December 18, 2014

Elyria
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Attorneys say man convicted of killing informant deserves new trial

Death row inmate Stanley Jalowiec talks to his attorneys during a break in a January hearing before Judge Jim Burge. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

Death row inmate Stanley Jalowiec talks to his attorneys during a break in a January hearing before Judge Jim Burge. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

ELYRIA — Lawyers for death row inmate Stanley Jalowiec argued in court documents filed Monday that their client is entitled to a new trial based on evidence they contend shows he is innocent in the 1994 killing of police informant Ronald Lally.

Jalowiec’s lawyers, which include the Chicago-based Exoneration Project, have been trying to win the convicted killer a new trial based on arguments of police and prosecutorial misconduct, including allegations that evidence they contend could have cleared Jalowiec was improperly withheld before his original trial.

“Mr. Jalowiec stands to be executed in a case where another man confessed to a role in the crime and where significant evidence about the key witnesses against Mr. Jalowiec has still never been heard by a jury,” attorneys Tara Thompson and Michele Berry wrote.

Lally never made it to court to testify in a Jan. 19, 1994, drug trial and his battered body was later found in a Cleveland cemetery. He had been shot, stabbed, beaten and dragged and run over by a car, investigators determined.

Police believed that Jalowiec, Raymond Smith and his son, Michael Smith, drove Lally to the cemetery to kill him to keep him from testifying in the drug trial. Michael Smith cooperated with investigators and was never charged, his father and Jalowiec were both tried, convicted and sentenced to death.

Sinclair has said he will rule in the case next year.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.