EAST CLEVELAND - A murder in 1989 and another in 2006 have finally been solved. And, East Cleveland's Cold Case Unit says two men have been indicted for the crimes.
Wednesday the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office announced the indictments of 63-year-old Jerome Wade and 49-year-old Eric Register.
Wade, who faces a 7-count indictment for charges including aggravated murder and robbery, is being prosecuted in the death of then 68-year-old Mary Hudson whose daughter said to NewsChannel5 Wednesday, ""Wow. I can't believe it."
Kathy DeJarnette described relief after hearing news of the indictment Wednesday evening.
In Sept. 2006, authorities said the body of Mary Hudson was found by a repairman and security guard inside her East Cleveland apartment. Police said Hudson had been strangled and hog-tied with a stocking and telephone cord, but there was no sign of forced entry into her home.
Her apartment was ransacked. Authorities reported her couch cover and radio stolen. Investigators began looking into Hudson's case in December 2009 when the Anthony Sowell serial killing cases came to light.
East Cleveland Detectives Commander Michael Cardilli and Reginald Holcomb, both working with the Cold Case Unit, said D.N.A. under Hudson's fingernails and the cord used to tie her matched that of Jerome Wade's. NewsChannel5 was told fingerprints on a glass at Hudson's apartment also matched Wade's.
After six long years of wondering who was responsible for her mother's death, DeJarnette said, "I was in shock but I'm glad they found him …because you should pay for what you've done," speaking directly to 63-year-old Wade.
Police said Wade and Hudson knew one another but did not elaborate more on how.
"It's a great feeling, you know," said Det. Holcomb, "…it's just nice to be able to solve something like this and bring closure to the family." Det. Commander Cardilli said, "With so much bad press around police, this is definitely one of those things that makes you feel good. This is why I do my job."
Wade is scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 6.
The second indictment, involving 49-year-old register, revisits a case from 1989.
Back on July 19th of that year, Armond Earl, 34, was reported missing by his family in Maple Heights. After unsuccessful attempts to get in contact with Earl when authorities arrived to his Lee Road apartment, they knocked the door down.
Inside, detectives said they found Earl's nude body lying on the living room floor. Investigators later determined Earl had been stabbed to death days before his body was found. The coroner said the four stab wounds, two in his head and chest, were made by a screwdriver.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office told NewsChannel5, police preserved a bath tub drain that was recently tested at the Regional Crime Lab. A DNA profile was developed which matched blood found on a screwdriver left at the scene. The DNA matched a bloody fingerprint impression left on a fan at the scene and pointed to Eric Register.
Register, now 49 years old, was indicted on six charges, including aggravated murder, aggravated burglary and felonious assault.
The Cold Case Unit, which was formed in 2005, along with Maple Heights police detectives reopened the Earl murder case in Feb. 2010.
Register is scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 11.
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