Supreme Court denies former Akron police Captain Douglas Prade’s petition for new trial in death of ex-wife

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AKRON, Ohio — For more than twenty years, Douglas Prade has been fighting for a new trial, claiming he did not kill his ex-wife, Dr. Margo Prade.

Monday, the United States Supreme Court issued the ultimate ruling, denying the convicted former Akron police captain’s request.

"It was just a vicious murder and he deserves to serve a very long time in prison," said Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh.

Walsh says this week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling will finally give Dr. Margo Prade's family closure.

"He had been harassing her, he had been illegally wiretapping her phone, threatening her, and assaulting her, she was terrified of him," said Bevan Walsh.

The High Court refused to hear an appeal by convicted former Akron police Captain Douglas Prade.

In 1998, Prade was convicted of shooting and killing his ex-wife in the parking lot of her Akron medical office, right before Thanksgiving in 1997.  He is currently serving a life sentence.

"We're very disappointed. We thought we made a strong case that he deserves a new trial," said David Alden, Prade’s appeals attorney for the past eleven years.

Prade's conviction has gone through several appeals.

In January 2013, he was released from prison after a convincing a judge that DNA found on Dr. Prade's lab coat belonged to someone other than Doug Prade.

"Since he was tried, new DNA tests have been developed. Those tests showed that over the killer's bite mark that was central to his conviction, there was male DNA and that male DNA was not his, that's pretty compelling evidence," said Alden.

About a year later, another judge ruled the DNA evidence would not have changed the jury's verdict and ordered Prade back to prison.

"In the intervening two decades, bite mark identification has been shown to be complete junk science…with new evidence, that basically takes what was evidence of guilt and turns it into evidence of innocence, he deserves a new trial," Alden said.

"The United States Supreme Court has shut this down, it's our opinion that there are no further appeals, no other excuses to make up, nothing further, it's over and we're very pleased for the family," said Bevan Walsh.

Alden says despite the Supreme Court ruling, they are considering other options to prove Prade’s innocence.  Douglas Prade is currently being held at the Lorain Correctional Institution.  He will be eligible for parole in 2025.

Continuing coverage, here.

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