An Ohio man who was imprisoned for 20 years for killing a man during a robbery — but who always claimed innocence — has now been cleared, after a judge found in a new trial based on DNA evidence that evidence police collected at the scene didn't match.
A judge on Thursday dismissed all charges against Dewey Jones of Akron, The Associated Press reported. It's not yet decided whether the charges will be dismissed with or without prejudice — with the latter option giving prosecutors the option to pursue another case against Mr. Jones if they find new evidence, AP said. The judge has set new arguments for that matter in February.
But most of the witnesses who helped convict Mr. Jones in the 1993 incident have died, prosecutors said.
"We basically looked at the case as it stands today and determined that we didn't think that we could, for the second time, prove his guilty beyond a reasonable doubt," said Jill Del Greco, a spokeswoman for the Ohio attorney general's office, in the AP report.
Mr. Jones, now 51, said to local WEWS-TV that he felt overwhelmed with the clearing of his name.
"I just never thought it would take this long," he said. "The truth is the truth, and it always comes out."
The judge ordered the new trial last year, after DNA couldn't place Mr. Jones at the scene of the robbery and slaying of 71-year-old Neal Rankin.
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