In the Ohio Pattern Jury Instruction publication it states:
“.. In the absence of direct evidence, circumstantial evidence, by itself, will justify a finding of guilty if the circumstances are entirely consistent with the Defendant’s guilt and are wholly inconsistent or irreconcilable with any reasonable theory of the Defendant’s innocence and be so convincing as to exclude a reasonable doubt of the Defendant’s guilt..”
The only evidence at Trial indicative of guilt was the testimony of several individuals who admittedly disliked Matt, who claimed “he told me he did it”. Had the Jury followed the law as instructed by the Trial Court, there was far more evidence going towards a reasonable theory of innocence [misidentification] than that which supported a finding of guilt.
The prosecution’s own witnesses clearly supported the fact that Matt was actually innocent.
One specific witness testimony clearly destroys any claim that the circumstances were “entirely consistent with guilt and wholly inconsistent or irreconcilable with any reasonable theory of innocence”. Indeed LaTreva Perdue, the best friend of the victim, and only witness brought by the Prosecutor who was known to have been present with the victim and the men involved in the murder, affirmatively stated that Matt was NOT one of the two men.
The physical evidence all supported Matt’s innocence.
Six months after Matt’s Trial, the Ohio Supreme Court overruled the circumstantial evidence instruction necessity. Fact is that the Kulig instruction was prevailing law at the time of Matt’s Trial and the Jury were properly instructed under Kulig. However, despite the evidence weighing heavily in favor of innocence, the jury failed to follow the law on circumstantial evidence, as given by the Trial Court, and demonstrated by the Court record. This violated Matt’s right to a fair Trial by an impartial Jury and to due process.