Serghei Comerzan

23-year-old Serghei P. Comerzan was accused of second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and resisting arrest over the 2015 death of Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper James Bava, 25.

Comerzan, who was operating a motorcycle, allegedly led Trooper Bava on a chase after Bava attempted to perform a routine traffic stop. Bava reportedly clocked Comerzan going 105 miles per hour. During the chase, Officer Bava’s patrol car was reportedly traveling at speeds exceeding 135 miles per hour.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing a Highway Patrol car in pursuit of a vehicle when it went off the road and into a treeline before rolling over and bursting into flames.

After jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict on Friday, May 26, 2017, Comerzan’s lawyers said they would seek to have the case dismissed

The case hinged on the prosecution proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Comerzan was aware of Trooper Bava in pursuit behind him, a claim he and his defense team have fervently denied.

Source: http://www.kmzu.com/attorneys-serghei-comerzan-expected-file-dismissal-charges-following-hung-jury-last-month/

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John Bradley Atkinson

In July 2005, John Atkinson and Deborah Campbell met, and after some time he moved in with her and they lived together.

In January 14, 2008, Mr. Atkinson allegedly drove at Ms. Campbell in a dump truck. It is agreed the truck got stuck. According to Mr. Atkinson he was reversing the the truck, and was not driving at her. She says the truck came within 10 feet of her before it got stuck.

In April 2010, Ms. Campbell was injured while assisting Mr. Atkinson with a tree cutting job, spent some time in hospital, and her relationship with Mr. Atkinson ended.

Some time, well after the relationship ended (August 26, 2010, p. 28), Detective Conway, during an interview about truck registration, asked Ms. Campbell if Mr. Atkinson ever hurt her. She said something to the effect of “Well he tried to kill me with a dump truck”.

Following this allegation, Mr. Atkinson was subsequently charged and convicted at a bench trial of offences relating to the events on January 14, 2008. At the same trial He was acquitted of other charges relating to allegations about other events  in May 2006, and July 2010.

There is no evidence that Ms. Campbell ever said to anyone else prior to the interview with Detective Conway that Atkinson tried to kill her that day, and her account of events appears to be contradicted by reliable evidence which shows the truck was reversed into the place where it became stuck, and not driven forward.

Given Ms. Campbell’s suspect memory of the events on January 14, 2008, it seems quite plausible she was simply frightened by a near accident, and Mr. Atkinson had no intention of hitting her with the dump truck. Ms. Campbell made no other allegations of physical domestic violence, making it implausible that he should attempt to kill her with a dump truck.

There is a website with a good number of documents about the case.

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Mark Carver

Mark Carver is serving a life sentence without parole after his 2011 conviction for strangling Irina Yarmolenko. Her body was found near her car in Mount Holly, on the banks of the Catawba River. Carver and his cousin were fishing downstream at the time.

Chris Mumma, executive director of North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence, is seeking a new trial, arguing that Carver received an inadequate defense and that key pieces of evidence used to convict him would not stand up to updated testing and new information uncovered in the case. In particular, Mumma claims that far more conclusive testing and reporting of DNA will undermine the prosecution’s contention that Carver’s genetic material was found on Yarmolenko’s car.

She also says Carver’s statements to police indicating that he knew the victim’s height can be challenged by interrogation video – never seen by a jury – that shows he was coached into giving the description by a detective.

In 2016, the Charlotte Observer published “Death by the River,” a six-part series raising questions about Carver’s guilt.

Source: Defense in disputed murder case wants Gaston DA punished for withholding evidence June 14, 2017

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Update June 11,2019:

Last week a judge overturned Mark Carver’s 2011 first degree murder conviction for the death of a UNC Charlotte student. On Tuesday Carver was transferred and released from the Gaston County jailhouse.

Superior Court Judge Christopher Bragg overturned Mark Carver’s conviction last week citing ineffective counsel during his 2011 trial. He also found the DNA evidence used to convict Carver to be “doubtful.”

https://www.wfae.org/post/mark-carver-released-jail-after-conviction-overturned-death-uncc-student

DeShon Thomas

In 2011, seventeen-year-old, DeShon Thomas, was a full-time freshman at Tallahassee Community College seeking an Associate in Arts Degree in Paralegal Studies. DeShon also worked part-time at Taco Bell. He was also a former boyfriend of Laqecia Herring (possible father of her unborn baby).

In Tallahassee, Florida, on January 27, 2011, Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell opened up an investigation into the double homicide of 20-year-old, Laqecia Herring, and her brother, 17-year-old, Sterling Conner Jr. Both victims were found murdered in the living-room of the townhouse that they shared with their mother and other siblings—including Ms. Herring’s toddler daughter. Ms. Herring was pregnant at the time of her murder.#

On October 18, 2013, DeShon Thomas was convicted on Two Counts of 1st Degree Murder and Solicitation to Commit 1st Degree Murder.

There was no evidence connecting DeShon to the murders. The one witness testimony that the prosecutor needed was that of DeShon’s former co-worker/friend who had been manipulated by officials. Feeling defeated, on December 17, 2013, DeShon pled “No Contest” to Possession of a Firearm by a Juvenile Delinquent (a gun that had nothing to do with the murders, was obtained illegally, and was not in Deshon’s possession).

On April 26, 2017, DeShon (Pro Se) filed for Post-Conviction Relief. On May 1, 2017, a judge ordered the State Attorney’s Office to show cause why an evidentiary hearing should not be held—giving the State Attorney’s Office 60 days to respond. In June 2017, an evidentiary hearing was granted.

DeShon wrote to his mother asking her to find an attorney to argue his case. She in turn promised him that she would do her best. Today, DeShon’s mother is asking for any assistance in helping DeShon regain his freedom.

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Michael Stone

Michael Stone was convicted of the 1996 killings of Lin Russell and her daughter Megan, six, and the attempted murder of Megan’s sister Josie, nine, on a remote footpath near Canterbury, UK in 1996.

Stone consistently maintained his innocence, but was convicted mainly on the testimony of a jailhouse informant who claimed he confessed through a heating pipe between the cells. At the first trial two other informants also claimed he confessed, but one retracted and the other was discredited.

There was no forensic or eyewitness identification to connect Stone to the crime. Eyewitnesses saw a beige car used by the killer, but Stone drove a white car. Stone was a heroin addict, with a record of violence and stealing from garden sheds, but the remote rural location is a very unlikely place for a burglary or robbery.

A forensic specialist has said that advances in DNA techniques not only confirmed no link between Stone and the crime, but showed the likely presence of another man at the scene. Samples obtained from the family of Levi Bellfield, who was convicted for the murder of schoolgirl Millie Dowler and two women, showed a possible but unprovable link to him.

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Kevin Keith

Kevin Keith was convicted for the 1994 shootings in Bucyrus, Ohio that killed three people and wounded three others.

Several alibi witnesses placed him more than 30 minutes away at the time of the shootings.

Keith was convicted due to testimony from G. Michele Yezzo, a now-discredited forensic analyst, who claimed that tires previously on Mr. Keith’s girlfriend’s car left the tire tracks in the snow at the scene.

Retired FBI Special Agent William Bodziak has concluded that Yezzo’s forensic conclusions were wrong, it could not have been Keith’s girlfriend’s car that made the snow impressions, and snow imprints did not exclude the alternate suspect whom the police simply failed to investigate.

Source: article by Jason Flom, June 2, 2017. Jason Flom is president of LAVA Records and a founding member of the Innocence Project’s board of directors.

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