Ohio man found not guilty in wife’s 1974 murder after serving 45 years in prison

Isaiah Andrews, 83 years old, maintained his innocence after his wife was killed weeks after their marriage in 1974. Andrews said, "I've been free."
After spending 45 years in prison, an 83-year old man claimed he didn't murder his wife in 1974. He was found not guilty.

Isaiah Andrews, Cleveland, was acquitted after a second trial was granted to him last year. His lawyers from Ohio Innocence Project found compelling evidence that pointed to additional suspect information that Andrews' original defense team had not received.

After his second trial for the murder of his wife, Isaiah Andrews gives media interviews. This week, he was not found guilty of murdering his wife. He served 45 years prison time. (Photo: Screengrab/Facebook/Ohio Innocence Project)

Marcus Sidoti, one the attorneys, stated Wednesday that Isaiah Andrews, a man who fought for justice for his wife and his freedom for more than forty years, made a statement. The jury came up with the right verdict today. He has been vindicated. Isaiah cannot get those decades back but he can live the rest of his life free.

Andrews was unanimously found not guilty in a new trial. This involved mainly the reading of transcripts as many of the original witnesses to the trial have died.

A few images of OIP client Isaiah Andrews from today. His retrial 47 year after the murder of his wife ended in a unanimous jury verdict. There in support were fellow OIP clients Ruel Sailor, Charles Jackson and Laurese Glover.#wrongfulconviction pic.twitter.com/vYTJTOd9Lj OhioInnocenceProject (@theOhioInnProj) October 27, 2021

American prisons are filled with people such as Isaiah Andrews who are serving sentences for crimes that they didn't commit because of prosecutorial misconduct. These injustices shouldn't stop bothering us. https://t.co/lBImwY8iqL Sam Allard (@SceneSallard) October 27, 2021

According to Cleveland Scene Andrews was taken into custody after Regina Andrews, his wife, was discovered dead in Forest Hill Park on September 18, 1974. The police believe she was sexually assaulted and that she was brutally stabbed. The woman was wrapped in hotel sheets.

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Willie Watts was the original suspect. He was a man who had been in the vicinity where Mrs. Andrews was found dead and had been staying at a Howard Johnson hotel that was missing its bed linens. Watts did have an alibi that Watts used to explain the time police believed Mrs. Andrews was killed. Watts was never again interrogated by police after the coroner changed the date of her death. This bit of information was not shared with Isaiah Andrews' defense team and led to a new trial.

Local reports indicate that Watts had a long criminal record, including numerous crimes against women, after his 1974 murder. He died in 2011.

Regina Andrews and Isaiah had been married for three weeks at the time of Regina's death.

Andrews, who was in court after the verdict, told reporters that he had become free.

Although this was the right outcome today, I don't know if hell ever gets actual justice. Brian Howe, Ohio Innocence Project, told Cleveland.com. He shouldn't have been convicted at all, and he should not have been retried.

The University of Cincinnati is home to the Ohio Innocence Project, which was established in 2003. Their work has resulted in the release of 33 Ohioans wrongfully convicted who served almost 650 years behind bars.

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