AKRON, Ohio - Just hours after he turned himself in to police, former Akron Police Captain Doug Prade, once convicted of the murder of his ex-wife Dr. Margo Prade, walked out of jail this afternoon, thanks to an Ohio Supreme Court ruling.
"It had been a crazy day, but you guys seem to forget, I spent 15 years in hell," Prade said as he left Summit County Jail at around 2:45 p.m. Thursday.
Prade was released from prison in 2013 after serving 15 years for the murder of his wife after DNA evidence helped him win an appeal.
"I was crying this morning, and now, you see I'm smiling now," Doug's sister Yvonne Prade said. "Couldn't say a word this morning but I'm happy now ... It has to be the hand of God."
Margo Prade, a 41-year-old Akron doctor, was found shot dead in her minivan outside her office on Nov. 26, 1997. There were no witnesses and no fingerprints, and no gun ever was found.
Earlier this week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Prade's release from prison and Summit County Common Pleas Court ordered him to be taken into custody pending a retrial for the murder.
But Prade appealed the Ninth Circuit's decision, and the Ohio Supreme Court issued a ruling today that halts actions by lower courts — temporarily freeing Prade — until it has issued a ruling on Prade's appeal.
Judge Christine Croce has ordered that Prade be released from jail immediately.
He had until 9 a.m. to turn himself in to officials or they threatened to take action with a warrant for his arrest.
The Summit County Prosecutor's Office said today that an appeal to the Supreme Court's decision to free Prade is in the works, but likely will not go through before he leaves jail, which happened this afternoon.