Ohio man found wrongly imprisoned, cleared to seek damages

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CLEVELAND (AP) — A state appeals court says a Cleveland man was wrongfully imprisoned for 18 years, and that finding clears the way for him to seek financial compensation for his time behind bars.

Anthony Lemons maintains he’s innocent in a 1994 slaying.

Cleveland.com reports a three-judge panel from Ohio’s 8th District Court of Appeals has found that prosecutors withheld key evidence in the murder trial. The court says authorities violated Lemons’ rights by not telling the defense that police identified Lemons as a suspect using shoes not publicly available when the slaying occurred.

Prosecutors dropped charges against Lemons in 2014. A judge declared him not guilty, but prosecutors stopped short of conceding his innocence.

The appeals court says Lemons didn’t prove he’s innocent, which would require a higher burden of proof.

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