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Nation IN BRIEF : OHIO

Way Is Opened for New Sheppard Trial

June 03, 1997|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A Cleveland judge cleared the way for a trial to determine whether the wrong man was convicted more than 40 years ago in a murder case that inspired "The Fugitive" TV series and movie. Judge Ronald Suster of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court refused to dismiss a suit filed by Sam Reese Sheppard, whose father, Sam, was convicted of second-degree murder in the 1954 death of his wife. The elder Sheppard spent 10 years in prison before being acquitted in a second trial. He died in 1970 at the age of 46. Sheppard maintained that the crime was committed by a bushy-haired intruder who knocked him out.

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