AKRON, Ohio - The Summit County Common Pleas Court is poised to issue a warrant for the arrest of Douglas Prade, an ex-police captain who was released after his 1998 murder conviction was overturned in 2013.
A jury found Prade guilty of the shooting death of his ex-wife, Dr. Margo Prade. She was found shot to death outside of her Akron office.
Last year, Judge Judy Hunter, citing new DNA evidence, released Prade from prison and essentially declared him innocent.
Part of the new ruling indicated that Prade's latest DNA test results were "wholly questionable." The 71-page court document also said there was "an enormity of evidence to support Prade's guilt."
"Doug Prade, based on this decision, remains convicted of killing Margo Prade," said Brad Gessner, the chief assistant prosecutor for Summit County.
The Summit County Prosecutor's Office said that Prade is expected to appear Thursday morning for a hearing before Judge Christine Croce, who replaced Judge Hunter.
Prade's attorney, David B. Alden, said that he "strongly disagrees" with the reversal. "The trial court correctly determined that Mr. Prade is actually innocent, and we will continue to work for justice on his behalf. We plan to move to stay and to appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court."
Relatives of Dr. Prade reacted to the latest twist in this high-profile case on Wednesday evening.
"There is nothing for me to jump up and down about," said Anthony Fowler, Dr. Prade's nephew. "This whole situation is sad," he continued.
Fowler said he was at work when he heard the news.
He said he was surprised by the decision, but he and his family welcome it. "I think the wheels of justice were turning today," he said, with his wife and best friend looking on.
Although he expects Prade to be in court tomorrow, he wishes he could ask him one question. "What happened? What happened? I'm not going to judge, but what happened?"
Upon his conviction in 1998, Prade immediately stood, addressed the court, and stated: ''I didn't do this… I am an innocent convicted person. God, myself, Margo and the person who killed Margo all know I'm innocent.''
Prade also stated that he would accept the State's apology when he was eventually proven innocent.