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18 Years - Innocent on Ohio's Death Row

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I've been free since June, 2023, but I still have pressing needs...

I did 18 years in prison - 16 on Ohio's death row - for the death of a child - an awful tragedy that turned out to be an accident - not a murder. The case details and why I was freed are below. A news report is here.

As a recently released former prisoner, I need money for rent, utilities, food, clothing, furniture, transportation, and physical and mental health support. My family never wavered in supporting me. Since getting out, I have found my own space to live. I had a job working in a warehouse, but due to poor medical care in prison, a knee injury limits the type of jobs I can perform. I am grateful to be going in for knee replacement surgery this week (4/23/24).

Imagine coming home after nearly two decades in prison. There are so many changes and challenges in adapting to this new chapter in my life. I have no savings, and every day existence has left me with pressing financial responsibilities and no real way to heal the wounds inflicted by my wrongful conviction and 18 years in prison. I am grateful for potential work, and I would love to have a position where I can help others. Right now I still need help getting on my feet. I am grateful for any support you can offer.

The Legal Story

In 2006, the 3-year-old son of girlfriend tragically died after falling down a flight of stairs while I was in another part of the house with my baby sister. Police and prosecutors did not believe me when I explained the accident and sought the death penalty against him. They convicted me of rape and murder in 2007 and sent me to death row. Then, in April of 2023, the prosecutors agreed that my convictions and death sentence should be overturned! After entering a plea to child endangerment and involuntary manslaughter to obtain my freedom, I was given a time-served sentence and walked out of jail on June 15, 2023.

Having gone through so many twists and turns in the courts, my case is complicated. But here is a short summary. My convictions were in large part due to the testimony of a coroner who ruled the death a homicide and found rectal injuries she thought were intentionally inflicted. My appellate lawyers discovered that the coroner had not considered all of the relevant evidence. When they shared this evidence with her, she changed her official opinion. Once she saw photographs of the scene and staircase, she determined that what I said about the fall down the stairs was consistent with the injuries sustained, meaning she considered the cause of death not to be homicide. Also, after seeing medical records showing hospital staff made three unsuccessful attempts to take a temperature with a rectal thermometer – which matched up exactly with the three rectal puncture wounds she had discovered during her autopsy – she testified that these injuries were inflicted in the ER, not by my dad. Two other doctors who reviewed the records agreed that no rape occurred and the injuries were consistent with an accidental fall down the stairs.



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Lamont Hunter
Cincinnati, OH

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