In 1991/92 Matt became a certified Prisoner Law Clerk and Paralegal. He began having some success for other prisoners. As a result, he has been subjected to retaliation by the prison system including extremely lengthy "investigations" for months at a time in solitary confinement (without any conduct report), as well as retaliatory institutional transfers. (Matt has spent a total of six years in solitary confinement ("the hole") without a write-up!
On one of these institutional transfers, Matt's entire personal legal file was "lost". Upon bringing a lawsuit in the Ohio Court of Claims, the Ohio Attorney General's office went to the Ashland County Prosecutor's Office and copied their entire case file, providing it to Matt to settle the claim.
Contained within the Prosecutor's files was pure gold - evidence Matt knew nothing about and had never seen before, including:
· Judy Taylor and other state witnesses had been paid $1,000 for their testimony in "reward money", a fact that is mandatory to be disclosed, but was withheld.
· Despite specific and clear trial testimony elicited by the Prosecutor, there were no fingerprints found at the crime scene (testimony of Ashland Detective Roger Martin (page 211).
However, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) had fingerprints submitted to it. The Report, under their Case No 85-33976, dated February 24, 1986 (four years before trial) stated:
“An examination of the items submitted revealed 2 (two) partial latent prints that contain sufficient ridge detail for finger or palm print comparison.
The unidentified latent prints would be kept in the Richfield BCI files for future comparisons with any subject your department might submit”.
· The BCI sent another letter to the Mansfield Police Department dated 1/24/1989 responding to their inquiry, noting that the fingerprints found at the crime scene (which were found on the victim’s glasses, which were tossed down next to her body) were compared with those of Johnson and were not hers. The letter named a Frank D. Bonham and a David L. Burke as suspects. These names were never mentioned at trial.
· The BCI sent another letter to the Mansfield Police Department dated 1/24/1989 stating that, upon their request, a comparison was made with Dan Miller and did not match his. None of these documents were made known to the Defense and were only discovered when the prison destroyed all of Matt’s legal files, after winning a lawsuit, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office copied the Prosecutor’s entire file and delivered it to Matt to replace his files.
Despite multiple requests to the BCI and multiple pleadings seeking an order to release the prints, or compel a comparison with Matt’s, the Courts refused.
In 2012, the BCI told an attorney acting at Matt’s behest that the prints had been requested to be returned to the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office and, upon inquiry, the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office stated that they were destroyed.
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