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Convicted killer freed, detained, freed in DNA dispute

Douglas Prade was convicted of killing his wife, Margo, in 1998.

Karen Schiely/Akron Beacon Journal via ap

Douglas Prade was convicted of killing his wife, Margo, in 1998.

AKRON, Ohio — A former police captain released after nearly 15 years in prison for his ex-wife’s slaying landed back in custody for a few hours Thursday after an appeals court ruled a judge was wrong to free him based on bite-mark DNA testing.

A county judge ordered former Akron officer Douglas Prade taken into custody at a morning hearing, but Prade left the county jail in the afternoon because the Ohio Supreme Court granted his request to temporarily block the appeals court ruling.

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Prosecutors want Prade sent back to prison. But his attorneys are fighting to keep him free while he tries to appeal to the high court, which has not said whether it would hear the case.

Prade’s attorneys didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment after he was again released.

Prade was freed from prison in January 2013 when now-retired Judge Judy Hunter decided there was convincing evidence of his innocence based on DNA tests. The tests of the bite mark on Dr. Margo Prade’s lab coat showed the DNA did not match that of her former husband.

On Wednesday, Ohio’s Ninth District Court of Appeals said the DNA testing raised more questions than answers and Prade’s original conviction was based on overwhelming circumstantial evidence.

‘‘Without a doubt, Prade was excluded as a contributor of the DNA that was found in the bite mark section of Margo’s lab coat,’’ the ruling said. ‘‘The DNA testing, however, produced exceedingly odd results.’’ Each sample produced completely different results, the appeals court said.

Prade was convicted in 1998 of shooting his 41-year-old ex-wife, a family practitioner.

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