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Man retried for murdering his wife in 1974 found not guilty

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Posted at 1:56 PM, Oct 27, 2021

CLEVELAND — Isiah Andrews, an 83-year-old man on trial again for the murder of his wife decades ago, was found not guilty in a Cuyahoga County court Wednesday.

In 2019, an appeals court found prosecutors failed to disclose to defense attorneys that police initially suspected that another man stabbed Andrews' wife, Regina Andrews, to death in September 1974.

That second suspect died in 2011, according to court filings in the case.

After serving 46 years behind bars for the crime, Isiah Andrews was released from prison last year and granted a new trial in the case.

“For over four decades Isaiah Andrews has fought for justice for his wife and for his freedom,” said Andrews' attorney Marcus Sidoti, of the Friedman, Gilbert, + Gerhardstein Law Firm. “Today the jury got it right. He is finally vindicated. Isaiah will never get these decades of his life back, but he can now live the remainder of his life a free man.”

According to Sidoti, the Ohio Innocence Project "discovered that Cleveland police withheld a report that detailed how detectives investigated and arrested another man, Willie Watts, after initial evidence found at the scene implicated him. Watts, who died in 2011, was ultimately released from custody and was never revisited as a suspect despite an autopsy showing that the crime had occurred at a different time than for which Watts had provided an alibi."

Andrews was given a new trial after those details came to light. The not guilty verdict was unanimous.

RELATED: Re-trial underway for 83-year-old man convicted of wife's murder in 1974

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