East Cleveland 3, Wrongfully Imprisoned for 20 Years, To Be Paid $4.5 Million by Cuyahoga County

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Eugene Johnson, Derrick Wheatt and Laurese Glover — The so-called East Cleveland 3 — will receive $4.5 million from Cuyahoga County in a major settlement. The County has agreed to pay the three men who, for 20 years, were imprisoned for a murder they did not commit. The payment precludes the possibility of a much larger verdict if the case were to go to trial.

In October 2016, Scene wrote about the East Cleveland 3 after they’d been released from prison. The story recounted the murder of 19-year-old Clifton Hudson in 1995 and the “tunnel vision” that characterized the investigation and prosecution of Johnson, Wheatt and Glover.

Glover told Scene at the time, "If a dude would have come in with a gun and told them, 'I did it,' they probably would have been like, 'Nah, we got three people.'"

In 2015, the Ohio Innocence Project found that evidence had been suppressed at the original trial, evidence in conflict with the state's theory of the case. The three men had maintained their innocence throughout their incarceration, and Common Pleas Judge Nancy Russo ordered a new trial.

County Council is scheduled to vote on the settlement Tuesday. If passed, each man will receive $1.5 million.


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