Cleveland Plain Dealer: New Philadelphia Killing of Devan Duniver an Issue in Tuscarawas County Prosecutor Race

News / November 2, 2008
Cleveland partner Dan Warren was quoted in a November 2 Cleveland Plain Dealer article, "New Philadelphia Killing of Devan Duniver an Issue in Tuscarawas County Prosecutor Race."

The focus of the article is the case of an Ohio boy, Anthony Harris, who was wrongfully convicted of the murder of 5-year-old neighbor, Devan Duniver, in 1998. Warren, who represented Harris pro bono, obtained the reversal on appeal of Harris' murder conviction in 2000.

Subsequently, Warren and a Baker Hostetler team represented Harris in a civil lawsuit filed against Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and its prosecutor, Amanda Spies. The lawsuit alleged that Spies ordered Harris' arrest without probable cause, withheld exculpatory evidence during Harris' trial, engaged in malicious prosecution and first amendment retaliation, tortiously interfered with Harris' application to join the Marines, and defamed him, including at a news conference held by Spies the day he was released from prison. The team recently secured a $2.2 million civil settlement from the county.

According to the article, a Republican running for Tuscarawas County prosecutor has used fallout from the 10-year-old mystery against Spies (no one has been charged in Duniver's murder since Harris' conviction was overturned).

"There are three tragedies here," Warren said. "A little girl was killed, an innocent young boy was convicted and thrown in jail when there was no reason to believe he was involved, and the real killer was never apprehended, maybe due to the fact that evidence pointing to other suspects was never properly pursued at the time."