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Dennis Salerno #A412-224

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I need help with a wrongful murder conviction but I do not have money to hire an attorney or any other professional assistance. I was arrested in 2000 and the conviction is from Ingham County, MI - 02-217-FC. People vs. Dennis Michael Salerno. I was convicted of murdering my wife. I did not murder her.

Here is some information about this case:

Dennis Michael 'Sal' Salerno is challenging a wrongful Michigan first-degree murder conviction, is imprisoned in Ohio for the self-defense killing of the man responsible, and seeks comments on and help with this case.
Mr. Salerno stayed with the family for about four months in the early 1990's. After he left their home he had no contact with any of them until (Name) hired an investigator to find him in the year 2000. At the time of trial, no one knew why the family would want to locate Salerno after all these years. An unreported case, Howard v. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (2003) WL 21359356, was found and seems to answer some questions.

Members of the family were convicted of federal crimes. Howard v. Ohio shows that Mr. (Name) had also stayed at the residence at some point, had knowledge of the criminal activity and Mr. (Name) had sex with his wife. Detective reports state Salerno had sex with his wife as well.

When (Name) and his son were released from federal prison, the family placed a contract on Mr. (Name), he was located in prison and stabbed multiple times. After the (Name) contract, the family sought Mr. Salerno. Apparently, the family wanted to silence, or teach a lesson to persons who may have had knowledge of their crimes.

Salerno was not easy to find as he had moved when transferring to new colleges. The Salernos' college apartment was in East Lansing, MI, where they attended Michigan State University. The family contacted Salerno's wife through letters addressed to Salerno that were forwarded to their new address. Salerno and his wife were arguing and he was not at the apartment when a letter from the family was forwarded from an old address the investigator had provided. She met with the family, met again, and was murdered. He then met with and tried to kill Salerno, but died with his own knife.

Salerno was convicted for the death of his wife based on the testimony of (Name), who was in the Wood County Jail with Salerno for about 8 days; he claimed he and Salerno spoke about the murders. (Name) traded testimony against Salerno for release from a 14-month prison sentence for fraud in Ohio. He claimed Salerno murdered his wife in Lansing, and drove around for hours with her in the trunk of his car, then went to Exit 5 on I-75 in Michigan and dumped her into the lake with blocks on her feet.

His story is false. Salerno had a van and his wife had a Reliant K wagon; neighbor of which has a trunk. There was no evidence of blocks being tied to his wife and none of her being in water. She was found in Ohio and not in Michigan. (Name) clearly manipulated the system to gain his release at the cost of an innocent man being convicted and sentenced to serve the rest of his life in prison for a murder he did not commit.

Phone records indicate the family had called information numerous times, called numbers in various states listed to Salerno families and his son stated that he looked through phone books while on his trucking runs. Phone records also show his wife and the family were in contact, and records show that the family hired an investigator from Kentucky to locate Salerno and was given old addresses. He had maps of Ohio and Michigan, had stayed in a Bowling Green Hotel on the weekend of his wife's birthday when she was in the Bowling Green=Toledo area visiting friends and family and had often spoken of killing people and burying them. He had even given his attorney an envelope with a map and information where he claimed two bodies could be found - to be opened only upon his death.

ATM evidence shows Salerno was at the casinos during times the state contends he committed the murder. This, combined with the fact that she was found in Ohio, a block from the Bowling Green Hotel where the family had stayed- not at Exit 5 on I-75 in Michigan as (Name) testified should have been enough to disqualify his testimony. There was no water burial, no blocks on her feet, no trunks in either vehicle, questionable soil evidence, as well as the family's history, bring the question of how Salerno was ever convicted. In fact, ordered soil testing from the Exit 5 area was not carried out; had it been it would have been another mark against the tale of (Name). In addition, the facts presented in Howard v. Ohio, support and are probative of Salerno being innocent of her murder.

Mr. Salerno has no access to Michigan legal material, and the State of Ohio has so far refused assignment of legal aid. He draws his own legal work with no outside legal aid. He has filed multiple challenges in both Michigan State and Federal courts. Nearly all documents filed and most of the 'discovery' is in his possession but he is limited to 20 dollars per month and the cost of postage and photocopying may limit what he is able to provide to anyone interested.

Salerno understands the history and prejudicial nature of the Presumption of Correctness - the honest reality, though, is he did not murder her. No evidence connects him to her murder. The case is circumstantial. Any advice, assessment, or assistance offered would be appreciated.

Additional information about the case:

Through a public information request, a third party received the prosecutor's file for this case - Ingham county Michigan # 02-217-FC (Judge H. (Retired) Judge M. (Replacement)). The understanding was the prosecutor's file is to contain all evidence the state relies upon. Here, the prosecutor's file was missing the soil test results they claimed were damning evidence. Graphs and test results are still missing for many soil samples.

Also, there is an unfulfilled soil sample collection order; the purpose of the motion and court order was to gain soil evidence from the place that jail inmate (Name) claimed her body had been buried - exit 5 off I-75 in Michigan.

Also missing are certifications of fitness for the laboratory and person involved with the forensic testing - professor J.S. of BGSU, Professor V. of MSU and whatever lab was used by them are by V. himself, such certification is required by MCR 6.202.

A third party recently bought a random, regular bag of gardening soil and had it tested for presence of copper, nickel and hafnium. The results show element levels similar to the soil at trial and directly refutes the state claim that the soil a trial had a unique elemental signature.

While the family was looking for me, they placed a contract 'hit' on a man named D.H. He sued the State and the court decision shows P.M. was untruthful when talking to detectives and it seems the family sought people who stayed at their home.

R.C. is an inmate in an Ohio prison. He was a friend of (Name) outside of prison; R.C. told some prisoners and a third party outside of prison that (Name) told him he made up his testimony so he could get out of prison. He is willing to make an affidavit.

Crawford v. Washington applies to this case retroactively regarding use of uncrossexamined testimonial hearsay as evidence at trial. Two courts agreed it's retroactive but none have ruled on the issue.

There is no DNA in this case. An application with Michigan Innocence Clinic in 2012, before the new evidence and was denied. Another application after the new evidence but the clinic summarily denied the application without review because one had already been filed and denied in 2012 - before the new evidence was available. Attorneys contacted by a third party stated the case was stale and would need about 80 thousand dollars to begin looking into things.

I don't have access to funding. I've been in prison for 21 years now and anyone I knew before prison left at time of arrest. I have a friend or two who met me while I've been in prison but they are not able to help either professionally nor financially and my daughter came into my life a few years ago but she is a very busy woman and cannot champion my cause either. Some people find ways to go viral on social media from prison, not only do I not have those resources I don't seek notoriety - If that would help I would be willing but what I need is help from people who will take time with the case and have me exonerated through their work. I'm not getting any younger and it seems people are less and less interested in helping with each passing day.

I've not been perfect and was in trouble a few times for minor white collar issues but definitely nothing like murder. I know there is a small internet presence about the case and at least one t.v. show was made. If you are able and willing to help, please contact me.

Thank you for reviewing this posting.

About Dennis

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7/6/1970 (age 51)
Lake County, OH
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Official Links: This person is incarcerated in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. Community Information: If you have questions or information to share about this particular Department of Corrections or prison, please visit the Ohio Forum.

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High School

Mentor HS
Mentor, OH


Michigan State U.
East Lansing, MI

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Dennis Salerno #A412-224
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