Man convicted for 1995 murder wants new trial - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Man convicted for 1995 murder wants new trial

Eugene Johnson is the third convicted man to ask for a new trial. (Source: WOIO) Eugene Johnson is the third convicted man to ask for a new trial. (Source: WOIO)
The East Cleveland Three. (Source: Innocentinmates.org) The East Cleveland Three. (Source: Innocentinmates.org)

Three men convicted in the murder of an Elyria man in East Cleveland back in February 1995 are asking for new trials.

Eugene Johnson is the last man to ask for a new trial. Derrick Wheatt and Laurese Glover made similar requests at the end of January. The trio became known as the "East Cleveland Three." 

The new trial requests stem from a witness changing her story about what she saw at the scene where Clifton Hudson Jr. was murdered, but also from claims that East Cleveland Police withheld evidence and may have been sent a letter from a prosecutor to destroy certain evidence after the convictions.

Judge Nancy Russo grilled prosecutors about the letter saying, "You had that document in your file and I know it was never produced, Mr. Murner knew it was never produced, so I want to be clear on the record, that this letter was in the state's file at the time I heard the last motion for a new trial." 

Prosecutors contend it was produced. Defense attorneys say they never received it.

Earlier, Russo granted Johnson a new trial, but it was overturned in the court of appeals. She will rule on the new requests in March. 

Johnson's mother, Rosemary, is hopeful her nightmare will end. 

"I been trying to get people to listen for 20 years now, when no one listened. And now the East Cleveland Police and the state of Ohio withhold evidence that could have freed my son. I just want my son home. He's in prison for something he didn't do. My heart goes out for the victim's family, but they got the wrong people," she said.

Copyright 2015 WOIO. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly