On Monday, Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Steve Dankof barred retrial and dismissed all charges against OIP client Dean Gillispie, totally exonerating of the crimes for which he spent 20 years in prison. Dean was freed in 2011, after a federal judge granted his petition for habeas corpus on the basis of Brady violations. Dean later won a new trial in state court on totally unrelated grounds based on evidence that an alternate suspect committed the crime. Since then, however, the State has been fighting to retry Dean. Today’s decision puts an end to this fight, officially barring retrial and dismissing the indictment with prejudice. Our next course of action will be an effort to expunge Dean’s record and remove him permanently from all sex offender lists.
We began investigating Dean’s case in 2003, and initially filed his case in 2007. Since then, the parties have filed over 200 briefs comprising over 4,000 pages–more than 2,500 of which were filed by the OIP. That number does not include exhibits and attachments, only the actual briefs. The case has had multiple evidentiary hearings in state court and federal court on completely different issues. It has been before the state appellate court three times, the Ohio Supreme Court 3 times, spent 2 years in the federal district court in habeas litigation replete with hearings, and went to the Sixth Circuit on various sub-matters 3 times before finally ending up back in state trial court.
More than 20 students worked on this case over the years. Many of them still keep in touch with Dean, even the students who worked on his case back in 2003. After leaving the office of Ohio AG, Jim Petro, joined this case pro bono as co-counsel providing crucial support. The firm of Squire Patton and Boggs (formerly Squire Sanders), particularly Pierre Bergeron, assisted in this last round of litigation. The law firm of Loevy and Loevy, which filed a 1983 suit back in 2011 after Dean was exonerated, also provided assistance in helping us stop the retrial.
Congratulations to Dean, who is well deserving of this victory and thank you to all who have helped with his case over the years!
See also, the Dayton Daily News coverage of the decision