Ohio high court: Completed crime case files are open record

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that the investigative files of a completed criminal case are a public record under state law.

The court on Wednesday sided with the Ohio Innocence Project, which sought the file of a Columbus man convicted of killing a woman in 2005 to weigh the strength of the man’s innocence argument.

At issue was what public records attorneys call a troubling trend of police departments refusing to release files until all chance of appeals are exhausted, usually because the defendant is dead.

The Innocence Project’s 2014 lawsuit sought the full record in the case of Adam Saleh, who is serving a 38-year prison term.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien says the evidence against Saleh was overwhelming.