A man who has spent nearly two decades in prison for a crime that DNA says he didn’t commit was freed today but not declared innocent.
At a brief hearing this afternoon in Summit County, prosecutors from the Ohio Attorney General’s office dismissed murder charges against Dewey Jones, making him the sixth inmate freed as a result of a Dispatch investigation.
Moments later, deputies removed an electronic-monitoring device from Jones’ leg, giving him his first free moment since 1995.
What Jones did not win, however, was a declaration of innocence.
“I don’t know how to feel, and it doesn’t seem real after all these years, and it probably won’t until it actually happens,” Jones told The Dispatch before the hearing. “This has been a long, hard road. Now it feels kind of like a dream.”
It’s unclear at this point whether he will be exonerated or whether the attorney general’s office is simply giving up on its fight to bring Jones to a second trial.