May 3, 2001
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Prosecutors dropped charges Thursday against a man who spent 19 years in prison before being released because of doubts about his conviction.Danny Brown, 44, no longer faces the aggravated murder and aggravated burglary charges that sent him to prison in 1982.
Brown was released from prison and granted a new trial on April 10, but the charges against him were not dropped as prosecutors continued to investigate whether Brown had a role in killing Bobbie Russell, a 28-year-old mother of three.Although the charges were dropped on Thursday, Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates said her office could retry Brown if it finds he took part in the crime. Brown said he hoped to be totally vindicated.
“I did 19 years for a murder I didn’t commit. It’s still hanging over my head in so many respects,” Brown said. Investigators have said DNA evidence that helped free Brown matches that of another man who is in prison for committing another murder. Sherman Preston is in jail in connection with the 1983 slaying of Denise Howell. Prosecutors are taking tests and investigating whether Preston also was involved with Russell’s death.Prosecutors also said they will investigate whether Brown has any connections to Preston. Brown has said the prosecutors can look, but they won’t find any links between the men.