Tainted East Cleveland convictions overturned
The convictions of four more individuals whose cases had been investigated by corrupt former East Cleveland police officers were overturned today, and the charges against them dismissed by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Administrative and Presiding Judge John J. Russo.
“We don’t trust the integrity of these officers, and we cannot depend on any testimony or evidence they provided,” Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty told the Court. “Justice obtained through unfair means is not justice.”
Today’s actions bring to seven the number of convictions overturned at the request of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office because of the involvement of Officers Torris Moore, Antonio Malone and Eric Jones. The three were sentenced to prison earlier this year after pleading to guilty federal charges that they conspired to steal from suspects, conduct illegal searches and file false reports.
“Those police officers disgraced the uniform, disgraced the badge and are in jail where they belong,” said Prosecutor McGinty.
The Prosecutor’s Office, through its Conviction Integrity Unit headed by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jose Torres, has moved to vacate 36 other convictions as well. Although all of the motions were filed with Judge Russo, he indicated today that many of his colleagues preferred to handle cases from their dockets themselves and will schedule hearings to do so.
In today’s cases and all of the remaining cases, the defendants had initially entered guilty pleas.
The four defendants whose convictions were vacated today are:
- Jeffrey Brown, 36, pled guilty in 2015 (Case No. 580090) to one count of Drug Trafficking;
- Khalid Dervic, 50, pled guilty in 2013 (Case No. 578387) to one count of Attempted Drug Trafficking
- Richard Hodges, 41, pled guilty in 2012 (Case No. 562699) to two counts of Drug Possession;
- Theotis Miller, 39, pled guilty in 2012 (Case No. 560596) to four counts of Drug Trafficking and one count of Tampering with Evidence.
Besides having their records erased, the defendants will be reimbursed for any fines or court costs they may have paid.
In court, Prosecutor McGinty praised East Cleveland Police Chief Michael Cardilli for turning over all case files of the convicted officers and for cooperating fully with the review of those cases by the County Prosecutor’s Office: “Chief Cardilli has worked diligently with us to see that justice was done.”
Earlier this year, the Prosecutor’s Office moved to overturn convictions against three other defendants tainted by the corrupt officers: Kenneth Blackshaw, Hosea Lock and John Wallace.
Contact: Joseph Frolik, Director of Communications and Public Policy. Phone: 216.443.7488 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org