A judge in Cleveland has ordered new trials for three men convicted of a 1995 slaying because of what she says was "malicious suppression of evidence" by an assistant prosecutor.

Judge Nancy Margaret Russo's ruling Thursday came in the cases of 37-year-old Eugene Johnson Jr., 37-year-old Derrick Wheat and 36-year-old Laurese Glover.

A jury convicted them of murder in 1996 for a fatal shooting in East Cleveland the year before. The men's current attorneys say that the now-retired assistant Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County prosecutor failed to tell defense attorneys about two young eyewitnesses and that he later ordered police not to turn over the boys' statements. Police gave the statements to attorneys in 2013.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty is defending the prosecution of the men.