Former Ohio police captain Doug Prade was exonerated after spending nearly 15 years in prison in his ex-wife’s murder. Summit County Court of Common Pleas Judge Judy Hunter said that new DNA tests results are “clear and convincing.”
Margo Prade, a 41-year-old prominent Akron doctor, was found slumped in her minivan outside her office on Nov. 26, 1997. She had been shot six times, but there were no eyewitnesses and no fingerprints, and no gun ever was found.
The only piece of concrete evidence was a bite mark on her arm; the killer bit her so hard that it left an impression through her lab coat and blouse.
A forensic dentist testified for the prosecution that he was sure Prade was responsible for the mark, while a defense expert said that the defendant’s teeth couldn’t have left it. A third expert for the prosecution said there was no way to be certain that Prade made the mark but that it was consistent with his teeth.
Jurors found Prade guilty of aggravated murder after deliberating for six hours, and the 30-year veteran of the Akron police department was sentenced to life in prison. Source
Judge Hunter could have ordered a new trial for Doug Prade, or found that the DNA results weren’t strong enough and allowed his conviction and sentence of life in prison to stand.