Bobby DiCello and Peter Soldato Secure Release of Wrongfully Incarcerated Cleveland Resident in Pro Bono Representation

Jan 24, 2022

This past week, DiCello Levitt trial lawyers, Bobby DiCello and Peter Soldato, secured the dismissal of 29 baseless counts of arson and 4 equally baseless counts of attempted murder against Juan Taylor after he spent nearly two agonizing years in jail waiting for justice. Justice arrived for Juan on January 20, 2022, with the dismissal of all charges against him.

Nearly two years before Juan was declared a free man, police officers from the Cuyahoga County Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) of Cleveland, Ohio, wrongfully accused him of intentionally burning down apartment buildings in Cleveland. One of the buildings was occupied by his three children and girlfriend. Thankfully, no one was injured in the fires. However, even without any credible evidence to support their decision to arrest Juan, CMHA police arrested him and charged him with a series of heinous crimes, including the attempted murder of each of his own children. From day one, Juan proclaimed his innocence. When Juan realized that his voice alone wasn’t enough, he decided to call trial lawyer, Bobby DiCello, at DiCello Levitt Gutzler.

Bobby DiCello led an investigation that revealed the truth of the case against Juan. The truth was that the case against Juan Taylor was a sham. CMHA police officers deliberately created inaccurate summaries of witness statements that falsely put Juan at the scene of the fires. But Bobby’s investigation soon revealed that when confronted with their “witness summaries,” every witness denied identifying Juan as the culprit of the fire. Bobby’s investigation also revealed that, at the time of Juan’s arrest, Juan provided a solid alibi witness, which the arresting officers ignored. And, at the outset, Juan gave CMHA police his cell phone and told them the data in the phone proved he was nowhere near the fires when they started. That evidence was ultimately “lost” or destroyed.

With no legitimate evidence connecting Juan to the crime, Bobby and Peter pressed the prosecution to dismiss the case. They did, but not until after Juan made it known he would not plead to any of the bogus charges. If Juan had taken a plea to even three of the charges with which he was accused, he faced spending the majority of his adult life in prison. Ultimately, when faced with the inescapable truth of Juan’s innocence, prosecutors dismissed CMHA’s entire case against Juan last Thursday.

This latest success further confirms Bobby DiCello’s position as a prominent leader in the civil justice movement. In 2021, Public Justice awarded Bobby and Mark DiCello Trial Lawyer of the Year for their success in Arnold Black v. Detective Randy Hicks. In that landmark civil rights case that Bobby led through ten years of litigation, Arnold Black received a $50 million jury verdict against the City of East Cleveland Police Department.

Arnold’s jury was moved by his allegations that Detective Hicks pulled him over without probable cause, interrogated him outside his pickup truck, and severely beat him. After badly hurting Arnold, the officers detained him inside a storage closet for several days without food, water, windows, or a toilet. Like Arnold, Juan is also an innocent man.

WKYC Channel 3

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