Three men convicted of 1995 East Cleveland murder granted new trial, released from prison

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CLEVELAND — Cheers and applause broke out in the courtroom Thursday morning when Judge Nancy Margaret Russo ruled three men convicted in a 1995 murder in East Cleveland should get a new trial.

"The three defendants’ motion for a new trial is granted," Judge Russo said, and family members began clapping.

Derrick Wheatt, Laurese Glover and Eugene Johnson were found guilty of killing 19-year-old Clifton Hudson Jr., of Elyria. In 2004, a key witness in the case recanted her statement.

Russo set a $50,000 bond for all three.

For the first time in 20 years, all three were released from prison Thursday afternoon.

Prosecutors will appeal the ruling.

Attorneys with the Ohio Innocence Project argued their motion for a new trial for defendants Wheatt and Glover. The third defendant, Eugene Johnson, is being represented by attorneys Brett Murner and James Valentine.

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