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The 1995 murder trial against Elwood Jones was about as divisive as they come.

Mention Jones’ name to longtime members of the legal community in Hamilton County, Ohio, and there’s a good chance they’ll recognize the name.

“I’m telling you, this case had a stench about it,” said Cincinnati defense attorney Bill Gallagher, a staunch death-penalty opponent who followed the case as a local lawyer. “It had a feeling about it that there was evidence that was not the way it was portrayed in court, that it was something other than that.”

After a two-year, COVID-interrupted investigation, journalists with The Cincinnati Enquirer and USA TODAY Network’s award-winning, true-crime podcast “Accused” can confirm that some of the evidence shown to jurors was presented as more conclusive than it was.

But does that mean Jones is innocent? 

Listen now: Subscribe to USA TODAY today to get all of this season’s episodes, ad-free

Experience in augmented reality:Step inside the crime scene at the heart of ‘Accused: The Impending Execution of Elwood Jones’

Elwood Jones currently awaits execution on Ohio's death row in the 1994 fatal beating of 67-year-old Rhoda Nathan, a New Jersey native who'd come to Blue Ash for the bar mitzvah of her best friend's grandson.

Jones currently awaits execution on Ohio’s death row in the 1994 fatal beating of 67-year-old Rhoda Nathan, a New Jersey native who went to Blue Ash, Ohio, for the bar mitzvah of her best friend’s grandson.

On Sept. 3, 1994, that best friend returned to the women’s shared hotel room to find Nathan unconscious on the floor. When Jones was arrested a year later, police and prosecutors said they’d been waiting on forensic test results before charging their prime suspect.


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