Defense lawyer of convicted killer seeks exoneration for Mentor-on-the-Lake rape and murder

Defense lawyer of convicted killer seeks exoneration for Mentor-on-the-Lake rape and murder

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A jury said Joseph Thomas stabbed a local bartender to death.

But now another jury is deciding if he’s guilty, after the Ohio Supreme Court reversed Thomas’s death sentence.

His new trial continued on Tuesday.

Thomas’s defense attorney did not mince words, or waste time sowing doubt. "Do you remember him screaming something like, “Hey mother-f--ker, I’m going to fill you with holes? No.”

The defense team for Thomas, once convicted in the rape and murder of 49-year-old Annie McSween, is trying to create reasonable doubt when it comes to whether Thomas killed McSween.

Testimony in Thomas’s first trial detailed that there was a loud knocking on a window of the building near the bar named Mario’s Lakeway Lounge in Mentor-on-the-Lake where McSween worked and where her body was found. There was blood on it and a trail of blood leading away from the building.

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