Michael Salerno Wrongfully Convicted of Murder

$ 1,000   (One Thousand Dollars)

Free Salerno is offering a One Thousand Dollar Reward for information regarding Thomas J.Huff giving false testimony at a 2001 Michigan Murder trial. Someone who knows Thomas J.Huff (date of birth 1-8-1960) may have talked with him or heard him talking about making up false testimony to trade for release from his 14 months prison sentence for fraud. Huff had lived in Wood County most of his life and is believed be living in Fostoria Ohio. He may frequent truckstops.

Information is sought that will cause Mr. Salerno's wrongful murder conviction to be vacated

If you have information about Huff or information about any aspect of the case, please contact Dennis Michael Salerno , directly at:

D. Michael Salerno # 412 - 224
P.O. Box 1812
Marion, Ohio 43301



Michael Salerno is actively 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.

(The article is taken from The Idaho Observer dated Sept. 15 2008, pg.25)

Mr. Salerno stayed with the McClanahan family for about four months in the early 1990's. After he left their home he had no contact with any of them until Larry McClanahan hired an investigator to find him in the year 2000. At the time of trial, no one knew why the McClanahan family would want to locate Salerno after all these years. Only lately, a recent, unreported case, Howard vs. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (2003) WL21359356, was located and it answers that question.

Apparently, members of the McClanahan family were convicted of federal crimes. Detective reports state McClanahan had sexually abused his children and the fact that he was a convicted sexual offender was published in local media. "Howard vs. Ohio" shows that Mr. Howard also stayed at the McClanahan residence, had knowledge of the McClanahans' criminal activity, and had sex with McClanahan's wife, Pam. Detective reports show that this information applies to Salerno as well.

When McClanahan and his son David were released form prison, the McClanahans' places a contract on Mr. Howard. Howard was located in prison and stabbed multiple times. After the Howard contract, the McClanahans' sought after Mr. Salerno. Apparently the McClanahans wanted to silence, or teach a lesson to persons who could have played a role in their conviction and those having knowledge of their crimes.

Salerno was not easy to find as he had moved when transferring to a new colledge. The Salernos' college apartment was in East Lansing, Mi, where they attended Michigan State University. McClanahan contacted Salerno's wife Michelle, through letters addressed to Salerno that were forwarded to their new address. Salerno and his wife were arguing, and he was now at the apartment they shared when a letter for McClanahan was forwarded from and old address the investigator had provided. She met with McClanahan, met again, and was killed. McClanahan 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 Thomas J. Huff, who was in the Wood County Jail with Salerno for about 11 days; he claims he and Salerno spoke about the murders. Huff traded testimony for the release of his 14-month Ohio fraud sentence. 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.

The story by Huff is false. Salerno had a van and Michelle had a Reliant K wagon, neither of which has a trunk. There was no testimony of Michelle ever having been in water or of blocks being tied to her when she was found a year later in Ohio. Huff 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 McClanahan had called information numerous times, called numbers in various states listed to Salerno families and his son David stated that he looked through phone books while on his trucking runs. Phone records also show Michelle and McClanahan were in contact, and records show that McClanahan had 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 Michelle'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 upon his death.

ATM evidence shows Salerno was at the casinos during the time the state contends he committed the murder. This, combined with the fact that Michelle was found in Ohio, a block from the Bowling Green hotel where McClanahan had stayed-not at exit 5 on I-75 in Michigan as Huff testified- is enough to disqualify Huff's testimony. Combined with the fact that there was no water burial, no blocks on Michelle's feet, no trunks in either vehicle, questionable soil evidence, as well as McClanahan'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 Thomas J. Huff. In addition, the facts presented in Howard vs. Ohio, support and are probative of Salerno being innocent of Michelle's murder.

Mr. Salerno has no access to the 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 support or advice. As of July 2008, Mt Salerno is pursuing a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court and an appeal from the denial of a Michigan trail court post-conviction motion. Nearly all court documents and partial discovery materials are in his possession.

Mr. Salerno understands the history and prejudicial nature of the Presumption of Correctness-the honest reality, though, is he did not kill Michelle. No evidence connects him to her murder. He will continue to battle against the State's injustice. Any advice, assessment or assistance offered would be appreciated, as well as a suggestion of someone to contact, or a reference of this correspondence.

NOTE: The original Michigan trial judge, Houk and the prosecutor Smith, are now retired

Mr. Salerno may be contacted at:

D. M. Sal Salerno
P. O. Box 1812 #412-224
Marion, Ohio 43301

Case Information:
Ingham County Michigan Trial # 02-217-FC
Federal District Court, Western District of Michigan # 1:05-CV-0344
Federal Appellate Court for the Sixth Circuit # 07-2356;07-2008
U.S. Sup Ct. 08-6627
Mich App. 286889j


...for a murder I did not commit

In the year 2000, a man whose family I had not seen in eight years hired a private investigator to find me. He was given old addresses where I had lived while attending college. I transferred to another university and had a new apartment. He found I had moved and eventually killed my wife.

He met with me and tried to kill me as well; I defended myself, and he died by his own knife.

While awaiting trial for his death, I was housed in a two-man unit with Tom Huff, who had been sentenced to serve 14 months for fraud, and was waiting to be transferred to prison.

Huff was around me for about 11 days total. The case was highly publicized and during those 11 days. Huff read the newspaper articles and watched the TV news reports. Once Huff transferred to prison, he wrote a letter to the prosecutor stating he would testify against me in exchange for his release. Huff claimed I told him about the murders. The prosecutor used Huff as a "witness." Though nothing at trial supported Huff’s story, I was convicted of a murder I did NOT commit.

There is much evidence implicating the guy who hired the investigator. He paid for the investigator with his son’s credit card; he told one of his sons he was looking for me; he had stayed in a hotel near where the body was found; my wife was in phone contact with him—and more.

Huff admitted for the record that he asked to be released in exchange for testimony. Aside from his name and that we were in the county jail together, nothing Huff said was correct and, again, Huff’s story was unsupported by any evidence at trial.

I was convicted because I was the easy target. No one wanted to believe the dead guy was the killer and people are prone to believe a husband is the killer when a wife is found dead, regardless of the evidence. This view was compounded by me not having family or friends to support me.

I have not been a saint in life but I certainly do not deserve to serve the rest of my life in prison for a murder I did NOT commit.

I am currently challenging the conviction in three courts.

I have no support, no access to the law of the state where the conviction occurred and I have no financial assistance.

I have written hundreds of letters to agencies, firms and organizations; the few responses I received generally state they cannot help, mostly because there is no DNA in my case, but also due to lack of resources or for being outside their area.

If you would like to read a copy of the brief I have in support of the claims I have in court, please write; It will cost about $6.50 for postage and copy costs and as I don’t have funds it may take awhile but I will find a way to eventually get a copy to you.

If you are able to set up a free web page or be of other help, or have comments, please write, I would be grateful.

On a bigger note though, the problem is larger than my case or a handful of other cases alone. In the United States, on average, only 8 percent of criminal cases go to trial because prosecutors stack charges and threaten defendants with decades of prison time upon conviction if they insist on going to trial. This allows the prosecutor to coerce guilty pleas on weak cases before trial that equal convictions without being forced to provide evidence against defendants. If 16 percent of cases went to trial, the court system could not handle it and prosecutors would be forced to go forward with only those cases strong enough to suggest that the defendant is the actual perpetrator.

This would not ensure that innocent people would not be convicted, but would better safeguard innocents and would bolster the integrity of the system. The government, then, would not be able to prosecute cases resting on fictionalized storylines authored by desperate county jail inmates selfishly manipulating the system to obtain their own releases at the expense of others’ incarceration.

D. Michael Salerno
Toledo, Ohio

(This writing is taken from the Idaho Observer)


To view documents pertaining to his case click on the links below

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