After serving more than two years in prison, a Cleveland man was released on Wednesday following the conviction of three corrupt cops.
At the hearing in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty said that 50-year-old Kenneth Blackshaw was found with drugs, but told Judge Maureen Clancy that there was “no case at this point.”
“We have a duty to end the case,” McGinty said. “We have no case.”
Blackshaw was arrested in 2013 based on a case built by East Cleveland police Sgt. Torris Moore and officers Antonio Malone and Eric Jones. He was sentenced in 2014 to five years in prison on numerous drug charges.
During a search of Blackshaw’s grandmother’s home, Malone broke a padlock on Blackshaw’s bedroom door and then took about $100,000 in cash, splitting up around $30,000 of it between Moore, Malone, and himself.
After federal authorities charged the three East Cleveland officers last fall, Blackshaw’s case was reviewed by Cuyahoga County’s Conviction Integrity Unit.
Among other things, the cops were accused of stealing evidence, conducting an illegal search, and altering official reports to conceal their wrongdoing.
They latter pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges for their actions in the Blackshaw and other cases – and will be sentenced in April.
“Our officers, our witnesses were in the wrong,” McGinty told the court.
“Our evidence is unusable and we seek justice which is the release of this individual. The public knows that the officers actually targeted Mr. Blackshaw.”
The charges against Blackshaw were dismissed by Judge Clancy with prejudice, meaning he cannot be retried on the same case.
Two other men charged with Blackshaw on drug trafficking charges are expected to also have their convictions overturned – though neither of them served prison time.
McGinty said after the hearing that his office has also stalled at least two other cases involving the corrupt cops.