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Convicted Killer Says Bucyrus Police, Investigators Withheld Evidence

Charles Keith in courtroom maintaining innocence of a Bucyrus murder conviction against his brother Kevin Keith
M.L. Schultze
/
WKSU
Charles Keith, back left, maintains a Bucyrus murder conviction against brother Kevin Keith was based on bad faith actions by prosecutors and police, including sloppy forensic work.

A man who narrowly escaped execution after being convicted for a murder in Bucyrus is now suing Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, police, prosecutors and the forensic investigator in his case. Kevin Keith is demanding they re-review key evidence that would have led to his acquittal altogether. 

The federal civil suit claims Keith’s aggravated murder conviction in Bucyrus in 1994 was built on the “bad faith” actions of police and prosecutors – that are only now being discovered. It says authorities withheld evidence that pointed to a different suspect, ignored defense subpoenas and denied the existence of phone logs that were key to an eyewitness identification.

The suit also challenges the fact that the state never shared its own concerns about the work of a forensics analyst who tied Keith’s car to the crime scene.

Charles Keith has maintained his brother’s innocence since the trial.

“It’s not the fact that they didn’t do their job. They lied," Charles Keith said. "Lies that you can’t back up with your evidence and that’s why we’re here.”

The civil suit asks that the forensic evidence be re-evaluated and that the case gets a reconsideration on the merits, not on narrow legal procedural issues.

Prosecutors have said Keith has had a full and fair review of his case and his appeals since the trial nearly 25 years ago.