David Shelton has been in prison for more than 23 years for crimes that he did not commit, sentenced to 40-60 years for two counts of breaking and three counts of criminal sexual conduct.
The jury never saw evidence that proves David, aged 27 at the time, could not have committed the crimes.
1. DNA evidence found in one victims’s home and found in the mask that both victims said the criminal wore rules out all African-American men, including David.
2. Neither victim could identify David out of a lineup.
3. One victim originally stated that perpetrator was a white man, but later said it was a black man. DNA evidence proves that her first description was correct.
4. The Michigan State Police who did the testing were never called to testify about the lab reports that prove David innocent.
5. The lead detective, Robert Aeileo only turned over 3 pages of the lab report, including a cover sheet, while 10 pages were concealed.
6. Head Deputy Cecil Dawson fabricated a confession which David never made to obtain the conviction.
7. Cecil Dawson and Sergeant Christine Bursey who were in charge of the case were later both sent to prison for selling drugs, and the police department was shut down due to corruption ( see extract from news report below ).
8. David’s defense lawyer has been reprimanded and suspended numerous times.
David’s son has made two videos explaining the above points in more detail:
In 2004, the Innocence Project took on the case, and re-opened it in 2012, however so far all appeals have been denied.
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From a 2013 news report:
Last year former Township Supervisor William Morgan pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy in federal court and admitted to conspiring to accept a $10,000 bribe, defrauding the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Renewal and making a false statement in violation of the federal Clean Air Act. Morgan admitted taking the bribe in an attempt to steer a HUD demolition contract to the man who gave him the bribe.
While Gatewood was police chief in the late 1990s, his deputy chief, Cecil Dawson, was sentenced to seven years in prison for protecting drug houses in the township.
The Dawson case caused many in the community to vote against continuing with their own police department and in favor of sheriff’s patrols.
After 14 years, the sheriff’s department terminated its contract with the township this month over $300,000 in unpaid police service bills. Sheriff Michael Bouchard said funds from a voter-approved millage to support sheriff patrols weren’t making it to his department.
His cooperation with the DEA, FBI and other law enforcement agencies eventually led to charges against more’ than 25 people, including the former deputy chief of the Royal Oak Township Police Department and one of the township’s former officers, and two Highland Park public safety officers. For federal prosecutors in Detroit, Rodriguez, who was sentenced this fall to more than 17 years in prison, was a rare find, being so well connected with major drug traders. By the time Rodriguez’s reign ended, the federal government had agreed to pay more than $150,000 to move 40 of his relatives from Colombia and California to unknown locations in the United States. Rodriguez has expressed hope his cooperation will lead to a shorter sentence.
Rodriguez certainly changed the lives of the four metro Detroit officers. Three of the four pleaded guilty to charges related to cocaine trafficking. A fourth stood trial and was convicted. Former Royal Oak Township Deputy Chief Cecil Dawson, 49, of South-field was sentenced Dec. 8 to 10 years in prison; former Highland Park officer Albert Bursey, 47, was Sentenced to the same term Dec. 17. Krwin Heard, 46, a former Highland Park officer, was sentenced in May to 15 months in federal prison. Albert Bursey’s wife, Christine Bursey, 47, a former Royal Oak Township police officer, stood trial, was convicted and was sentenced Dec. 17 to 15 years and eight months in prison. lawyers for Dawson and Christine Bursey could not be reached for comment recently. But Dawson apologized at his sentencing.