Tyrone Noling is an innocent man on Ohio’s death row. He has spent more than eighteen years in prison for two murders that he did not commit, despite the fact that:
- There is absolutely no physical evidence tying him to the murders.
- All of the principal witnesses against him have recanted their testimony.
- Recently discovered evidence that was withheld at trial points to credible alternative suspects.
Case update: March 31, 2014
Today, the 11th District Court of Appeals reversed and remanded Mr. Noling’s new trial appeal for another hearing in trial court.
The Court directed the trial court in Mr. Noling’s case to take additional evidence on the issue of whether the evidence at issue in the new trial motion was a part of the prosecutor’s open file or was otherwise available through the Sheriff’s materials at the time of the trial.
The opinion can be viewed here.
Case update: December 20, 2013
On December 19, 2013, a hearing was scheduled to take place before Judge John A. Enlow in the Portage County Court of Common Pleas on Tyrone Noling’s request for DNA testing of crucial pieces of evidence that may provide important information that supports Mr. Noling’s innocence claim.
Rather than proceed with the hearing, Judge Enlow ordered DNA testing of the cigarette butt, and a CODIS run if results are obtained. He also ordered an inquiry into whether DNA testing of the shell casings and ring boxes is possible.
While Judge Enlow took an important first step by ordering DNA testing of the cigarette butt, Mr. Noling’s attorneys are concerned that Judge Enlow’s request for that information is from the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI), the Ohio state lab, which does not have the advanced scientific technology necessary to provide the highest quality information that the judge will need to make an informed decision.
Therefore, on December 20, 2013, Mr. Noling filed a motion and affidavit asking the court to allow a hearing in order to take expert testimony from Dr. Rick Staub, a leading expert in the field of DNA technology. Dr. Staub will inform the Court that BCI is simply not equipped with the most advanced scientific technology available, which will place severe limitations on the information it will be able to provide to the court.
This request is incredibly important to Tyrone Noling’s case. It is likely that the additional testing and the inquiry ordered by Judge Enlow for more information will likely consume the biological evidence making further DNA testing unavailable. Mr. Noling may have only one opportunity to test the DNA, so it must be done right.
Several experts have offered declarations attesting to the importance of not only subjecting the cigarette butt to DNA testing but also to expanding the scope of DNA testing in Mr. Noling’s case and using more advanced methods available today: