In December 2011, U.S. District Court Magistrate Michael Merz overturned Gillispie’s conviction, ruling that he had not received a fair trial since supplemental police reports had not been turned over to the defense. Gillispie was released from prison after serving more than 20 years.
Dankof concluded that the state court cannot re-litigate the conclusions reached by Merz and the state is unable to come up with the missing police reports.
Heck’s office disagrees and issued the following statement: “The three victims in this case have never wavered in their identification of Gillispie as the man who kidnapped them in broad daylight, held them captive, and raped them at gunpoint. Two juries have found him guilty. The Montgomery County prosecutor’s office disagrees with the decision issued today by the trial judge dismissing the indictment. The judge reached this decision by finding himself bound by a 2011 decision issued by a federal magistrate. Today’s decision fails to address the legal issues at the heart of the matter and is at odds with several issues already decided by the state court of appeals. ”
Ohio Innocence Project Director Mark Godsey said: “It was the right decision and Judge Dankof should be commended for doing the right thing. Dean Gillispie is innocent and we are heartened that this terrible injustice is finally coming to an end.”
The Innocence Project said its goal now is to expunge Gillispie’s record and remove him from sex offender lists.