An Akron man who has been in prison 19 years for a murder he says he never committed will get a new trial later this year. The Beacon Journal reports 51-year old Dewey Jones III had his bond set at $750,000 in Summit County Common Pleas Court Wednesday his lawyers say he was wrongfully convicted of the 1993 slaying of Goodyear Heights retiree Neal J. Rankin at his home on Independence Avenue.
Jones has won a new trial, based on potentially exonerating evidence showing that his DNA was not found at the crime scene, after serving 19 years in prison for the Rankin slaying.
A jail house inmate, William Caton, now deceased, who served time with Jones, was one of the state’s chief witnesses at Jones’ 1995 jury trial.
Caton testified that Jones confessed to the slaying while they were locked up together at the county jail.
Five years later, Caton was shot and killed by police in 2000, in a stolen pickup truck during a police chase, in which his vehicle struck a van killing two children.
Jury selection in Jones’ new trial was tentatively scheduled for Dec. 5.
Jones remains in the Summit County Jail while he awaits a full hearing where his bond could be changed.