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tv   2020  ABC  May 6, 2022 9:01pm-11:00pm PDT

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this case has stuck with me till this day. a 5-year-old is stabbed that many times, it breaks your heart, and you can only picture in your mind your own child. >> we got some more people in the group. >> devan duniver was 5 years old when her body was found in some brush near her home. >> the magnitude of this case, with two children involved, absolutely blew me away. >> now a 12-year-old is about to be charged in the murder. ♪ times of darkness guide you ♪ >> why did you confess to this? >> i was confused. i did not kill devan. >> i've never forgotten my interview with anthony, so young
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at the time. and more than 20 years later, i speak with him again, as a grown man. why have you decided to sit down with us and talk about this? >> i just felt like now was the time for me to kind of speak about what happened. i felt like the world was just tearing me apart. >> everybody's jaw dropped at that point. no one really believed he was responsible. >> we just couldn't believe that they found her in that spot when we knew we had just been there. >> how did nobody see her until the next day? >> i kept saying, it's not done. it's not done. there is still an unsolved murder here. ♪ spokeswoman stou away the hours ♪ >> wjer news. it's 73 degrees and time now for a look at news. >> saturdays are very slow here,
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and normally it's a very quiet day. my name is amy smith. i'm the general manager here. i started working at wjer as a senior in high school. thank you carlotta. that particular day, we were expecting bad weather. there were thunderstorms moving in. and that's the day that i received a call that a little girl was missing in new philadelphia. it was, you know, a child went out to play and hadn't come home. little kids wander off playing outside all the time. so my thought at that time does not go to she's been abducted or even worse. the at the small town. things like that don't happen here. >> devan was a 5-year-old who was full of life, full of energy. happy, definitely happy, spoiled little girl. always wanted to wear a dress. however, she wanted to play with the boys also. >> when devan's family had moved into that apartment in front of us, my mother and her mother became friends.
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>> i'd sometimes help her draw, help her paint. she was like a sister to me. >> devan duniver was living in new philadelphia in an apartment complex with her mother and her brother, dylan. >> my cousin said, this is the safest place to raise children. she said it was good schools, good community, good people. therefore, i moved to new philly. >> but during the afternoon of june 27, 1998, everything would change for lori. >> we had gotten home, and she went outside to play. everything was fine. and she come home at 1:30. i said, we're going to go to the grocery store. do not go nowhere. i went upstairs to get ready. >> her son was in the house for a while, and then devan had gone outside. >> i came down at 10 minutes until 2:00, and i'd asked dylan,
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where's devan? and he said, she went outside. and dylan and i yelled for her, and she never came. >> it was around 2:00 p.m. when lori duniver realized her daughter isn't where she thinks she should be. >> when i got to the house i noticed devan's mom was outside looking -- you know, calling for her and asking for her. >> this was about probably about five after 2:00, somewhere around there. anthony at that point was coming from the woods. >> she had asked me if i could help look for devan, and she gave me five bucks. okay, well, $5 to a 12-year-old kid, that's a lot. i was searching for my heart. she was 5 years old. she had no reason being away from home. >> she was very independent. we were assuming that she was down at a little girl named caitlin's house. we'd been down to caitlin's numerous times, and the little girl was not home. and we just kept searching. >> lori did what a lot of parents could do. she's calling for her, asking other kids, have you seen devan?
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and i think she actually got in the car to drive to a couple of houses nearby where devan would play with other kids her age. >> i remember her mother saying that, you know, devan has a tendency to venture off, wander off. so i figured, well, we can just probably just go downtown, just look in the area, look for her daughter. so we did that for a few hours. then we stopped because a major storm was going to blow in. >> my name is dan risinger. i was a police officer employed by the city of new philadelphia police department. on june 27th, 1998, i answered the phone and a hysterical female was reporting her 5-year-old daughter missing. >> my cousin had went to the caitlin's house one more time and went to the neighbors, and the neighbor said that that family was on vacation. and at that point we had called the police. >> lori had indicated that she'd last seen daughter at 1:30 in the afternoon.
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and she didn't call the police department until 11 minutes after 8:00 that night. right away we're six hours behind on trying to locate her. >> the police called here and gave the official word that there was a search with neighbors and that they were desperately seeking this girl. and our news director, jennifer clark, had arrived and took that phone call and began making the announcements on the air. >> the weather was going to be really bad, so we really wanted to find her. so we wanted to get on the air what was happening. do you want to help? this is where you go. >> my daughter-in-law called me and said they had just heard on the radio there was a little girl missing, and because my son went missing for about seven hours when he was just under 3 years old, there wasn't no place else for me to be but out searching for devan. >> the community really pulled together and -- it was amazing actually. i don't know the exact number
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for saturday night, but i think it was around 400 to 450 people that were searching. >> you're maybe picturing this little 5-year-old girl who might be hurt somewhere. i mean, i can only imagine the intensity that i would have felt if i was searching. >> the flyer that they gave us had devan's picture, her description, what she was wearing. i was thinking about her green shirt and how it would blend into all the green that was around here. her red shorts, how her skin would probably be pale if she's been laying out here injured for all this time. >> there were several neighbors looking between houses, looking under shrubs, looking in sheds, in garages. any place that she could be hiding, we were looking. >> we searched all around her house, and we searched in the woods behind where she lived, and she wasn't there. >> there was flashlights all over the place and the whole field looked like fireflies.
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>> they went through the woods and looked everywhere and looked all over the place, could not find devan. >> we searched all night for her, up until the next mornings. >> i was just panicked. everybody was like, oh, lori, it's going to be okay, it's going to be okay. and i knew it wasn't going to be okay. not this length of time that she'd been gone. >> i never expected what i found when we went searching. i just said, oh, my god, oh, my god, call 911. choosing t-mobile is like paying for this... ...but getting that! ...and so much more. ♪ more 5g bars in more places. more savings so your family saves 20% versus the other guys!
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will y'all come together? will y'all bow your heads in reverence, please? heavenly father, let this happen today, lord, that they find this young girl, father god, find her safe. >> it was a sunday morning, and we heard on the radio they were asking for volunteers because this little girl was missing. at that point my husband and i looked at each other and said, we have to go. >> the weather was nice. it was nothing like it was the night before. >> people, even strangers, combing every square inch of the town looking for devan. >> my name is kathy davis. i was reporting for wews tv 5 in cleveland back in 1998. >> we got some more people in
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the group. >> we wouldn't have covered a story in new philadelphia that wasn't a big story, and this was a big story. there were a lot of people who came out, from grandparents to little kids, searching for a little girl. >> and particularly in this wooded area behind her house there was a lot of activity. i would guess it to be maybe half the size of a football field. and although there is some brush, and obviously trees and stuff, it wasn't extremely dense all the way through. certainly not everybody was in the woods, but a lot of people were -- were passing through there. >> i got up in the morning, 8:00. i walked over to that area, and just searched that spot. >> when we searched, it was very, very strategic, very down on the ground, pulling apart everything. >> my husband would go inside on the -- where i could not see him, and we had, long sticks, and we would poke through until i could see him again, so that
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that way between the two of us, we could see everything. and she wasn't there. >> it was afternoon, probably maybe around 1:00-ish when one of the ladies that i worked with as an emt, she called me and asked me if i'd be interested to help look for this little girl. >> we've been here for a couple hours and we've searched the pond three times and nothing, so -- >> when we got there, they told us that she was wearing red shorts and a green shirt. when we went into the woods, we was moving towards the apartment where she lived at. i looked over to my left, and there was a tree that was down over there, and i looked all around the tree. i figured if, you know -- maybe if it just fell that, you know, possibly she could be under -- underneath there. and then i turned away from the tree, and i turned back to my
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right, and there was another patch of woods that there was briar bushes and stuff all there. something said, you know, look over to your left. i approached the bushes. i could see her red shorts. i just said, oh, my god, oh, my god. i found her. call 911. >> duniver's body was found the next day about 24 hours after her mom realized she was gone in this wooded area behind her house. >> i had to climb over the briar bushes, and i leaned down and tried to check for a pulse to see if hopefully she was still alive, but there was no pulse. >> new philadelphia police captain jeff urban, the lead detective on the case, would discuss the investigation in a later deposition.
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>> two women had discovered the body, and i went with one of them, who showed me where the body was and pointed it out. the body was underneath what i believe now to be honeysuckle, that was leaning out over top of her. >> when captain urban came in, he stood at the doorway and he said, we found her. i could tell, just the way he said it. and i took off in the living room screaming. i remember my sister jill saying, is she breathing? and captain urban said no. and that was unbelievable. >> she would be found in a field a block from her home. authorities say there are no blatant signs of trauma. she was fully clothed. >> so many trees had fallen in the storms. at first, there was maybe some speculation that it was just a terrible accident.
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>> they had come back and told me that she had fell out of a tree or a tree had fell on her and she had broke her neck. and i know it sounds really stupid, but i was okay with that, because i knew that it would be painless. >> but the coroner would inform police that devan was in fact murdered. >> i remember, he said that it appeared to him that she had been chased in this area, it appeared that she had been knocked down, stabbed, and died where we found her. >> police won't talk about the murder weapon or motive. >> it turns out she suffered seven stab wounds in the neck. >> that is why this case has stuck with me till this day. a 5-year-old is stabbed that many times, it breaks your heart, and you can only picture in your mind happening to your own child. >> i don't recall ever having heard about a child being murdered in new philadelphia prior to that.
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it was absolutely the last outcome that i expected. >> devan lived in this apartment with her mother and her brother. her body was found practically in their own backyard. searchers looking through a field found her over in that area, right where that yellow crime scene tape now marks the spot. when i was doing the stand-up to show where her body was found, it was so close to the apartment. i mean, it was, like, literally a stone's throw. >> hundreds around town pitched in to search, like ron regula. >> matter of fact, i went around that same spot where they found her, and i don't see how i missed her, but that's one of the things i guess. >> we was going back out that day to look for her again, and that's when i found out they had found her. we stopped by the police department, and they showed me the pictures of her body. and i told the police in new philly, she wasn't there that
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night before. >> i was surprised that she was located that close proximity to where she lived. >> the thing i remember thinking was about how many people had been out searching for her and how did nobody see her until the next day? that stuck out even at the time as a teenager how strange that was. >> we just couldn't believe that -- that they found her in that spot, when we knew we had just been there. >> it did seem kind of uncanny that you have all these people in a relatively small area, and nobody sees this? >> this whole town is grieving and hoping a killer is caught. >> how do you feel about her death? >> it's very, very, very painful. i cry sometimes because she's gone. just very, very hard. >> you think, this happens to other people, this can't happen to us. it's not reality for everyday people. and it is. it really is.
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>> the outcome is heartbreaking. so, our next objective is to find a culprit to get a conviction. >> it was terrifying. now not only do we have the tragic loss of a little girl, but we also have a murderer on the loose. meet ron. that man is always on. and he's on it with jardiance for type 2 diabetes. his underhand sky serve? on fire. his grilling game? on point. and his a1c? ron is on it. with the once-daily pill, jardiance. jardiance not only lowers a1c... it goes beyond to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death for adults with type 2 diabetes and known heart disease. and jardiance may help you lose some weight. jardiance may cause serious side effects, including ketoacidosis that may be fatal, dehydration that can lead to sudden worsening of kidney function, and genital yeast or urinary tract infections. a rare life-threatening bacterial infection in the skin of the perineum could occur. stop taking jardiance and call your doctor right away
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it's a crime that stunned a small tuscarawas county community. >> when the body of 5-year-old devan duniver was found, the community of new philadelphia began to ache in many ways. >> all of a sudden you have this young girl that they find at 2:30 on a sunday afternoon, stabbed in the neck, killed. >> this is a community where, at that time we had an average of about one homicide per year for the entire county. they simply didn't have a lot of homicides to investigate. >> are we equipped? are we ready? i don't believe you're ever ready to handle a homicide of a child. >> at the time, the new philadelphia police captain and lead detective, jeff urban, was heading up only his second murder investigation in his then 18-year career.
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>> as in most cases, detective urban starts by looking at the parents. >> who wants to think of a mom or a dad, for that matter, that murders their kids? >> police took notice lori waited six hours to notify them of devan's disappearance. >> the time element was the problem i had with it. at 1:30 in the afternoon, not to report her missing to the police department until 8:11 that night, as a parent, i would have contacted the police department immediately to activate any resources available to attempt to locate this little girl. >> be advised we have units -- >> the day after devan's body is found, detective urban tells lori he wants to come back later to conduct a search of her home. >> i signed papers for them to search my house. >> police report finding nothing suspicious in lori's home. >> ultimately, as other leads emerge, authorities no longer
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consider lori a person of interest. >> police then turn their attention to devan's father, who lori says told her he couldn't help her search when she called him before contacting police. >> do you recall her telling you that the reason he gave for not coming over was because he was too drunk to drive? >> yes, i do remember something about that. >> but new philadelphia police said they were able to confirm the father's whereabouts, cearing him as a person of interest. >> investigators then questioned the next family member, devan's 8-year-old brother. notes from a third-grade teacher describe some very troubling details about his behavior. >> could you read what that says? >> mm -- hmm. very violent, blood curdling picture. freddie kruger favorite movie. suspended four times in kindergarten in columbus.
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>> devan's brother was given a voice stress analysis, which is the equivalent of a lie detector test for minors. he passed it and was ruled out. >> while police are looking into devan's inner circle, they also have their eyes on lori's ex-boyfriend. >> we're kind of hearing bits and pieces about their relationship. and he apparently had some violent tendencies. >> he had evidently taken devan when lori had lived in columbus, and taken her for several days, had her with him away from the mother. >> he was never charged for that incident. >> lori would later tell police that this was the main reason she took so long to report devan missing. she said she received little assistance from police back then. >> but lori's ex-boyfriend gave an alibi for june 27th, the day devan went missing, and police eliminated him as a person of
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interest. >> the columbus police department checked the alibi, and i didn't do anything further with it. >> nothing came of it. all we heard was that he had been ruled out. >> i remember that a couple of peat a house. >> a registered sex offender lived adjacent to the home where dogs hit devan's scent. >> police would eventually rule this sex offender out after giving him a lie detector test, which he passed. >> and then you have the neighbor, anthony harris. >> as lead detective urban tries to piece together the timeline, he learns that devan was last seen headed toward the woods at around 1:45 p.m., which is around the same time young anthony harris, devan's neighbor, told police he was in the area. and you had lived in that
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neighborhood for how long? >> in that neighborhood, for about a year and a half. >> what were the neighbors like? >> the neighbors were good. we had great neighbors. >> i took my neighbor's trash out for them. i help people when they ask me. i just do the things that please people. >> anthony was, like, almost 6 foot tall. >> he's 12. >> he looked like an older kid. >> what sports do you like to do? >> i love basketball. >> anthony's very happy-go-lucky. he plays, very creative young man. the family's life had been -- >> i worked as a photographer. the kids would go to school, come home, mom would fix supper, we'd talk about homework, how did school go. just your typical life. >> while talking to anthony, police noticed anthony was inconsistent with the time he arrived home and how he arrived home on the day devan went missing. >> anthony, you said you came home at what time? >> like around 2:00 something. >> okay. who would have dropped you off?
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>> i'd say ryan eckert. i think he dropped me off or i must have walked home. i'm not sure. >> what happened that day at around 1:45 when you were coming from ryan's house? >> nothing. >> what did you do? which way did you walk? >> i walked right through the woods. >> i think what really made them hone in on anthony was some inconsistencies in stories he was telling, questioning what time he came from point "a" to point "b," which was close to the time that devan went missing. >> we asked him if he knew the little girl. he said that he did, that she was a rude, nasty little girl who would eat in front of him. >> and so that obviously would raise a police officer's suspicion. maybe we need to talk to this young man a little more. >> police begin to zero in on anthony, questioning him in a room without his mother.
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what unfolded in that room would forever change the course of devan's murder investigation. >> i just felt like i was in a maze and couldn't find a way out. want your clothes to smell freshly washed all day without heavy perfumes? now they can! with downy light in-wash freshness boosters. just pour a capful of beads into your washing machine before each load to give your laundry a light scent that lasts longer than detergent alone, with no heavy perfumes or dyes.
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police still need your help in the murder case of devan duniver. the 5-year-old was found dead in a wooded area about a block from her new philadelphia home. >> on july 15th, just two weeks after 5-year-old devan duniver was found murdered, anthony harris is taken to the new philadelphia police station t meet with neighboring millersburg police chief thomas vaughn. his mother, cindy, is able to
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watch anthony through a two-way mirror, but she's unable to hear anything that's being said. >> the police officer introduced me to the police chief who was going to be conducting the voice stress test. they just said it's like a lie detector test for teenagers. they did some preliminary questions to talk to him, help him relax. we had nothing to hide. no big deal. >> sitting there behind the glass next to cindy was detective urban, who she considered a friend. their kids went to school together. >> the voice stress test would be kind of a prelude to the next step. and if you fail the test, now we're going to take it a step further. >> that "relaxing" conversation turned into an 80-minute interrogation, all recorded on video tape. >> did you do this crime? >> no. >> i can only help you if you help me. you're sorry you did this,
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aren't you? you didn't mean to kill her, did you? >> i didn't kill her. >> i think that both of us know that something happened out there. >> and then chief vaughn hones in on race as a possible motive. >> anthony, a lot of african americans have a lot of hate built up over the years, and it's because of what we did to you. >> new philadelphia, it's predominantly a white community. >> everybody involved in the case was white. the only people that were african american in this whole thing was the harris family. >> and i know that people react different ways, and there are certain things that trigger everybody. >> they talked to anthony about, you know, i know that you hold some of this racial feeling in you. >> i think she just either called you the "n" word or she called you some name or she hit you with something. >> and you got mad and you stabbed her. those are the things the police pointed to because they had no
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evidence. >> investigators had collected but at this point, it's very important to note, they do not have any physical evidence linking anthony to devan's murder. >> those test results are going to stand on their own, and it's just like any other evidence. it'll get introduced into court and the punishment is going to be at the end. >> they sent all this away, and there's no dna on anthony, there was no murder weapon. >> the interrogation becomes more and more intense, and anthony starts telling chief vaughn what he wants to hear. >> you know how many times you stabbed her? more than once? five or six times? >> uh. >> once or twice? >> probably just one, yeah. >> okay. >> until finally anthony breaks down and admits to killing devan duniver. >> but you stabbed her in the woods.
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can you just say yes or no? >> yes. wait, no. i mean yes. i'm just nervous now. >> remember, anthony's mother is on the other side of the glass with detective urban, but neither can hear what's being said. >> you stabbed her twice? i need you to say yes or no for me. >> yes. >> okay. can you write a statement out for me as to what happened? >> i'll try to. >> do you have any questions? let me know, we'll talk about it. >> can i talk to my mom? >> and that's when cindy harris is brought into the interrogation room and sees her son completely distraught and in tears. >> do you want me to tell her, anthony? >> tell me what? >> i didn't do -- he wants me -- i don't -- i don't know. that i'm -- if i did it, i would have done it, but i didn't do it, but he said i did it. >> cyndi is clearly confused and alarmed since she believed anthony had nothing to hide.
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>> anthony, please tell me the truth. look at me. look at me. look at me. did you kill devan? >> no. >> so, why did you tell him, anthony? i don't understand. why would you tell him these things if they're not true? >> some of the questions are too hard. >> that broke my heart. i can't imagine a mom finding out that her young son had just confessed to a murder when she wasn't in the room. and she had to have known in that moment that their lives were about to take a terrible turn. >> that day was such a bad day. my mother and i were together one last time, and we were crying. i'm in her arms, asking to go home. yeah. oh, my goodness, that one hurt. oh, god, it hurt. yeah, she was, um -- she was, um -- >> so she held on to you. >> yeah, we held on to each other. >> we did. we were just in this puddle of tears.
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>> even when the police officer thought that anthony had confessed, when he turned to you, anthony didn't confess. he denied it. >> you've got a 12-year-old child sitting in a room, taught to respect authority, that the police are good. >> it felt like anthony was being pushed into saying things. >> at that point they didn't need to put him on the voice stress test. they had his confession. >> it seemed as if once we honed in on anthony harris -- done. >> if you're a parent, you can't even begin to understand it. to have somebody just come pluck your child out of your life for no reason. my son did not do this. >> anthony's mom was frustrated with law enforcement. >> i feel that we were set up. >> it was immediately after the confession of anthony harris, the district attorney said, he's confessed. let's arrest him. >> good afternoon. i do not have a prepared
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statement, but -- >> she directed that you arrest anthony harris? >> yes. >> you said you were concerned. why were you concerned? >> as to what was going to happen to anthony, what was going to happen to his mother. where this was going to go as far as newspapers and the mess that that was going to create. >> meanwhile, devan's mother can't believe a 12-year-old who played with her daughter all the time has been arrested for allegedly taking devin's life. >> just a regular kid. i really liked him. i really did. >> lori would later express a drastic change of heart. >> without a doubt -- without a reasonable doubt, any doubt, he definitely killed her. >> i feel very sorry for lori's family. it is a shame that her daughter is gone. i wouldn't wish that on anybody. it's horrible, but my son did not do this. >> the police say that you killed this little girl. >> yes. >> what do you say? >> i didn't. >> never did it? >> never did it.
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>> never harmed her? >> never harmed her. >> it was unlike any other trial i covered. >> he needs the death sentence. he deserves exactly what he gave my daughter. she got the death sentence for playing outside. >> i felt like it was a movie. the lows of bipolar depression can leave you down and in the dark. but what if you could begin to see the signs of hope all around you? what if you could let in the lyte? discover caplyta. caplyta is a once-daily pill, proven to deliver significant relief from bipolar depression. unlike some medicines that only treat bipolar i, caplyta treats both bipolar i and bipolar ii depression. and, in clinical trials, feelings of inner restlessness and weight gain were not common. caplyta can cause serious side effects. call your doctor about sudden mood changes, behaviors, or suicidal thoughts right away. antidepressants may increase these risks in young adults. elderly dementia patients have increased risk
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anthony harris. >> definitely this trial would have been page one news, top story. this one in particular because it involves, you know, a 5-year-old victim and a 12-year-old defendant, made it even more so. >> it was unlike any other trial i covered. it was a shakespearean tragedy that was playing out, because there were a lot of sides to it that were real human drama. >> well, at the beginning of the trial, they spent weeks in just the suppression hearing portion. trying to determine whether to throw out the confession. >> the public defender, his name was tarin hale, was very emotional. >> so, we had filed a motion to suppress the interrogation. >> without that confession, i don't think that they would have a case. >> a confession is a very important piece of evidence.
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in this particular case, it was really probably the strongest piece of apparent evidence that they had. >> all rise. >> the defense wanted to make sure that every aspect of that confession was considered. he was alone. did he have an attorney. did he have his miranda rights? was he coerced? you know, he was 12. >> but we filed a motion and it was denied, and so that was brought in. >> a taped confession was admitted as evidence after a lengthy suppression hearing. >> confession is in. what do you do now? >> in ohio, for juveniles, it's decided by a judge, not a jury. and so in this case, it was all in the hands of judge kate. >> it was really interesting how the case continued to kind of descend. initially, i really thought it'd be a very simple case. and then the bottom really fell
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out. >> i never thought she would ever allow the confession to stand. once that happened, all bets were off. >> she was judge kate. she did what she does for every trial. she had command of the courtroom. >> you have heard me speak about conduct that i find appropriate in the court. >> tarin had something to prove -- that he was a good attorney. so he had to be frustrated that everything he presents is overruled. >> i knew i was in trouble, and i knew that this train was in motion, and unless something drastically happened, it's over. >> and you could -- you could watch it and you could see it. he was so frustrated throughout that whole time. he was so frustrated. >> in watching the trial, it seems like they both did a decent job of presenting their cases. you know, he was probably the
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one that didn't come off quite as polish at that time, and i think he would probably tell you that, too. amanda knew how to perform when there were microphones and cameras, if she wanted to. this trial, this case was obviously probably gonna be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, of her career. it seemed like the prosecution didn't have a whole lot. it was the confession. you have no murder weapon, you don't have eyewitnesses, you don't have conclusive dna evidence. >> my statement was very clear, there is no evidence in this case. that's all you need to know from me. there's no evidence here. >> i felt like it was a movie. >> it's not going well for me. the prosecutors are mad at me, and then the local naacp wants to meet with me. i was just flabbergasted. george forbes came in to co-counsel, and he was a very strong, opinionated figure, and
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he was a very strong advocate. he can't do any worse than me. if she's not going to listen to me, i need somebody. so, we're pretty far in the case at this point. this is probably the last few witnesses the prosecutor's going to present. >> judge kate walks in. and she says, you know, i've been thinking about this case. i think anthony would like to have this case resolved. there's only one way to resolve this case without a trial, and that is if he pleads guilty. and it was very clear of her intention at that point, and that was outrageous. and that's when i filed my motion to have her removed. >> my motion and affidavit were dismissed. >> and you could tell he had gone from the point of trying to get anthony off of this to, okay, it's time to move on and i'm going to make sure i can get him an appeal. >> in serious cases, there's this tendency if the court system believes your client is
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guilty, it's like everything gets judged a little bit different. it's not quite a fairness to it. and one of the things that they attack is they'll attack trial counsel. and they'll say, well, that may not have been right, but your attorney didn't object. your attorney waived the right. i was adamant, this is not going to land on me. however, this case goes, no one's going to accuse me of not fighting everything. >> defense attorneys for anthony harris are trying to show police failed to give the boy adequate explanation of his rights. >> the whole thing was a farce. >> tarin hale said it best. a 12-year-old can't make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without making a mess, let alone commit murder. >> and the defense was saying there's no way anthony could have done this and not have been covered with blood. that body must have been moved. how can all those people walk through, even that particular part of the woods, and not see the body? and in closing arguments the
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prosecutor said, yeah, the body might have been moved. moved by anthony harris. seems really unlikely. >> and i thought, how is this gonna end? >> i think all of northeast ohio is on the edge of their seat. >> it's time for a verdict, and in this case we're not waiting for a jury, we're waiting for a singular judge. >> all right. anthony, i'd like to you stand up until i'm finished speaking, please. >> anthony's fate is now in judge kate's hands. but is the true killer even on trial? >> there were leads that the authorities could have followed up on, but they never did. >> i told them when i was on the stand that i saw this guy and he was in the area of where we had searched. i really think he had something to do with it.
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you have to put yourself in that locked room with a police officer who is cajoling a young kid to confess. >> how did they get to you confess? >> this was coercion. >> you stabbed her in the throat, didn't you? >> i was asking if he did it, yes. >> you weren't asking him, you were telling him he was sorry he did do it. >> any confession that came from it should have been tossed out of court. >> in my heart and gut i feel anthony harris is responsible for the murder of devan duniver. >> he deserves exactly what he
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got. >> if world was tearing me apart and i just couldn't escape it. >> it was surprising to me there were other suspects that weren't pursued. >> he was so suspicious looking, and he was right there. the creepy man that i saw. >> so the real killer was out there. >> he's still out there. >> ladies and gentleman, this is 98-jd-00644 in the matter of anthony harris. >> and now it's coming to a climax. and, you know, what is she gonna say? >> all right. anthony, i'd like you to stand up until i'm finished speaking. based upon the evidence that's presented to me, anthony, i do find that the state has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that on june 27th, 1998, you did purposefully cause the death of devan duniver.
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>> and when she delivered the guilty, it was -- it hurt. >> you're listening to the 5:00 at 5:07. >> a former new philadelphia boy has been found guilty of killing a 5-year-old girl. >> i don't know, anthony, what malevolence has filled your soul when this took place. >> one week later, anthony harris was sentenced to the max. >> she asked anthony if he had any comment, and i felt bad that i had not prepared for him. i never really considered that happening. and i was so proud when he said, your honor, i did not do it. and it was hard. it was hard to -- and again, i felt like i failed him.
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>> a former new philadelphia boy will spend the next eight years in a prison for juveniles. 13-year-old anthony harris was sentenced today for the june stabbing death of devan duniver. >> after you were convicted, the judge took your mother to task, calling her a bad parent. >> yeah. i remember that conversation. that was pretty bad. >> what did you want to tell the judge? >> she was the complete opposite. >> she did a good job, huh? >> oh, she did a great job. wooning to f dth d i alsoeninony egularly. but immediately afterwards, i went to see him and i just really i implored, i said, do not let this system get to you. they want you to fail. they want you to act up. don't let them win. >> tarin hale knew he would need high-powered assistance for the appeal, and that's why this smalltown ohio lawyer goes to cleveland to find it. >> tarin hale got in touch with me and came up to see me in my
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offices, and brought with him a file. >> it was a team of like 12 people in the room, and they took my little boxes of files, and, you know -- it was kind of hard for me to let it go. this was my baby, and i was letting go and it was so much more than just a criminal case. >> anthony harris remains in the custody of youth services tonight. an appeal in this case is now under consideration. >> my very close friend, and partner at the time, geoff mearns, and i met with him and we spent three hours with him, and he went through to story of the case with us. i do remember saying to geoff, after he left, if half of what tarin just told us is tarin just told us is accurate, this is an amazing case. and it turned out everything tarin said was accurate. >> tarin had done a very good job, because he had
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persistently and consistently raised the issues that we needed to raise on appeal. and had he not done that, the court might have ruled that it was too late to raise those issues on appeal. >> we assembled a group of 8 or 10 associates in a conference room and started handing out research assignments. i'm sure you've seen the movie, "the verdict." >> i need your help. will you help me? >> paul newman was up against this big firm, and it was portrayed as the evil corporate opponent. and they had the team of ten lawyers, and i thought, here we are, it's almost a role reversal, because we're representing the underdog. >> attorneys are expected to argue alleged errors made by tuscarawas county juvenile court judge linda kate during harris' trial, specifically that she erroneously allowed harris's taped confession to be admitted as evidence. >> there were miranda questions, but we went further and challenged the confession. >> this was not just a confession that was extracted in violation of those due process rights. this was coercion. >> i think people's minds were made up. i don't think they thought that
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anthony harris's murder conviction would be overturned. and that these hotshot lawyers were trying to make a name for themselves. >> one of the key elements of the prosecutor's case was that you knew elements about this killing that only the killer would know. was that true? >> that was completely false. there was nothing there. i mean, they were trying to fish for an answer out of thin air. >> there wasn't even a shred of information in that confession that only the killer would have known that came from anthony. the first time i read the transcript of the interrogation that led to his confession, it dawned on me that what i was reading was the only evidence that supposedly established his guilt. and in fact, for me, it established his innocence. >> so many people didn't know what happened during the interrogation, and then the nwspaper printed it. >> the newspaper printed the entire confession so people could read it.
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when i read it, i just thought, this does not sound right to me. >> when you hear that someone confessed to a crime, i think the automatic response of most people is, they're guilty. the reality is very different. >> but why would someone confess to murder if they didn't commit a murder? >> how did they get you to confess? >> basically, it was a trick. my a1c stayed here, it needed to be here. ruby's a1c is down with rybelsus®. my a1c wasn't at goal, now i'm down with rybelsus®. mom's a1c is down with rybelsus®. (♪ ♪) in a clinical study, once-daily rybelsus® significantly lowered a1c better than a leading branded pill. rybelsus® isn't for people with type 1 diabetes. don't take rybelsus® if you or your family ever had medullary thyroid cancer, or have multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if allergic to it. stop rybelsus® and get medical help right away if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, severe stomach pain, or an allergic reaction. serious side effects may include pancreatitis.
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you have the right to remain silent. do you understand that? >> yes. >> when you hear that someone confessed to a crime, i think the automatic response of most people is, they're guilty. no one would confess to a murder if they didn't commit the murder. the reality is very different. and it's particularly different when you're talking about a kid. >> and why did you say that you did it? why did you confess to this? >> i don't know. i don't know. i don't know.
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>> you have to sort of put yourself in that locked room with that police officer, who is cajoling a young kid with threats of punishment if he doesn't confess. with promises of leniency if he does confess. separated from his mother, respectful of authority, and scared to death. and it's not uncommon for young kids to confess to things they didn't do in those circumstances. >> how did they get you to confess? >> basically, it was a trick. the investigator, he had basically told me that if you confess to this murder you can go home. it's like, okay, well, i'm over here scared, so i want to go home. >> he didn't understand his miranda rights, and he wasn't competent to give them up. when i teach my students about false confessions, i will often rely on the anthony harris case,
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because they need to understand just how difficult this is for children to navigate the minefield of an interrogation. >> the individual who conducted this interrogation was a trained interrogator. he was trained by an organization called the john reid institute. >> through extended research and years of experience, john reid and associates has developed a nine-step interrogation process. >> the reid technique of interrogation, used effectively, will cause almost anyone to confess. >> in fact, they tell, you these techniques are so effective at extracting confessions that they should not be used on children, but they also shouldn't even be used on adults, unless you independently believe that adult actually is guilty. >> the interrogation should only be conducted when the investigation has established with some reasonable degree of certitude that this person is in fact the one who committed the
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crime. >> the entire setup of the interrogation room is such as to create a sense of anxiety, a sense of dependence, a sense of isolation. and that's what anthony faced. >> what did the interrogator, vaughn, look like to you, to a 12-year-old boy? >> he looked gentle. he was a monster. the pressure he put upon me was immense, so i took him as a threat, like the devil would have been in his skin. >> chief vaughn says to anthony, there are two kinds of people -- there are the kinds of people who are spiteful, who are hateful, and people who are standup guys. and anthony, your mom told me, you're a standup guy. i can help the standup guy. the spiteful person, i can't help. >> did you do this crime, anthony? >> no. >> once these themes are set,
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the next thing that happens is a direct accusation of guilt. >> you stabbed her in the throat didn't you? anthony? you did, didn't you? anthony? >> yes. i was scared. >> like any normal 12-year-old. >> absolutely. i mean, that kind of pressure, being that young, you don't know how to react. i mean, you're going to be scared automatically. >> to a 12-year-old boy, this was the equivalent of a police officer taking a hammer out and saying, i'm going to hammer you on the hand until you confess to the bank robbery. of course, they didn't engage in that kind of physical coercion, but the mental and psychological pressure that they put on anthony was essentially the legal equivalent. >> and so all of this is coming at anthony. he's in a maze. what do i have to do to bring this to a halt? >> she fell down falling this way?
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or did she fall down and you had to grab her and turn her over? >> i grabbed her and turned her over. >> did you grab her from right behind or push her from behind? >> pushed her from behind. >> did she know you were there and was running from you? or you just surprised her? >> surprised her. >> he was clearly parroting back to him information that was provided by the interrogator. >> the reason that people confess to crimes that they did not commit is because they are broken down to a place of hopelessness. >> i haven't forced you or threatened you, is that right? >> correct. >> okay. >> saul kassin didn't work on the anthony harris case, but he's a leading expert on false confessions. >> when i first started to study false confessions in the laboratory, i couldn't believe the number of people who would confess. >> kassin has studied the psychology behind false confessions for four decades.
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in 2006, he invited us along to film this experiment he set up at williams college. >> have a seat please. >> it's an experiment he created to see if people will confess to something they didn't do. >> we created a model in which we bring people in, pretending to be typing in a typing experiment, a reaction-time experiment. >> you want to be the first typist? >> the setup is small, cramped, no windows, and mimics an interrogation room. the students believe they're being tested on how fast they can type. but it's really a setup to see if they will falsely confess. >> we tell them in advance to please not hit a certain key on the computer. >> you see the alt key next to the spacebar? >> yes. >> whatever you guys do, don't hit that key. >> they're told not to hit the alt key, and then, during the experiment, they're told they did. >> who you, who you, stop, hold
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on. >> and then lo and behold the experimenter explodes and says, oh, my god, did you hit the alt key? >> whoa, whoa, stop, stop, hold on. did you hit the alt key? >> i don't think so. >> and everybody says, no, i don't think so. some people are just emphatic, "i know i didn't touch it." >> they're told they did and the instructor's assistant confirms it and provides false evidence. >> did you see anything? >> he -- it looked like he hit it with the side of his finger. >> i'm sorry. >> sure enough, these students buckle under the pressure and actually confess to hitting that key when in fact they didn't. >> lost everything or just -- >> yeah. >> one after another, these college students confess and sign the statement. >> it's just really disorienting if two people are telling you something you did and they say it like, "no, i saw you do this," you know, you just sort of have to agree with them after
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a minute. >> almost to a person they just said something like, "oh, god, i just had to get out of there." and that's in a laboratory. can you imagine when the stakes are high and you're in a police station, what that "i gotta get out of here," must feel like? it seemed to me his interrogator was determined to produce a confession, and that one way or another anthony would provide it. >> when i was asked to write a statement about how i did it, i was like, i don't know what to say because it wasn't truthful. this was a highly coercive, psychological interrogation, and any confession that came from it should have been tossed out of court. >> but it wasn't, and anthony was convicted. the question now was, would the appellate court toss it out this time and give anthony back his freedom? >> devan duniver's killer is still out there. >> the first thing i thought was, my god, is that guy ever creepy. (heartbeats) introducing icy hot pro. with 2 max-strength pain relievers. ice works fast...
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with olay body, i feel fearless in my skin. it was, a very high-profile case. the court of appeals heard the case in new philadelphia, which is where this all happened. >> when the appeal came up, i don't think i had ever actually covered an appeals case in person. >> my young daughter at the time came to see it, and the
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courtroom was packed, so it was an exciting and important moment for me personally, and obviously i felt the weight of the responsibility for my client. >> i thought it was going to be very quick, very dry. each side says what they have to say, they say, thank you, we'll get back to you later. instead, the judges were very interested in a lot of questions about that confession. >> i recall all three of the judges referencing their own kids during the course of the questioning. >> i remember one of the judges saying, i'm trying to put myself as a parent into this situation. does it really seem appropriate, you know, to question this kid the way he was? i was surprised at the interaction that took place. and i was happy about it, because it's like those judges were asking the questions that everybody else was asking. >> anthony was a kid who was extremely respectful of authority. in this case, it was his undoing. >> i've told many young lawyers who i've had the opportunity to
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work with or train, i wish they could have been in the courtroom to watch somebody on appeal take command of a courtroom and to command the attention of the judges. dan did that. >> it was better part of a year i think before the appeal was concluded. >> we were in our offices in cleveland when we got notice that the decision had been rendered. >> so that confession gave rise to a lot of legal issues and constitutional issues. there were miranda questions. he was read his miranda rights, but in a way that we felt was inadequate given the circumstances. and the court ultimately agreed with that and found the confession unlawful based on the fact that it violated miranda. >> we read the opinion. as you can imagine, we were quite pleased. >> i'm like, oh, my god. they're kicking it back. they said the confession is coerced. >> a conviction of a
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new philadelphia teenager convicted of murder has been thrown out. >> and ohio court of appeal says the confession of anthony harris was not voluntary. >> the court went further and said, yeah, this confession was actually unlawfully coerced from a young kid and can't be used in any retrial. >> and of course, without that they didn't have much. >> so jeff and i drove down to new philadelphia, met with anthony's mom, went to the detention facility, and were there when he was released. >> anthony, how are you feeling? >> these are anthony harris' first steps of freedom. 14-year-old anthony harris spent more than a year in a youth facility for the 1998 stabbing death of 5-year-old devan duniver in new philadelphia. >> i'm excited he's coming home. that's all i keep saying, he's coming home. >> cindy was pleased, she was joyful, but i'm sure there was also a sense of still feeling the pain. >> you have no idea how hard this has been. >> she welled up with tears, saying that she thought she had failed her son as a mother because she had failed to protect him from that police interrogation.
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>> i recall some of the people who were responsible for running that detention facility actually with tears in their eyes as anthony walked off. i think they were so happy for him. >> the judge in this case, linda kate and the prosecutors still think anthony harris is responsible for devan duniver's death. >> amanda was not shy about her belief that anthony harris was guilty. no matter what verdicts were rendered, no matter what appeals, decisions were handed down. >> in my heart and in my gut, i feel that anthony harris is responsible for the murder of devan duniver. i have felt that all along. >> i don't know why she continued to think that he was a suspect after all of this, other than just the fact that that's the only person they ever really considered to be a strong suspect. >> but it was plain to everybody else, there was no evidence. there never was evidence. it was a circus from the start. >> "20/20" reached out to judge kate for comment, but she did not respond.
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>> so, is this something you want to forget? >> i don't want to forget. i want to be able to move forward from it. >> there's no anger in your voice. >> no. there's no sense to be bitter. even though it hurt a lot, but it didn't destroy my core as a person, the things i believe in, the things i grew up to become, you know? and that's why i don't hold resentment in my voice when i speak. >> that's amazing. how can you do that? >> lots of practice. lots of practice. up next, another legal battle. but this time, anthony harris isn't on the hot seat. the prosecutor and the police are. >> you accused a boy of murder that you didn't know was guilty of murder, didn't you? your home... for adventure. your home... for romance. your home for big savings.
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the fifth district court of appeals says harris' confession was coerced. a judge ordered him free. >> anthony harris spent two years in over five different juvenile detention centers for the murder of devan duniver. >> what was it like being in there? >> oh, it sucked. it was chaotic. i had a roommate who tried to rape me when i was in there, and i fought him off. yeah. it was rough in there. >> he was lost in this world, and it stole his innocence. that's a shame, because it didn't have to happen. >> three years after anthony was harris was released, a civil lawsuit was filed on his behalf. >> when it was first discussed, your family didn't want to sue. they wanted, i guess, to put this behind you? >> right. absolutely. >> what made them change their
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mind? >> i guess it was more or less you done me wrong, so now you've got pay for what you've done. >> his constitutional rights were violated by the way in which he was interrogated, the way in which he was arrested, and the way in which he was convicted. >> the people responsible for anthony's conviction would now find themselves in the hot seat. >> what steps did you take, prior to anthony being alone in that room with chief vaughn, to protect anthony's constitutional rights? >> i didn't take any. >> do you believe you have an obligation to look out for the interests of that juvenile? >> i represent the state of ohio. my first and foremost interest is to represent the state of ohio. >> prosecutors have absolute immunity from being sued. but ultimately the courts would allow the lawsuit against amanda spies to proceed. >> the court found that a reasonable official in spies' position would not have
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concluded that there was probable cause to arrest anthony. >> miss bornhorst made the decision to arrest anthony, correct? >> she did. >> and you disagreed with that decision. >> personally, yes. >> he had some skepticism about whether to go forward, and he arrested anthony at the clear directive of the prosecutor. >> i made the decision after chief urban determined there was probable cause to arrest him and then provided me with a report. >> the civil attorneys also hone in on the coerced confession. >> you accused a boy of murder that you didn't know was guilty of murder, didn't you? >> i was asking him if he did it, yes. >> no, you weren't asking him, you were telling him he was sorry he did do it. there is a difference, isn't there? as you've already acknowledged. >> yes. okay. you're sorry you did this, aren't you? you didn't mean to kill her, did you?
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>> i didn't kill her. >> and then anthony's attorneys alleged there was a lack of investigation into persons of interest by police. somebody else might be found to have committed that murder, right? >> it's possible. >> it was surprising to me that there were other suspects that weren't pursued with the intensity and with the focus brought to bear on anthony. >> anthony's civil attorneys reach a settlement with lead detective urban, chief vaughn, and the cities of new philadelphia and millersburg, agreeing to pay $1.5 million, and the civil attorneys also wanted an apology to anthony from the officers. >> they understood this was a wrongful conviction, and they were apologizing for it. >> dear mr. harris, we regret that you were wrongfully convicted of this crime. we apologize to you and your family for the events that led
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to your conviction. the settlement makes it clear that the apology was not in their capacity as officers. >> he had the right to have a piece of paper to tell anybody in the rest of his life that he did not do that terrible crime. >> the civil suit against amanda spies and tuscarawas county continued. they would settle the case 3 years later, agreeing to pay $2.2 million, bringing anthony's recovery total to $3.7 million. >> we did not get a written apology from the prosecutor. >> we reached out to amanda spies, thomas vaughn, and the new philadelphia police department with no response. jeff urban declined to comment. there were leads that the authorities could have followed up on but they never did. >> yeah, that's what i found out, too. >> so, the real killer was out there? >> he's still out there. >> would anyone be held accountable for devan's murder?
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well, these three people who were involved in the search for devan believe they have information on who her killer could be. >> i can distinctly remember him. he was so suspicious looking, and he was right there. i really think he had something to do with it. kohl's has the best mom's day gifts. like nike shorts and tees for $30 and under... jewelry for just $16.99... and slippers starting at $14.28!
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after his conviction was overturned, anthony tried to move on. he joined the marines, serving in iraq and afghanistan. you wanted to serve your country? >> i did. after all this craziness, i still wanted to serve my country. >> what is anthony harris doing today? >> well, now i'm actually a union ironworker. >> here you are, of course, i think 13. you were just a child. what goes through your mind when you see that? ♪ >> well, um -- pardon my tears here. a little strong emotions were -- >> i can certainly understand. >> i look at myself, i just feel like i was just stuck. like the world was just tearing me apart and i just couldn't escape it. >> why does that affect you so much, do you think? >> because it hurt. i have some friends who have kids around devan's age, and sometimes i look at their
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daughters, and i just -- it just hurts me a lot just realizing that my neighbor had just -- she was so young and she had passed away. it's -- it's hard. >> you would have never harmed her. >> no, i would have never done that to that girl. there's no way. >> did you go through the area where she was later found? >> we went through that area. we walked around the entire perimeter. we walked around through the trees. we searched all over the freaking place for her, and we didn't see her there. >> two decades ago you took us to the spot where you searched for little devan. >> i know she wasn't here. my daughter-in-law was looking at my feet, and she was supposedly found right between us. there's no way. >> i do a lot of hunting, and she wasn't here when i searched. >> i believe some of you were shown a picture of devan's body after they found her. anything in particular strike
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you at that point about what you saw? >> the fact that she was on top of the ground and in those red shorts. >> you would have seen her? >> oh, beyond a shadow of a doubt we'd have seen her. >> absolutely. >> a few days after they had arrested anthony -- - hale? >> harris. >> they came to the house and asked me -- they had the person who found the body with them -- asked if i would go with her and show her exactly where i searched. when i was at the one spot she said, if you was here, you would have never missed her. >> all three people we spoke to testified in court about searching the area where devan was found and not seeing her body there. >> i had five or six witnesses who swear under oath that there was no way she could have been there. >> do you think her body was later placed there? >> i think it had to have been. i mean, to be honest with you, you know, because just remembering the photos, it looked like someone just threw
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her in there. >> the searcher who found devan testified that she had the same feeling. >> when i looked at her, it looked to me like somebody had thrown her in there. >> how do you think she got there? >> the police had told us to watch for anything suspicious, and when i seen this man, he was extremely suspicious. he had his trunk up. it was a very old car. it was in the 90s and humid, and he had a long-sleeve insulated flannel shirt on. >> nancy, this takes your breath away. >> it does. this is the first time that i've heard anybody say that they saw the man with the -- the grey, plaid flannel shirt. no one else i've ever talked to has ever seen this man, but i can distinctly remember him. and i know where the car was. and he had his flannel shirt buttoned clear up to his neck, and down to -- on his wrists.
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>> in 90-degree temperatures? >> in 90-degree temperature, and the first thing i thought was, my god, is that guy ever creepy. and he had long, curly hair, like a light brown color. he wasn't very tall. and he was so suspicious looking, and he was right there. i thought, what is he doing here? i really think he had something to do with it. >> you also saw the man in the flannel shirt. >> i turned around just to look over at that area, and that's where i saw a guy come out of there. had his flannel shirt on. and i thought it was weird too, that time of year, to be wearing a flannel shirt. >> did you tell the police that you had searched that very same area? >> yes. i testified at anthony's trial. and i told them on when i was on the stand that i saw this guy and he was in the area of where we had searched, and she
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was not there. >> how soon after you saw this mystery man did you get word that devan's body had been found? >> probably within 10, 15 minutes. >> it's been 24 years. with time, memory fades. how sure are you of your recollection of all this? >> oh, i'm positive, absolutely 100%. any time that it was -- devan was ever mentioned, that's the first memory that i have is of the creepy man that i saw real close to where they found her. i can see him in my mind as plain as day. >> why do you think you remember it so well? >> he was so out of place. something about him looked guilty. >> in 2005, then-prosecutor amanda spies filed a request asking for a special prosecutor to be appointed to handle devan's case. spies said that because she was being sued by anthony, she could no longer oversee the investigation. >> the special prosecutor,
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richard dobbins, said he conducted an extensive and comprehensive investigation over a two-year period to determine the perpetrator of the death of devan duniver. in the end, he concluded that insufficient inculpatory evidence exists to prosecute anyone. a special prosecutor was assigned to the case in 2005. >> no. never called. >> you were never contacted? >> never contacted. >> this was years later,. they were re-opening the investigation. >> i was never notified. >> the officer who took that desperate call from devan's mother reporting her daughter missing says he wasn't contacted either. >> as far as the special prosecutor, i have no knowledge of that. i didn't know it. and to my outcome -- or my knowledge, nothing new come out of that. >> the boxes containing the special prosecutor's investigative files landed in the office of new district attorney, ryan styer. he declined our request for an
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interview but told us in a statement that after reviewing the findings, he believes investigators invested a lot of time conducting many interviews of witnesses and known persons of interest. and he added, in the end, i concur with special prosecutor dobbins' conclusion that there is insufficient evidence for prosecution. >> i would have thought if they were going over the case thoroughly, that they would have pulled our names. nobody ever contacted me. >> nancy, are you willing to work with authorities to create a sketch? >> absolutely. absolutely. i'll never forget my mystery man. he's been with me all these years. he'll probably be with me forever. >> district attorney ryan styer told us that he has asked the sheriff to speak to the witnesses from the trial that we interviewed, including nancy.
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special prosecutor richard dobbins declined our request for an interview. >> nobody knew where anthony was. nobody had talked to tarin. >> a reunion years in the making. the attorney who fought so hard to defend that little boy finally meets anthony harris, the man. >> oh! [ laughter ] who's on it with jardiance? we're 25 million prescriptions strong. we're managing type 2 diabetes... ...and heart risk. we're working up a sweat before coffee. and saying, “no thanks...” a boston cream. jardiance is a once-daily pill that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular death for adults
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♪ it's the week that was with joe palmisano. >> thank you for joining me this morning. when i did the radio show on whbc, i did shows that grasped me. so, the anthony harris shows, i started looking into it. it became a personal mission to
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get this story out and revive it again. this is a story of a 12-year-old young man whose life was turned inside out after being convicted of a murder that was never really proven. and a defense attorney who never gave up in spite of insurmountable odds. >> we agreed to just do a telephone interview. and so we did that, and he called me the next day. he said, tarin, guess who called me? he said, anthony. he's coming back next saturday to do a live interview on the show. i said, i'll be there. >> i set up the very next week for tarin to come up and for cindy to get on the phone, and we just had a reunion. >> oh! [ laughter ] >> what's going on? >> oh, man.
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>> the best part was them seeing each other. tarin screamed out because anthony was such a big guy. anthony screamed out because tarin's hair was so long. >> that was the first time anthony and i had seen each other in a long time. and there was a photo of him and i hugging, and he puts his -- lays his head on my shoulder. and it was just a -- we'd been through it. it was not fun, and it was good to see that we both made it through. >> and it was interesting in the reunion show. when anthony sat there and listened to cindy, his mother, describe her feelings. >> and he's like, he goes, i'm not going home. i said, no, you said you did this. i go, i can't take you home now. the officer came in and they took him. and i'm going to tell you as a parent, don't ever let that
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happen. >> i remember asking anthony in that show, how do you feel sitting back now and listening, for the first time maybe as an adult, what your mother went through? and he broke down. >> just hearing the emotional, the rest she still feels from all this stuff and then being a father myself, it's just -- it's -- it's powerful. i blame myself for putting her through that. i felt like i broke my mom. >> it was very emotional, and i mean, it bound us all in the heat of a very difficult circumstances. >> tarin was so involved in this that it affected his family. he basically had to leave his position, was ostracized in the community, and basically lost his passion for law. >> tarin poured his heart into this whole thing, and when we talk, you can still feel the hurt, the anger, the just --
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very intense with him. >> you feel for him even now. >> yeah. >> because he tried so hard. >> yeah, it was -- i know i'm -- sorry. it was tough talking to him about it a lot, you know, because there are times we'll shed tears together. >> it wasn't just a legal case for him. >> no, yeah. it's a part of his life that got ripped away, too. >> after the reunion show, i remember joe, you know, saying, i want to continue this fight. it's a travesty that this case is still out there. >> i kept saying, it's not done. it's not done. there is still an unsolved murder here. >> i just hope renewing this story, whoever committed this crime, their conscience gets to them and they come forward and
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they admit to it. and then we would get a conviction. >> maybe this program will make somebody think if they know something that they didn't say before, maybe they'll say it now. >> no one knows who killed her. it could be anybody. i mean, it could be someone we don't even know. but either way, they're still out there free. the girl's dead, my life has been destroyed, and this guy -- this individual's still free right now. ♪ stow away the hours ♪ >> sometimes i'll walk in that little area where now houses are built over the area where she had died. and i just go and stare at it, just to kind of, i guess, catch her spirit if it were passing through and also, tell her that i didn't quit on her. we're going to figure this out. give her some kind of closure. ♪
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the man once accused and even convicted now joining the search for answers. >> and the current d.a., ryan steyer told us he is hopeful the "20/20" coverage will bring a credible tip. i'm amy robach, thanks for watching. >> i'm david muir. for all of us here at "20/20" and abc news, thanks for watching. good night. >> new details about the investigation into us on his a
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police officer accused of sexual misconduct. >> a police goes down in the marin


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