Law Enforcement Expert Dan Saban Aids Retrial Helping Exonerate Man After 22-Year Imprisonment

Dan Saban working at his desk, documents abound.Evidence Solutions Law Enforcement Expert Dan Saban provided Expert Witness Testimony in a recent case that helped contribute to the exoneration of a man imprisoned for over two decades.

Case Background:

Back in 2002, Michael Buehner, now 46, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Jerry Saunders. According to multiple witnesses, Saunders was shot and killed by someone inside a black pickup truck. There was never any physical evidence proving Buehner's involvement with the crime. Instead, police utilized the testimony of three people: a neighborhood drug dealer that claimed he was riding in the pickup and saw Buehner fire the shot, Buehner's second cousin Randy Price, who was also charged in the case and testified against him to gain leniency, and Price's girlfriend, who claimed Buehner had confessed to her.

In 2021 Buehner's conviction was overturned. Police had failed to follow up on many leads regarding different suspects and had specifically withheld a statement from a neighbor that witnessed the shooting and specified that the shooter was of a different race. A judge that had repeatedly denied Buehner's requests for a new trial was removed from the case by the Ohio Supreme Court, allowing a new trial to proceed.

Current Trial:

During the trial, Jurors listened to the drug dealer admit that he was never certain about the identity of the shooter and only latched onto Buehner because he felt pressured by prosecutors and police. They heard about the litany of other leads that were not pursued and evidence that was ignored or destroyed without testing. They also heard from the neighbor who witnessed the shooting. While Price maintained his story, his motivations seemed suspect, considering the sweetheart deal that he got (only three years in prison after pinning the crime on Buehner), casting doubt on the integrity of his statements.

The resulting acquittal means that Buehner is now a free man and said he looks forward to spending time with his adult sons, who were only 2 and 4 years old when he was initially imprisoned. 

Our Law Enforcement Expert Witness, Dan Saban, was retained to review the initial criminal investigation of 2001-2002. Drawing on his extensive expertise in law enforcement, Dan meticulously examined the police practices and procedures employed by the Cleveland police department during the initial criminal investigation, shedding light on significant shortcomings and failures of the department. His thorough review of the case materials, report, and expert testimony contributed to the positive outcome for Mr. Buehner.

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