A Milford man is hoping to clear his name after spending 11 and a half years in prison for a robbery he says he did not commit. Kevin Thornton has been living in a halfway house since his release. Attorneys with the Ohio Innocence Project at the University of Cincinnati Law School say they've discovered DNA evidence that Thornton was not the man who robbed a Cash Express store in 2007.
The Innocence Project tested the DNA on the zip ties that were used to bind the store clerk during the robbery, and it does not match Thornton's DNA. Additionally, they have determined from surveillance footage that the real robber is shorter than Thornton. Despite this evidence, Clermont County Common Pleas Judge Jerry McBride denied Thornton's appeal in 2012.
Thornton turned to the federal court system, but this July U.S. District Court Magistrate Michael Merz recommended that his appeal be denied. The final decision is up to U.S. District Court Judge Michael Barrett, who may rule on Thornton’s request for an evidentiary hearing soon.
Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss Kevin Thornton's case are University of Cincinnati College of Law Ohio Innocence Project Attorney and Assistant Professor of Clinical Law Donald Caster; and WCPO I-Team Reporter Paula Christian (@PaulaChristian_).
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