Convicted killer appears in Cuyahoga County court, passes on plea deal that would release him

CLEVELAND - Thomas Michael Keenan and Joe D'Ambrosio were sent to death row for the 1988 murder of Tony Klann.

They always maintained their innocence in the slaying.

A federal Judge overturned D'Ambrosio's conviction in 2006, ruling that evidence that my have exonerated him was improperly withheld by the prosecution.

D'Ambrosio had all charges dismissed and is now a free man.

The evidence used to convict both men was the same and that exculpatory evidence was also withheld from Keenan's attorney.

On Wednesday, Keenan sat in Judge John Russo's courtroom hoping to hear that all charges against him would also be dismissed.

Instead, he was offered a plea deal. He would have to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping and aggravated burglary and be sentenced to time served, meaning he would be released immediately.

After talking to his attorneys, Keenan was prepared to enter a guilty plea and go home, until he was informed that a new Ohio law would require five years of post-release control by the Ohio Parole Board and if he violated any of their conditions, he would be sent back to prison.

Keenan wants no conditions on his release.

So for now, Keenan sits in jail waiting to find out if defense attorneys and prosecutors can find a way to end a case that has gone on for more than two decades.

All parties are due back in court Thursday morning.

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