CLEVELAND -- A man convicted of a brutal rape and murder more than thirty years ago is getting a new trial.
A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge made the ruling on Thursday. The judge cited questions about DNA evidence in deciding that Anthony Apanovitch should get a new trial.
Apanovitch was convicted in the death of Mary Ann Flynn inside her Cleveland home in 1984.
There was no direct evidence linking him to the crime scene and there were no eyewitnesses but it took a jury only two days to convict him.
Apanovitch has spent years on death row while lawyers filed appeals on his behalf.
Fox 8 I-Team reporter Bill Sheil interviewed Apanovitch inside prison in 2000. Apanovitch denied any knowledge of the crime. "Wasn't there. Don't know who did it. Wouldn't do it then. Wouldn't do it now," Apanovitch said.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty is angry with the judge's decision to grant a new trial. "We have been fighting for Mary Ann and her family for thirty years, have won appeal after appeal and will continue to do so. This is only a temporary setback," he said in a statement. McGinty said the jury that convicted Apanovitch was "absolutely right."
McGinty is also fighting a bond set at a level that would not cost Apanovitch anything, unless he fails to appear in court.
Apanovitch was also found guilty of two rape charges. Common Pleas Judge Robert McClelland acquitted Apanovitch on one of those charges, and dismissed the other.