Conviction Relying on Bite Mark Testimony to be Challenged in Ohio Hearing

Will former Akron police captain Doug Prade join the list of men whose convictions—based substantially on bite mark testimony—were later overturned by DNA? Ohio Innocence Project attorney Carrie Wood has worked with pro bono lawyers from Jones Day Cleveland on his case. She is expected to argue at a hearing beginning today before Common Pleas Judge Judy Hunter that Prade should be declared innocent of the 1997 murder of his wife, Dr. Margo Prade, or at least granted a new trial.

More advanced DNA technology not available at the time of trial detected male DNA at the bite mark on the victim’s lab coat that does not match Prade. He was convicted largely on the testimony of a forensic dentist who said that a bite mark impression on Margo’s skin from a bite made through her lab coat matched Doug Prade.

Imprisoned for 14 years, Prade has always claimed his innocence. The Summit County prosecutor’s office has argued that the DNA could have been from another person not involved in the crime.

This early-August 2012 report from, NBC news 5, announced the DNA test result and indicated that state lab tests found that male DNA under the victim’s fingernails also excluded Doug Prade.

The Associated Press reported here that the hearing will be continued after today to Friday of this week.

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