CLEVELAND -- Anthony Lemons has received the ultimate Christmas gift; a clean record. That was the decision Tuesday in the Cuyahoga County Common Plea Courtroom of Judge Janet Burnside. The nearly 20 year battle over the 1994 murder conviction of Eric B Sims has been thrown out.
"I knew this day would come, I just had to be patient," Lemons said. "I fought so long and now I can clear my name, and my father name from record."
The Investigator Tom Meyer, blew open the case four years ago and was there last December when Judge Burnside awarded Lemons a new trial based on police reports that were never handed over to Lemons' previous legal team. The conviction sent him to prison for 18 years.
He was 22 when he was convicted of killing Sims, whose bullet-riddled body was found at the Cliffview Apartments in Cleveland.
Lemons was convicted on the testimony of self-admitted prostitute, June Adamchick, who is now dead. He claims prosecutors withheld key evidence, which included Adamchick's failure to identify Lemons during a line-up.
"We can't go forward," admitted Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Blaise Thomas in court Tuesday morning. Burnside accepted it and granted an immediate acquittal.
Lemons immediately hugged his attorneys, David Malik and Kevin Spellacy before find his parents in the front row of the courtroom. "I got my baby back today," said Sharon Lemons, Anthony's mother. "I still trust the system, but I didn't think it would take this long."
Now that the charges have been dismissed, Lemons can ask to be declared wrongfully convicted, which opens up the opportunity for him to seek compensation from the state.