
Ohio Innocence Project
client Douglas Prade was cleared of a 1997 murder based on new DNA results that excluded him as the source of critical crime scene evidence, he is stilling fighting to clear his name.
Prade was an Akron police captain when he was convicted in 1998 of the murder of his ex-wife, Dr. Margo Prade, and sentenced to life in prison. The victim’s body was discovered slumped behind the wheel of her car in her office parking lot. She was shot six times and had a bite mark on her arm. When DNA testing results proved inconclusive at trial, prosecutors’ used unscientific bite mark analysis to link him to the crime. But further testing proved his innocence in January 2013 and he was freed. Earlier this year, an appellate court reversed the lower court’s finding that Prade was innocent, and the Associated Press has reported that a divided Ohio Supreme Court has refused to reverse that ruling. However, the supreme court decision did not disturb the prior trial court ruling that he is entitled to a new trial.
After the court’s 4-3 ruling against hearing Prade’s appeal of a lower-court ruling that tossed out the judge’s innocence declaration this year, Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh made it clear she doesn’t believe in his innocence.
“We intend to return Prade to prison, where he belongs,” Walsh said in a statement Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.
However, the Ohio Innocence Project has vowed to “continue to fight with vigilance to clear Mr. Prade from a crime he did not commit.”