Douglas Prade was a former Akron police captain when he was convicted in 1998 of the murder of his ex-wife, Dr. Margo Prade, and sentenced to life in prison. Based on new DNA results, his attorneys from the Ohio Innocence Project and Jones Day are seeking to overturn the conviction or at least receive a new trial.
The victim’s body was discovered slumped behind the wheel of her car in her office parking lot. She was shot six times and had a bite mark on her arm. At trial, when DNA testing results proved inconclusive, prosecutors’ used bite mark analysis to match Prade’s dentition to the bite mark. Bite mark analysis has been targeted as unreliable and has been shown to contribute to a number of wrongful convictions.
In 2010, new, more sophisticated DNA testing revealed male DNA that did not belong to Prade but that is too small to determine the actual source. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports:
Prade, 66, has always professed his innocence. On the day of his sentencing, he said in court, "I did not do this. I am an innocent, convicted person."
"The DNA results prove what Prade has said all along, that he is 100 percent innocent," said Carrie Woods, a staff lawyer for the University of Cincinnati Innocence Project who is also representing Prade. "We have asked the court that he be exonerated and released from jail, or at least give him a new trial. He should not spend another minute in prison."