Lamonte McIntyre

17 year old Lamonte McIntyre was wrongfully imprisoned for a 1994 double murder. Attorney Cheryl Pilate is fighting to exonerate Lamonte with the help of Centurion Ministries, a national innocence project that fights to free the wrongfully convicted.

At trial, there was no gun, no motive, no evidence that McIntyre knew the victims. No fingerprints from the shotgun shell casings left at the scene. No blood-spattered shoes, socks, pants or shirt. No physical evidence of any kind linking McIntyre to the crime.

There were two eyewitnesses to the murder. Ruby Mitchell told police she thought it was “Lamonte something” – who would come by to talk to her niece. This led the police to Lamonte Mcintyre, however he was not the person she was referring to. When Mitchell informed the prosecutor, he threatened to have her children taken away.

The other witness Niko Quinn has now signed an affidavit stating that McIntyre was not the killer.

Pilate, in her recently filed motion, maintains that lead detective Golubski manipulated facts and witnesses leading to the false identification of McIntyre. She maintains that throughout the investigation and trial, two chief players — the lead detective and an assistant Wyandotte County prosecutor — not only “failed to seek the truth” but also “consistently subverted and concealed the truth — manufacturing evidence and presenting testimony that they knew to be false.”

More than 15 affidavits — from criminals and their cronies to police — point to the detective, Roger Golubski, who retired as a captain in 2010 after 35 years on the force. Using terms like “crooked” and “dirty,” the sworn statements speak of a detective who preyed on black women, some of them prostitutes, using his access to illegal drugs and the power of his badge.

Full Article and Video  Here Oct 25, 2016

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Sherman Brown

In 1970, 22-year-old Sherman Brown was convicted and sentenced to death in Virginia for murdering a 4-year-old boy in the child’s home. But last week, the Innocence Project—in collaboration with attorney Steven Rosenfield, the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP—filed a writ of actual innocence with the Virginia Supreme Court which says that results from new DNA testing strongly points to Brown being innocent. The attorneys also argue that Brown’s conviction was based on evidence which has now been proven to be unreliable and to have no scientific validity.

As detailed in a Richmond Times Dispatch article published today, on an October afternoon in 1969, a woman and her 4-year-old son answered her door while her younger child slept. The man at the door asked for a drink of water, so she let him in. But when he asked to have sex with her and she refused, she said that he struck her unconscious. Soon after the attack, she was found on her couch no longer wearing her underwear, and her 4-year-old was discovered in his bed, stabbed to death.

The victim identified Brown, but the victim said that she could not recall what happened after she was struck unconscious—and initially misidentified Brown’s father as the perpetrator—making her identification unreliable.

At trial, the prosecution’s case relied on the testimony from an FBI analyst who said that hairs on a sweatshirt, that belonged to Brown’s brother-in-law, “matched” Brown’s hair, and that this was important because fibers on this sweatshirt were found to have “matched” fibers from the victim’s robe and vice-versa. Brown’s conviction was based in large part on this flawed forensic evidence.

Evidence strongly points to the female victim being raped. Testing of physical evidence collected in connection with the crime has also excluded Brown and is powerful evidence that he did not commit these crimes. DNA testing also shows with more than 98% certainty that the victim’s husband is excluded as well. Steps are now being taken to conclusively exclude the victim’s husband.

According to Brown’s lawyers, they also have a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice which states that an audit of conviction cases based on hair analysis by the FBI reveals that the analyst gave erroneous testimony regarding the hair evidence. A fiber expert has also determined that the testimony regarding the fiber evidence went well beyond the scientific conclusions that could have been reached based on the testing that was conducted.

In 1972, the U.S. Supreme court ruled in Furman v. Georgia that capital punishment was cruel and unusual, and he was re-sentenced to life in prison. He’s now 69.

Source : Innocence Project

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Sonny Bharadia

In 2001, a woman walked in on a man who was in the process of burglarizing her Savannah, Georgia home. The man sexually assaulted the woman at knifepoint, then fled with some of her belongings. Before the woman was assaulted, she noticed that the man was wearing blue and white gloves.

Sandeep “Sonny” Bharadia was in Stone Mountain 255 miles away from Savannah working on a friend’s car on the day the victim was attacked.  A witness supports his alibi.  Days after the assault, Sonny called the police to report that Sterling Flint, an acquaintance of Sonny’s, had stolen Sonny’s car. When the police investigated Flint for stealing the car, they found the sexual assault victim’s stolen items along with a pair of blue and white gloves in a bag in Flint’s girlfriend’s house. When the sexual assault victim was shown a photo lineup, she identified Sterling Flint as her attacker.

Now implicated in a sexual assault, Sterling Flint claimed that the stolen items found in his possession actually belonged to Sonny Bharadia.  So police then gave the victim a second photo lineup and, this time, she identified Sonny Bharadia as her attacker.

Photos
Sonny on the left, Flint on the right.

Flint pled guilty to theft by receiving stolen property and, in exchange for not being prosecuted for a sex crime, Flint testified against Sonny Bharadia.  Flint’s testimony, along with the victim’s revised eyewitness identification, formed the backbone of the prosecution’s case against Sonny. In 2003, with no physical evidence to tie him to the crime, Sonny Bharadia was convicted of aggravated sodomy, burglary, and aggravated sexual battery. He was sentenced to life without parole plus 40 years.

Ever since he learned he was a suspect, Sonny Bharadia has broadcast his innocence.  GIP listened.  In 2012, DNA testing initiated by the Georgia Innocence Project revealed that the attacker’s blue and white gloves had been worn by Sterling Flint, not Sonny Bharadia.  Despite proof of his innocence, Georgia courts denied Sonny’s request for a new trial, ruling that because the blue and white glove could have been tested for DNA before Sonny’s first trial, it is not new evidence and therefore Sonny is not entitled to relief.

Source: Georgia Innocence Project

See also News article. May 2015

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Antoine Young

A gunman approaches a car idling in an Omaha fast-food drive-thru on a summer afternoon and fires the bullets that end Raymond Webb’s life. Two eyewitnesses take the stand and identify the shooter as a former prep basketball standout who had gone on to play at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the early 1990s. A jury convicts Antoine D. Young and a judge sends him away for life.

But Young has always insisted he wasn’t the daylight executioner nine years ago. Now the 42-year-old inmate has persuaded a judge to hear out his theory about what really happened on Aug. 25, 2007, at the Taco Bell near 62nd Street and Ames Avenue. Young believes he can show that while an innocent man rots in prison, the true killer of Raymond Webb is about to walk free.

Read more here

Via Midwest Innocence Project

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Sarah Jo Pender

During the night of October 24th, 2000, around 11.30 pm in Indianapolis, Sarah Jo’s former boyfriend, Richard Hull, killed their roommates, Andrew Cataldi and Patricia Nordman.  Cataldi and Nordman were fugitives from Nevada.  To commit the murder, he used a gun Sarah Jo had legally purchased on that very morning as a mean of self defense.  The shooting occurred during a heated argument between Hull and Cataldi, while Sarah Jo was gone from the house to take a walk.  Cataldi, Nordman and Hull were three drug dealers.  Sarah Jo was the only one who held a regular job.   She had only dated Richard Hull for two months.  It was him who had introduced Cataldi and Nordmann to her.
By the time Sarah Jo came back, Richard Hull had already wrapped the bodies in blankets and loaded them in a pick up truck he had borrowed from a friend.  Finding herself in the middle of a bloody crime scene, Sarah Jo, disoriented, accompanied him to a place located four blocks away where he got rid of the bodies, throwing them in a dumpster.  Richard Hull then drove a car-wash to clean the pick up.  The couple then came back to the house.  Sarah Jo refused to sleep there so where they picked up a few personal belongings and went to Lapel, Indiana, where they slept briefly at a friend’s place.
They came back the following morning.  Hull tried cleaned up the house while Sarah Jo went to work. The bodies were discovered on October 25, 2000 and the couple was arrested in Noblesville on October 26, 2000.
Sarah Jo later explained : “After he committed these murders, I did not call the police, but instead stayed with him out of love, fear,loyalty and sheer stupidity.”

Joseph Buffey

In 2002, Innocence Project client Joseph Buffey pleaded guilty to the rape and robbery of an elderly woman in Harrison County, West Virginia.

Six weeks prior to the final plea hearing, the state crime lab completed DNA testing that excluded Buffey as the perpetrator—but prosecutors never gave the report to either Buffey or his lawyer.

In 2012 when lawyers won the right to retest the DNA found inside the victim, the results produced a match, but it wasn’t Buffey’s. It belonged to a man named Adam Bowers who was 16 at the time of the attack and lived a few blocks from the victim.Bowers was found guilty in May of 2013 but, instead of releasing Buffey, prosecutors argued that Bowers and Buffey both committed the crime, despite the victims’s testimony that she was attacked by only one man.

Buffey  was told he would likely receive a 15-year sentence, but if he didn’t confess he could get 300 years. When the sentence was handed down, it was a crushing blow: 70 to 110 years in a tiny prison cell.

Buffey confessed that he “broke into this old lady’s house” after nine hours of interrogations without food. Within minutes he took it back but it was too late. “You really want to know the truth?” the 19-year-old can be heard saying on tape. “I didn’t do it. I made up a story (because you were) breathing down my neck, telling me I did it.”

Starting on October 11th, 2016, a team of West Virginia and Innocence Project lawyers will be in court with Buffey, backed by science and the facts of the case, to fight for the verdict he deserves: not guilty.

Sources: Jan 2016 news report | Innocence Project

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