ERIC SANDY / SCENE
Eugene Johnson (left) with Derrick Wheatt and Laurese Glover
Eugene Johnson is suing the county prosecutors and East Cleveland detectives who had a hand in the wrongful conviction that landed him 19 years in prison. His lawsuit follows co-defendants Derrick Wheatt and Laurese Glover filing a separate civil suit
Part of the issue is that prosecutors have refused to dismiss the case with prejudice. While the charges against the three men were dropped during a new trial granted last year and the men were subsequently and finally "free," the state has left open the possibility of re-indicting them for the 1995 murder of an East Cleveland man.
We published an extensive feature
on the case in the wake of the new trial. With the state's position that the case should not be dismissed, Johnson and his friends are up against an even greater burden in terms of trying to find employment or housing or state compensation for their wrongful conviction, hence the civil litigation unfolding now.
We'll keep tabs on Johnson's suit as it moves through court. (Read the full complaint below.)
Separately, in a document filed yesterday in federal court, attorneys representing former Cuyahoga County prosecutors involved in the East Cleveland 3 case denied nearly all of Wheatt and Glover's claims. They requested that the lawsuit be dismissed.