LONDON, Ohio– After nearly 15 years in prison for the murder of his wife, former Akron Police Captain Douglas Prade is now a free man.
Earlier today, an Akron Judge exonerated Prade and ordered his immediate release.
The 66-year-old was released from the Madison Correctional Institution near Columbus just before 5 p.m Tuesday.
He was met by members of the Ohio Innocence Project, who helped in the effort to get him released.
His sister, Yvonne, was also there.
Prade was convicted during a jury trial in which Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Brad Gessner says there was a mountain of evidence.
Prosecutors say Prade stalked his wife, Dr. Margo Prade, recorded hundreds of her phone calls and wrote out a balance sheet showing how he could pay off bills using her life insurance.
Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Brad Gessner says the trial prosecutors also produced several witnesses who placed Prade at the murder scene and that his alibi was completely discredited.
Gessner said he was shocked by Judge Judith Hunter’s decision to exonerate Prade. The judge’s 25-page decision cites new DNA evidence which she ruled could not conclusively connect Prade to the crime and as such no reasonable juror would have convicted him.
FOX 8 attempted to speak with the judge on Tuesday. Jason Adams, her judicial attorney, said Judge Hunter does not comment on pending cases and “she lets her journal entrees speak for themselves.”
Gessner said the Summit County Prosecutor’s office is filing an appeal of Hunter’s ruling.
In the meantime, representatives of the Ohio Innocence Project, who have also worked on freeing Prade, expect he will be released sometime Tuesday afternoon.
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