He spent 45 years in prison after wife’s killing. Ohio jury just found him not guilty

·2 min read

Isaiah Andrews spent the last 45 years of his life in prison, convicted of murdering his wife in 1974.

Now at 83 years old, the Cleveland man is cleared to live his life outside prison walls. This news comes after a jury found him not guilty in his wife’s killing.

“I’ve become free,” Andrews said after his retrial hearing, according to cleveland.com.

His newfound freedom was decided upon by a jury that took 90 minutes to reach a unanimous verdict, according to a Facebook post from the Ohio Innocence Project. Andrews was a client of the Cincinnati Law organization, which works to “free every innocent person in Ohio who has been convicted of a crime they didn’t commit.”

Andrews’ retrial was granted when lawyers with the Ohio Innocence Project discovered that investigators of his wife’s death had another suspect but didn’t share that information with the original jury, according to WJW.

“As soon as we saw the report, it was clear that Isaiah Andrews was innocent and somebody else committed the crime,” Ohio Innocence Project attorney Brian Howe said, according to cleveland.com.

The other suspect, Willie Watts, died in 2011, the site reported. Initial evidence had connected him to the killing, though he was released before detectives named Andrews a suspect.

Andrews’ wife, Regina, was stabbed 11 times in the Colonial House Hotel, WOIO reported, before her body was swaddled in bedroom linen and discovered in Forest Park.

Since her death, Andrews has continued to say he is innocent, according to the Ohio TV station.

In court, Cuyahoga County prosecutors said “there’s no showing that any evidence was destroyed in bad faith” during the investigation of Regina’s death, according to WJW.

“We went through all the evidence, piece-by-piece,” a juror who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, according to cleveland.com. “We tried to connect the dots, there just weren’t a lot of dots to connect. Even if we assumed that the testimonies we were read were completely accurate, there are still holes in the story.”

No physical evidence connects Andrews to Regina’s death, the site reported.

“It’s a good day for justice in #Ohio,” the Ohio Innocence Project shared on social media.

A photo from from the organization shows Andrews, in a wheelchair, surrounded by his “support crew” — fellow clients of the organization. Another photo shows Andrews speaking to media following the jury’s verdict.

The Ohio Innocence Project, a member of the international Innocence Network, says it has worked to free at least 33 “wrongfully convicted Ohioans” since it was founded in 2003. Combined, those 33 people had served almost 650 years in custody.

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