Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Will Retry Two Cleveland Men Who Profess Innocence in 2006 Shooting Case

Posted By on Fri, Aug 20, 2021 at 9:24 AM

click to enlarge Michael Sutton - FAMILY PHOTO
  • Family photo
  • Michael Sutton

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Mike O'Malley this week said he will retry to Cleveland men for a 2006 shooting in which they've professed their innocence.

An appeals court this year overturned the convictions of Michael Sutton and Kenneth Phillips and ordered a new trial.

O'Malley's office had appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court asking the judges to overrule the decision, but in a 5-1 vote this week the state's high court voted to not take up the appeal.

“We respect the court’s decision and we will begin to prepare the case for a new trial,” spokesman Tyler Sinclair said. “Two of the four victims were shot in the head and suffered serious permanent injuries. We owe them nothing less.”

No physical evidence tied the two to the shootings, and they were convicted solely on the testimony of two Cleveland police officers who claimed Sutton and Phillips fired shots into a car and then shot at officers once they gave chase.

Two other officers, however, gave testimony to the Ohio Innocence Project and the duo's public defenders that contradicted the original story. The shots that instigated the chase that night in 2006 didn't come from the car Sutton and Phillips were in, they said, and they heard no other shots once the chase began.

(You can read Scene's full account of the appeals court ruling and the new evidence here.)

“Michael and Kenny are innocent, and were convicted only because prosecutors failed to disclose evidence that was favorable to them,” said Donald Caster, a staff attorney at the Ohio Innocence Project who represents Sutton. “We are hopeful that the Cuyahoga County prosecutor will finally do the right thing and dismiss the charges against them, finally permitting Michael and Kenny to begin rebuilding their lives.”

Sutton and Phillips are currently out on bond as they await a new trial date.

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation