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Jury acquits 83-year-old man jailed 45 years for wife’s death

CLEVELAND (AP) – A jury acquitted an 83-year-old man on Wednesday who was convicted in his first trial of murdering his wife and spent 45 years in prison.

The Cleveland jury deliberated for less than 90 minutes before delivering its verdict in Isiah Andrews’ second aggravated murder trial, reported.

Andrews said after the verdict that it “took all the weight off” him. “I have become free,” he says.

Andrews was released from prison last year after a judge ruled prosecutors failed to tell a jury in 1975 that police questioned another suspect in the Regina Andrews murder.

Lawyers for the Ohio Innocence Project had hoped Cuyahoga County District Attorney Michael O’Malley would dismiss the charge against Andrews. O’Malley instead offered a plea bargain that would prevent Andrews from getting out of jail if he pleaded guilty to killing his wife.

Andrews rejected the offer, telling visiting judge Tim McGinty: “I want justice for my wife.”

Cleveland Police first arrested another man who provided an alibi for the period when detectives first believed Regina Andrews had been killed. The detectives no longer questioned the man after reconsidering their timeline. The other suspect died in 2011.

There was no physical evidence linking Isiah Andrews to the murder.

The retrial consisted primarily of reading transcripts from the first trial, as detectives who investigated the case in the 1970s have since died.

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