82-year-old man granted new trial in Cuyahoga County after maintaining innocence in 1974 murder of wife

82-year-old man granted new trial in Cuyahoga County after maintaining innocence in 1974 murder of wife
Isiah Andrews (Source: ODRC)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A Cuyahoga County judge granted a new trial for an 82-year-old man convicted in his wife’s murder that occurred 46 years ago.

Isiah Andrews was released on bond from the Richland Correctional Institution this week, according to Cuyahoga County court records, after Judge Robert McClelland ruled that undisclosed evidence about another possible suspect was never properly presented to the defense lawyers.

McClelland said there is no way of telling whether the evidence regarding the second suspect was ignored or withheld by police.

“Regardless, the information was not in the hands of the defense team to make their own decision of whether it would provide a defense for their client.”

Here is McClelland’s full written opinion:

Andrews was arrested in September 1974 and charged with aggravated murder in the stabbing death of his wife, Regina, at the Colonial House Hotel.

The wife was stabbed 11 times, according to the coroner who performed the autopsy. Her body was found dumped in Forest Hills Park, wrapped in bedroom linen.

Court records show Andrews was initially convicted and sentenced to life in prison, but has maintained his innocence for more than four decades.

Andrews is being represented by the Ohio Innocence Project, a law partnership with the University of Cincinnati.

OIP client Isiah Andrews will be walking out of prison today after serving nearly 46 years for a murder he didn't...

Posted by Ohio Innocence Project on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

According to the Ohio Innocent Project:

“Mr. Andrews’s wife was murdered in September 1974. Police originally arrested a different man for the crime, but they released him based on a mistake about the victim’s time of death. By the time they realized that mistake, Mr. Andrews had already been formally charged. Instead of fixing the error, the State moved forward with the case against Mr. Andrews, and covered up the evidence against the original suspect. Mr. Andrews was convicted, and he has now been in prison for over 45 years for a crime he did not commit.”

A new trial for Andrews will be scheduled at a future date. He is required to remain on GPS monitoring until the proceedings are resolved.

Copyright 2020 WOIO. All rights reserved.