Man continuing fight to clear his name after 18 years in prison

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CLEVELAND — The FOX 8 I TEAM has uncovered new developments in the case of a man fighting to clear his name after doing 18 years in prison for a murder he claimed he didn’t commit.

Anthony Lemons’ conviction was ultimately overturned.

A videotaped deposition obtained from the I-Team shows a former Cleveland Police homicide detective on the case saying her boyfriend was the boss when she was assigned to the homicide unit.

Retired detective Denise Kovach also said during the deposition that there were likely written policies and procedures for the homicide unit but she never read them.

But her work is part of the reason Lemons says he has spent the last 20 years trying to clear his name.

He spent more than 18 years behind bars for a murder he maintained he didn’t commit.

He was finally, in fact, acquitted in Cuyahoga County Common Please Court in 2014 of that charge, but his fight to prove he was wrongfully convicted in continuing.

In order to receive compensation for being wrongfully convicted he needs a declaration from a judge saying he was actually innocent.

He filed a motion last year. But on Friday Cuyahoga County Judge Daniel Gaul ruled that Lemons failed to prove his innocence.

“I am stunned, ” Lemons said.

He and his attorneys David Malik , Sara Gedeon, Kevin Spellacy and Alphonse Gerhardstein are planning to appeal.

Lemons has maintained from the time he was arrested that he did not kill Eric Sims in 1994.

But Gaul, in his ruling, cited a written statement sent to the parole board from one of Lemons attorneys prior to his release, saying Lemon had shown remorse by “his willingness to plead guilty to all charges.”

But Lemons says that letter was not written on his behalf and was not even about his case.

“I was denied parole many times because I would not admit I did these crimes because I didn’t ,” Lemons said.

Copies of his parole papers show he continually denied committing the crime.

He also passed a polygraph test.

Click here to read polygraph results.

His attorneys said in 2013 he was granted a new trial when it was learned that there were police reports never released to his original defense team in 1995 and that an eyewitness said Lemons was wearing a certain type of shoes when the murder took place.

However, his defense team found out that those shoes weren’t even made until after the April 1994 shooting.

Defense attorneys also say they were not told that there were other people named as the potential shooter in the case.