DNA in Murder Not From Akron Police Captain
CLEVELAND — A former Akron police captain, who was convicted of murdering his ex-wife 13 years ago, has asked for a new trial after the release of “exonerative” DNA test results, Fox 8 News reports.
The Ohio Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati College of Law (OIP), along with co-counsel at Jones Day in Cleveland, say that the results point to Douglas Prade’s innocence in the murder of his ex-wife, Margo Prade, a prominent doctor in the Akron area.
During the trial, an expert witness for the prosecution testified that Dr. Prade’s killer left a bite mark impression on her skin, but according to the OIP, new DNA tests conducted on Dr. Prade’s lab coat over the site of the bite mark, exclude her ex-husband. The testing was done by the Fairfield, Ohio, DNA Diagnostics Center, free of charge.
Prosecutors then ordered testing by their own crime laboratory, which reportedly also cleared Prade as the DNA source under Margo Prade’s fingernails and other items from the crime scene.
Dr. Prade, who was 41 at the time, was gunned down in the parking lot of her Akron medical office on the morning before Thanksgiving in 1997. Surveillance video showed a suspect dressed in all white approach her van before fleeing the scene.
Prade, 66, has filed a petition for post-conviction relief or a new trial, which the state has opposed.
“No one in my office wants to see an innocent person behind bars,” said Summit County Prosecutor Walsh. “We requested extensive DNA testing well beyond what the Innocence Project requested, and we have carefully reviewed all of the available evidence. There is no new evidence that proves Mr. Prade’s claim of innocence. The jury’s verdict should not be overturned.”
A hearing is scheduled for August 21, 2012, before a Summit County Common Pleas Court judge.
Stick with Fox 8 News and FOX8.com for updates on this developing story.