CLEVELAND (WJW) – A Cuyahoga County jury has found an 83-year-old man not guilty of killing his wife at a new trial on the case dating back to 1974.
Isaiah Andrews had been convicted of the murder and he did 45 years in prison.
A FOX 8 I-Team camera rolled on Wednesday as a jury quickly came back with a verdict in the new case.
Andrews reacted to the I-Team.
“Oh man. It relieved all the weight off me. I’d become free,” he said. “I used to say to myself, people know my character. They know I would never do anything to a female except help her. I’m saying to myself, ‘How could they read me so wrong?’ This time they read me right.”
Andrews was awarded a new trial after lawyers with the Innocence Project found investigators had another suspect in the case, which a jury never heard about at the first trial.
Defense lawyers also point out there is no evidence available for any DNA testing.
The Innocence Project is an organization that works to clear the wrongfully convicted.
“As soon as you saw the report, it was clear Isaiah Andrews was innocent. Someone else had committed the crime,” said Innocence Project spokesperson Brian Howe.
Defense Attorney Marcus Sidoti added, “The jury got it right. The jury got not even close to the complete picture, but they saw it.”
Andrews left the Justice Center cleared, but we had to ask the question you might have: how did he do decades of hard time in prison while not knowing if this moment would ever come?
“I studied all the time. The choice is always in your court. It’s how you respond to the situation and experience that determines how you’re affected,” Andrews said.
The new trial went on with just a handful of people testifying. Many of the people tied to the case are now dead, so the trial also revolved around transcripts of what people said at the first trial.
In the new case, the jury began deliberations Wednesday morning. That jury then reached a verdict of not guilty in about two hours.
Judge Timothy McGinty told the courtroom at the start of the new trial, “Let the jury decide the guilt or not guilt of this defendant.”
Cuyahoga County Prosecutors have never said why they went forward with a new trial on this case. In court, they announced, “There’s no showing that any evidence was destroyed in bad faith.”
After the new verdict, prosecutors had no comment.
Lawyers say Andrews is battling significant health problems. Now, his plan for his new life is simple.
“Relax. Get healthy,” he said.