I TEAM: Could Cleveland Heights rape convict be freed?


Christopher Miller

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CLEVELAND HEIGHTS - The FOX 8 I TEAM has uncovered a stunning turn in the case of a woman attacked and sexually assaulted by strangers in her apartment in Cleveland  Heights back in 2001. One man sent to prison for decades soon could walk out of prison a free man.

Court papers on behalf of Christopher Miller argue he now has the proof he didn’t do it.

Miller is serving 40 years in prison. Three men have been convicted in the case. But lawyers with the Ohio Innocence Project believe Miller should be cleared due to new DNA testing.

This comes as we’ve seen a growing number of local cases overturned with the courts finding inmates wrongfully convicted.

Court records show Miller has appealed to higher courts and lost five times.

Now lawyers say new DNA testing points to the other men in the case, not Miller. His lawyers say he had the victim’s cell phone, but he bought it from someone for a few bucks.

Attorney Brian Howe with OH Innocence Project says, “The DNA test identified both of the actual perpetrators conclusively exonerating Chris Miller.” Howe added, “They’ve tested almost every item from the case to identify the perpetrators in the attack. Chris Miller was not one of them.”

You may surprised to learn after all this time, records show, almost all of the original evidence could still be found refrigerated here at the Cuyahoga County Medical examiner`s office. Much of the evidence has been retested with technologically that didn't even exist at the time of the crime.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutors have their Conviction Integrity Unit on it. In an emailed statement that office said, “The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office is working cooperatively with the Ohio Innocence Project to have all the evidence tested with the latest technology and then will assess the case.”

And now as a result of all of this, the Cleveland Heights Police Department is also conducting a complete review of the case.

Lawyers for Miller have asked for a hearing before a judge. The I TEAM will keep an eye on what happens and file updates.

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