AKRON -- Prosecutors must wait for an Appeals Court decision before considering a retrial for Douglas Prade.
Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh declined comment on Wednesday, one day after Prade, a former Akron Police captain, was freed from prison 15 years after being convicted of the murder of his ex-wife, Margo.
"It would be difficult to retry this case, however the family deserves justice," Assistant Prosecutor Brad Gessner told WKYC on Tuesday. He said there was much evidence against Prade at his first trial, but that talk about a retrial would be premature.
An Appeals Court is considering either upholding the Common Pleas Court order that freed Prade and declared him innocent based on DNA evidence, or overturning the declaration of innocence and granting Prade a new trial.
Prade's attorney would not allow him to talk about a potential retrial but the newly freed man's sister did.
"It'll be horrible for our family if they do that," Yvonne Prade, of Akron, said Tuesday, after helping drive her brother out of the gates of the Madison Correctional Institution in London, Ohio.
"We're going to be behind him all the way because we know he didn't do that. We knew it from day one. He didn't do that," Yvonne Prade maintained.
"We don't know who could have done that to her. It was a horrible thing to do to anybody, but we do not know who killed Margo. It definitely was not my brother."
There could be a lengthy wait for an appeals court decision. In the meantime, Prade remains free and Summit County prosecutors would have one less piece of evidence if there is a retrial.
Common Pleas Court Judge Judy Hunter, in her ruling which freed Prade, threw out bite mark evidence that helped convict Prade, citing new DNA tests which conclusively showed Douglas Prade's DNA was not found on or near the bite mark on Margo Prade's arm.
Assistant Prosecutor Gessner reviewed some of the other evidence against Prade.
"Doug Prade was a serial stalker," Gessner said. "He had recorded his ex-wife at her home, her calls, over 400 calls. He made threats against her. Two eyewitnesses saw him at the scene of the crime and his alibi he presented at trial was discounted, and was proved not to be true."