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Family of man convicted for 2005 murder in Akron maintains he's innocent

Patrick Shane Rafferty serving life for murder
Patrick Rafferty.jpg
Posted at 5:07 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 17:53:00-04

AKRON, OH — The family of an Akron man serving a life sentence for the brutal murder and beheading of a 19-year-old maintains Patrick Shane Rafferty is innocent of the crime.

Rafferty was convicted and sentenced to life behind bars for the 2005 murder of Steven Spade inside Rafferty's Akron home.

But Rafferty's wife, Shiloh, said she believes her husband was framed by his co-defendants in the case.

"I've read through over 8,000 pages of documentation on it myself multiple times, watched video, listened to phone calls, and it's just completely implausible," said Shiloh Rafferty.

Rafferty held a rally outside the Summit County courthouse Wednesday, her husband's 43rd birthday, to highlight what she called wrongful convictions.

"I just have to keep trying to get the word out there," said Rafferty.

She admits Spade was killed in the basement of her husband's home, but said he was two floors away from the crime when it happened.

"Pretty much every night he was drinking until he'd pass out after work, and it was the same that night as it was every night," said Rafferty. "He'd drink until he passed out and after that is when everyone went down to the basement."

Her husband's conviction has been upheld by the courts twice.

He's now out of appeals in the case, but Rafferty is hoping the prosecutor's conviction review unit will re-open the investigation and affirm the belief that keeps her going.

"The fact that I know it's not possible he did it," said Rafferty.

The Summit County Prosecutor's Office confirmed it received an application to review Rafferty's conviction.

A man who identified himself as the brother of the victim in the case watched Wednesday's rally.

He said that 12 jurors in the case already heard the arguments and made their decision.