Imprisoned Ohioan gets 3rd trial in ex-girlfriend’s slaying

Willard McCarley (Photo: Ohio Dept. of Corrections)

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A man who has been twice convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend but maintains his innocence is getting a third trial in northeastern Ohio.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports 53-year-old Willard McCarley goes to trial Tuesday in Summit County court after an appellate court again found errors with his previous trial.

He has spent 11 years in prison for the slaying of 26-year-old Charlene Puffenbarger, who was found strangled with a belt, suffocated and hit at her Twinsburg Township apartment in 1992. McCarley wasn’t charged until 2004, after a cold case team re-examined the slaying and new DNA testing was done on the belt.

Puffenbarger’s family alleges McCarley killed her to avoid paying child support for their then-2-year-old son.

McCarley says he was at his home sleeping when Puffenbarger died.

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