Category Archives: Adopted Case

An “adopted” case has a similar procedure to a “featured” case.

It is used where there are safety or sensitivity considerations, where limited public information is available, for pre-trial cases or for similar reasons.

Nicholas Newbold

Nicholas Newbold was wrongfully convicted of crimes committed by his ex-fiancé. She abused their two month old little girl, resulting in her death. Under California’s aiding and abetting law, Nubi was basically found guilty by association. He’s serving 30 years in prison and she is walking free! His only crime was choosing a cold hearted, selfish woman to fall in love with.

Source: http://www.freenubi.com/

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Daniel Gwynn

Daniel Gwynn was convicted of first degree murder, arson and aggravated assault in 1995. The primary evidence against him was an incriminating police-written statement that he signed. In this statement Mr. Gwynn is supposed to have started the fire at that killed Marcia Smith, one of the six homeless residents there, who refused to jump out of a third floor residence. The other five residents survived. Two of the residents testified that on the day before the fire they had an altercation with someone known as ‘Rick’ who fought with them for seventy minutes before being forced to flee the residence and threatened revenge. The five homeless residents told police that they believed ‘Rick” had to have started the fire – even though they did not see who started the fire.

According to false confession expert Dr. Richard Leo, “There is no objective record of what occurred and therefore no way of ruling out that Mr. Gwynn was not educated about those facts that he got correct, a phenomenon known as ‘contamination’ that is not uncommon in police interrogations, especially those leading to false confessions.”

Source: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/en-gb/125/358/722/free-daniel-gwynn-an-innocent-man-on-death-row/

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Don Roberts and Glynn Simmons

On December 30, 1974, two men held-up the Edmond Liquor Store and and in the process shot clerk, Carolyn Sue Rogers, who was killed, and a customer, Belinda Brown, who was wounded but survived.

Don Roberts and Glynn Simmons were subsequently convicted of the murder. There was no physical evidence to link them to the crime, only a questionable eyewitness identification by Belinda, and a juvenile who identified Don in a lineup.

Don and Glynn were strangers the day of the murder, they had only met once at a party, weeks after the murder. Police say their alibis didn’t check out.

Police reports indicate detectives recovered at least one usable finger print, and a bullet, but police said in court there were no fingerprints lifted from the scene of the murder.

Carolyn’s sister, Janice Smith, later wrote a letter to Glynn, and became convinced of his innocence.

Source : http://kfor.com/2014/05/15/prosecutor-family-believe-convicted-murder-could-be-innocent/

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Emerson Stevens

Emerson Stevens was convicted after two 1986 trials of abducting a mother of two from her home on August 22, 1985, while her children were asleep in the house. Five days later, her body was found in shallow water near Belle Isle Marsh, off the Rappahannock River. Stevens was sentenced to 164 years and a day in prison.

In December 2016 the Innocence Project of the University of Virginia School of Law filed an amendment asked for the conviction to be vacated.

According to the amendment, withheld evidence was found including an FBI report identifying a number of additional viable suspects; several witness statements in interviews that conflict with their court testimony; disclosure of witnesses whose statements could have impeached the testimony of prosecution witnesses; and, evidence of coercion of witnesses by the state’s chief investigator. “Mr. Stevens was convicted of a crime he did not commit…The Commonwealth’s failure to disclose the exculpatory evidence on which those false testimony claims are based violates its obligations in Brady versus Maryland”.

Source: http://rrecord.com/innocence-project-casts-doubt-on-stevens-1986-murder-conviction/

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Casmer Volk

In  January 2012 Casmer Volk was found guilty of raping a child and sentenced to 28 years to life.  A medical exam performed 30 hours after the alleged attack showed no trauma or bruising. When questioned by police, the child repeatedly stated the allegation was a lie, before changing his story again. Underwear the child wore to the hospital, put on a day later, tested positive for blood and semen, but a DNA test excluded Casmer, and indicated the child’s father was the source of the semen.

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Daniel Holtzclaw

Daniel Holtzclaw was convicted in December 2015 of 18 of 36 counts of sexual  assault, and was sentenced to 263 years in prison.

Daniel maintains his innocence, and has several credible supporters with detailed knowledge of the case. They point out that many of the allegations were disproven, and none of the allegations were corroborated by independent evidence.

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Schaeffer Cox

In June 2012 Schaeffer Cox was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and of various weapons offenses in a plot to kill government officials and law enforcement officers.

Defense attorneys said that plans for violent action were suggested by undercover informants. Supporters claim that the investigation of Cox amounted to entrapment, and the jury did not see the investigating special agent’s emails saying Cox was not a threat, witness intimidation, and audio recordings of Cox refusing to use violence at the suggestion of informants.

Sources:

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Vincent Simmons

On May 22, 1977, Karen and Sharon Sanders, 14-year-old twins, reported that they were raped two weeks prior. In statements to police, the twins claimed that they, along with their cousin Keith Laborde encountered a black man at the 7-11 filling station. They gave the man a ride and then claim that the same man produced a knife and ordered everyone into the trunk of the car. He then allegedly raped the twins one at a time and repeatedly before setting them free. The twins claimed that their attacker threatened to have his buddies come after them if they breathed a word.

In their statements, the twins were unable to identify their attacker because “all blacks looks alike.” With this information, Avoyelles Parish police picked up Vincent Simmons and placed him under arrest. Simmons was placed in a line-up in which he was the only one handcuffed. The Sanders twins and Laborde then identified Simmons as their attacker.

From 1977 until 1993 Simmons filed repeated motions to view the evidence file pertaining to his case, including police reports, arrest reports, victims’ statements, trial transcripts, the medical examiner’s report and other documents. After 16 years, his request was finally granted. Facts that came to light included the medical examination of the twins, which showed that Sharon Sanders’ hymen remained intact three weeks after the date of the alleged rapes and that she remained a virgin. This medical examiner’s report was never turned over to the defense for discovery during the trial.

There was no physical evidence presented in the Simmons case that the rapes actually occurred. Simmons’ defense also presented several eyewitnesses who claimed that Simmons was at a local bar with them the night of the alleged rapes.

Simmons was given a 100-year sentence, two counts of attempted aggravated rape.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Simmons

Website : http://www.freevincent.com/

Documentary (1999):

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Danny Lee Thompson

Danny Lee Thompson was convicted together with Andy W. Snyder for the murder of Michael W. Beauchamp, a homeless drifter.

Beauchamp  was last seen with two men at the Viking Lounge. His body was found floating in the Flint River at a Genesee County parks fishing site off N. Irish Road in Richfield Township, in October 1996. Police said a pathologist said Beauchamp died from drowning, but was beaten before being tossed in the water.

DNA on discarded cigarette butts found at the murder scene linked  the pair to the homicide. Snyder, who was already in prison when charged, was sentenced to 25-50 years in prison. He claimed that if he did not help Thompson that day, he also would have been killed.

At the sentencing hearing, Danny denied any involvement in the Oct. 7, 1996 killing, “I never laid my hands on him”, he said .

Source: News Report February 25, 2008.

Evidence shows that the testimony of Vega, the bartender, who testified that Danny wanted to beat the victim, was false, the person she described was not Danny. Danny’s confession was coerced, and Snyder also confessed. One of the confessions must have been false.

Source: see proposal post.

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Ronald DiMambro Jr.

sportyRonald DiMambro Jr. was convicted in 2014 for the murder of Damian Sutton, the two-year-old son of his ex-girlfriend, and sentenced to life in prison.

Damian and his mother were living in the home of Ronald’s parents. Damian was in the care of Ronald at the time of the alleged assault in August 2013 while his mother was at work.  The defense say Damian accidentally fell from a kitchen bar stool 1-3 days earlier, and that likely accounted for his death. Damian was taken to hospital, but was taken off life support and died six days later.

In October 2014 a judge ordered a new trial, ruling that 32 photographs withheld by the prosecution were crucial, stating that “The information provided by these photographs … would likely have materially changed how the jury viewed the relationship between the defendants’ conduct and Damian’s death. The nondisclosure may have been unintentional, but it was no harmless error.”

The photographs could have helped the defense, and its expert, Dr. Bader Cassin, because they more clearly show that bleeding on one side of Damian’s brain was caused by surgical incisions, not necessarily blunt-force trauma, the judge said. The information suggests Damian may have suffered only one blow instead of two, raising the possibility of a fall instead of an intentional act.

Source: Judge orders new trial for man in 2-year-old’s death 1 Nov 2015.

In December 2016, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the judge’s decision. The county prosecutor’s office planned to appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.

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Angelika Graswald

Angelika Graswald was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Vincent  Viafore, whose body was recovered from the Hudson River in April 2015. 

Prosecutors said Graswald removed a nickle-sized drain plug on the top of the kayak to allow it to fill with water, however experts say the amount of water entering a small hole on the top of the kayak could be minimal compared to the amount of water splashing into Viafore’s open cockpit.

In a nearly 12-hour taped interrogation by police 10 days after Viafore disappeared, Graswald repeatedly denied killing her fiance and said her desperate calls to 911 were real.

Graswald also said during that interrogation, which she punctuated with yoga and hopscotch, that she was “OK” with Viafore’s death and “wanted him dead.”

Graswald told ABC News’ Elizabeth Vargas in a November 2015 jailhouse interview that she was at her “breaking point” during the taped interrogation.

“Well they kept me asking me the same questions like a hundred times. I knew that I was innocent,” Graswald told Vargas. “I was at my breaking point. I just, I had it so I just gave ’em what they wanted.”

She also denied in the interview that she removed the plug from Viafore’s kayak with the intent to kill him, saying, “No, I did not.”

Graswald’s attorney, Richard Portale, said in a court hearing that Graswald may have miscarried a baby during an interrogation. He also claimed that his client asked investigators who “Miranda” was after she was read her Miranda rights, according to The Associated Press.

Sources:

Trial is set for February 14, 2017.

See also “Death on the Hudson“, 48 hours, Sep 12, 2015.

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Nathaniel Allen

Nathanial Allen was convicted of ordering the 2003 murder of Donald Wilder, Jr. he was jointly tried with two others who the evidence shows committed the murder. At least one witness against him lied, an appeal ruling denying one of his appeals stated:

“The Petitioner asserts that Atkins was present at a time Brassfield testified the Petitioner discussed the murder, and Atkins would testify that the Petitioner did not discuss a murder. Atkins would also testify that Brassfield had reason to testify against the Petitioner. Although Atkins’s testimony would have been relevant to impeach Brassfield’s trial testimony, the proof at the hearing showed another defense witness, Bronson Hollifield, contradicted Brassfield’s testimony that a similar conversation occurred at another location. Additionally, at least one other witness testified to Brassfield’s reputation for lying, and Brassfield was impeached with his prior convictions and his motives to testify against the Petitioner. Finally, the record shows trial counsel did much to discredit Brassfield’s testimony.”

Other witnesses were very dubious, and another witness who should have testified to a crucial meeting that allegedly implicated Nathaniel did not testify at all.

The State’s case

Nathanial did not take part in the killing, but he requested the murder be committed, provided drugs to assist in the killing, and provided money and drugs in exchange for the killing. George Arthur Lee Smith was the shooter and Shannon Lee Jarnigan assisted.

Witnesses

Connie D. Lawson, George Smith’s sister, testified that she talked with George Smith while they were at her house and that he was crying “really hard.” He told her that he had shot the victim in the back of the head. Jarnigan, who was also in the room, said, “We killed him execution style.”. Lawson testified that she refused to speak with the Defendants’ lawyers in preparation for this case because she had been threatened and did not know who to trust. Lawson conceded that the State’s attorney told her not to speak with the Defendants’ attorneys. Lawson agreed that she had previously been convicted in 1999 of misdemeanor forgery and in 2002 of criminal impersonation. She said that she violated her probation for criminal impersonation and had to serve three months in jail. Lawson said that she did not call the police after her brother and Defendant Jarnigan confessed because she did not believe what he said. More at pages 12-13 of 2007 ruling.

Michael Lynn Brassfield, Nathaniel’s brother, testified he went to the Super 8 Motel in Morristown where he saw Nathaniel and George Smith, Richard Atkins, and a girl named “Sissy.” While in the motel room, Defendant Allen mentioned two “Mexicans [who] had twenty-five thousand dollars on [the victim’s] head.” Brassfield recalled another incident around the same period of time when he was at a Days Inn in White Pine with Defendants Allen and Smith, West, and “Sissy.” While there, Nathaniel asked Brassfield and Defendant Smith to go to the bathroom with them, and he mentioned again about the two Mexicans who offered money in exchange for killing the victim. Nathaniel said that, if someone killed the victim, he would ensure they were paid. Nathaniel said that he wanted the victim killed because the victim “had indictments on him.” Brassfield agreed to kill the victim but could not get him “off the hill” ( meaning out of his house ). More at page 13 of 2007 ruling.

Phyllis West said that, on Tuesday, June 24, 2003, she and Epps went to the Days Inn Motel, and Epps paid for their room. The following day, she and Epps got a room at the Hillcrest Inn in White Pine. Later, Epps picked up Defendants Smith and Jarnigan, who rented a separate room at the same motel. Defendant Allen and a man named Darrell came to the room later with a black pistol. More at page 9 of 2007 ruling.

Danielle Lynne Epps testified that the State charged her in this case with first degree murder, alleging that she aided and abetted the Defendants in committing the victim’s murder. She testified she had reached a plea agreement with the State whereby she would plead guilty to attempt to facilitate first degree murder and testify truthfully at the Defendants’ trial in exchange for the State’s recommendation of an eight-year probationary sentence. Epps described Defendant Allen as her friend, and said Defendant Allen introduced her to Defendant Smith at the College Square Apartments in Morristown. He told her at the time of the introduction that Defendant Smith “was the one that was going to take [the victim] out.” Epps recalled another time when she heard West and Defendant Smith discuss that Defendant Smith would kill the victim. Epps said that, on June 24, 2003, she stayed at the Super 8 Motel with Defendant Smith and West. Defendant Allen made the statement that whoever “got” the victim first would get paid, but he did not disclose the amount. More at page 10 of 2007 ruling.

Stephanie Schaeffer (defense witness) testified that she knew Phyllis West well, as the two had been incarcerated together for about ten months. Schaeffer said that West discussed with her frequently the victim’s murder but never mentioned Defendant Allen’s name.

Bronson Hollifield (defense witness) testified that he has known Defendant Allen for approximately six or seven years, and, previously, he worked for the Defendant’s concrete business. Hollifield said he was present at the market when Defendant Allen saw Rucker, and Defendant Allen did not solicit anyone to kill the victim.

Timeline

February, March 2001 Victim employed as an informant, victim and Nathanial contacted each other multiple times. The victim and the victim’s wife were paid confidential informants.

Febuary 2001 Michael Brassfield’s girlfriend murdered “She was beaten n had horrible burns no her face n body n around her neck was a rope n her eyes were gouged almost out .” per discussion here  ).

June 24, 2003 Epps stayed at Super 8 Motel with West and Smith.

June 26, 2003 Some time after midnight, George Smith checked into Super 8 Motel located on East Andrew Johnson Highway.
June 26, 2003 Calls between the George Smith’s cell phone (# 423-312-3439) and the victim’s residence before 7:00 a.m., around the time that the victim became missing.
June 26, 2003 6:48 a.m. 3 minute call from victims phone to 423-312-3439.
June 26, 2003 6:52 a.m 1 minute call to victims phone from 423-312-3439.

July 2003 Detective Chad Smith asked by DA’s office  to investigate the victim’s disappearance because the victim was an important witness in multiple pending drug cases.

August 20, 2003 Detective Chad Smith interviewed George Smith, Smith admits shooting the victim and gives a detailed account of events.

August 27, 2003 Sheriff’s Department told Agent Smith about skeletal remains found on River Road.

August 2003 Chad Mullins, a sergeant with the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department, testified that he received a message in August 2003 from Brassfield. Brassfield told Sergeant Mullins that, if the sergeant kept Brassfield’s family safe, he would take the sergeant to the victim’s body. A few days later, Brassfield took him to the body. Sergeant Mullins agreed that Brassfield told him that “another man” helped Brassfield move the body, and Brassfield did not mention Defendant Smith.

December 17, 2003 Police find .380 high point semi-automatic pistol with a laser sight and a clip or magazine in the area described by Jarnigan.

March 15, 2004 Victims wife dies.

January 2006, bond reduction request denied ( News report ).

March 2006 Nathanial, Smith and Jarnigan convicted after a single trial.

August 2011, Jarnigan’s State level appeal denied.

August 2015, Jarnigan’s federal habeas appeal is denied.

Notes

From the 2012 ruling, page 2:

Phyllis Allen, the mother of the Petitioner and Brassfield, testified that she was not called as a witness at the Petitioner’s trial and did not know why. Had she been called, she would have testified that Brassfield came to her house one day seeking money. He told her that he had committed some robberies and needed the money to flee. Brassfield threatened her, and attempted to run her over with a truck. When Brassfield was unsuccessful in getting any money from her and the rest of the family, he “said that he was going to get revenge against my son, Thomas Allen, and myself and my – daughter, Nikki Allen – Janan Allen and the whole family.”

The Petitioner asserts that Atkins was present at a time Brassfield testified the Petitioner discussed the murder, and Atkins would testify that the Petitioner did not discuss a murder. Atkins would also testify that Brassfield had reason to testify against the Petitioner. Although Atkins’s testimony would have been relevant to impeach Brassfield’s trial testimony, the proof at the hearing showed another defense witness, Bronson Hollifield, contradicted Brassfield’s testimony that a similar conversation occurred at another location. Additionally, at least one other witness testified to Brassfield’s reputation for lying, and Brassfield was impeached with his prior convictions and his motives to testify against the Petitioner. Finally, the record shows trial counsel did much to discredit Brassfield’s testimony.

Documents 2007 ruling | 2012 ruling

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John N. Prante

John N. Prante was sentenced in 1983 to 75 years in prison for the June 20, 1978 murder of Karla L. Brown, in the city of Wood River, Illinois. Prante is held in the Pinckneyville Correctional Center and listed as eligible for parole in 2019, and for release in 2022.

There were no witnesses to Brown’s death, the only physical evidence against Prant was disputed bite-mark testimony, a dentist testified that less than 1 percent of people have teeth that could have left the mark.

Two prints on a coffee carafe that authorities said the killer clearly had touched did not match Prante.

An attempt to get a judge to order a DNA test for blood on a couch cushion in Brown’s basement was rejected in 1993 as coming too late in the appeals process. Illinois later passed a law to accommodate post-conviction forensic testing.

In January 2017, in response to news that attorneys from the Exoneration Project and the Innocence Project were filing for DNA tests to be conducted, and for the unidentified prints to be checked against a National database, Don W. Weber, the former prosecutor, called efforts on Prante’s behalf “intellectual malpractice”, writing “I already convinced 12 people beyond a reasonable doubt and feel no obligation to respond to a bunch of misguided liberal do-gooders who think every investigation is like a TV reality show”.

Source: Bite mark on Metro East woman slain in 1978 pointed to her killer. Or did it? St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 3, 2017

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Charles Johnson and Larod Styles

In July 2016, Cook County Judge Domenica A. Stephenson vacated the murder convictions of Charles Johnson, 39, and Larod Styles, 36, who, as teenagers, received life sentences in the December 1995 deaths of Yousef Ali and Khalid Ibrahim. Both men were fatally shot during a robbery at Elegant Auto Sales at 75th and Western.

After eight years of legal wrangling, which included an appellate court decision in their favor, attorneys representing the men said the day would not be possible if Illinois weren’t the only state in the nation to allow post-conviction fingerprint testing for defendants.

Matching fingerprints were found on a car at the used car lot and on the adhesive side of a price sticker that was torn off of one of two cars that was stolen from the lot, said defense attorney Steven Drizin, of Northwestern University’s Center On Wrongful Convictions.

The same prints were also found on the stolen cars themselves — which were abandoned about five miles from the crime scene. And the kicker, defense attorneys claim, is the fact that the fingerprints, when run through a law enforcement data base that was not available to detectives at the time of the original investigation, returned a match: a man with a lengthy criminal record who lives a short walk from where the stolen cars were found. According to a source, the man has since been interviewed by investigators.

“We are here today because we were able to use that database to not only exclude our clients . . . but to match those fingerprints to one person in particular who has nothing to do with our clients,” said Drizin, who discounted confessions the men gave to police.

In September 2016, Charles Johnson was freed on $50,000 bond, Styles was unable to post bond. Cook County prosecutors said they will retry both Johnson and Styles.

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February 15, 2017 Charges Dropped

Timothy Burchard

On October 5, 1997, the body of a woman was found in the burned remnants of her home in the Town of Veteran, Chemung County, her husband was out of town.

In late 1999, Timothy Burchard called 911, to report that Eric Weiskopff had shot a man in the head. Weiskopff then accused Timothy of the 1997 murder, but DNA tests showed that Weiskopff had raped the victim, and excluded Timothy. Weiskopff claimed that Timothy had obtained the key days earlier from the victims car, parked outside her home, however the evidence shows this to be a lie – see the Retrial Affidavit points 8 to 17.

Weiskopff when questioned told police that Jeremy Onsager was the getaway driver. Onsager was given complete immunity from prosecution for testifying that Timothy took part in the crime. When initially questioned, Onsager did not mention Timothy, only implicating him much later after detectives brought up his name.

There was no reliable evidence linking Timothy to the crime, or even placing him with Weiskopff or Onsager who was the driver, or even any truthful account of how he met up with Weiskopff or Onsager prior to the crime.

Instead, Weiskopff and Onsager told conflicting stories which are clearly untrue.

Jailhouse informants also told stories that were clearly fabricated, as they incorporated the untrue claim that Timothy had the key days earlier.

The prosecution, over sustained objections, repeatedly brought up that Weiskopff failed polygraph tests, apparently in an attempt to convince the jury that his final version of events was the truth. However Weiskopff’s final version of events was false and incredible.

The only credible witness, Timothy’s ex-girlfriend, who had no detailed knowledge of the murder, and who previously had no suspicion that Timothy committed the murder, was apparently “turned” by detectives lying to her, and testified against Timothy. The defense were denied information about how she was turned against Timothy, and a wire-tapped conversation she had with him was withheld. See this Memo.

In summary : there is a complete absence of credible evidence showing that Timothy committed the murder, and those with knowledge told conflicting untrue stories about his involvement, and could give no account of how they met with him – inexplicable if he was really there.

The only rational conclusion is that Timothy played no part in the murder and is innocent.

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Andrew Krivak

Anthony DiPippo and Andrew Krivak were arrested in July 1996 after DiPippo’s ex-girlfriend, Denise Rose, claimed she had been with them in a van and saw them rape and kill Josette Wright. She told police the men gagged Wright with her underwear and dropped her body off in the woods in Fields Lane in Patterson, which was where police had found her remains. DiPippo and Krivak were both found guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree rape in 1997. Krivak is serving a 25-to-life sentence in state prison and isn’t eligible for parole until 2021. DiPippo was acquitted by a jury after three trials in October 2016.

Krivak signed a lengthy statement in which he admitted raping Josette but not killing her and implicating DiPippo in the murder. Krivak did not testify at his own trial but has always insisted he fabricated the confession under pressure from the investigators.

In September 2016, Krivak filed to introduce the new evidence that led to DiPippo’s acquittal. “New evidence shows that Krivak is likely innocent of the crimes, that false evidence was used at his trial and that he deserves a new trial,” one of his lawyers, Adele Bernhard, wrote in court papers. Bernhard, a former Pace Law School professor, teaches at New York Law School, where she supervises the Post-Conviction Innocence Clinic.

Krivak’s filing relied on several of the details that got DiPippo his new trial — particularly that Putnam sheriff investigators coerced witnesses and that a Connecticut sex offender, Howard Gombert, is Josette’s killer and implicated himself in statements made to a fellow inmate in 2011. At DiPippo’s trial on in September 2016,  Joseph Santoro testified as a defense witness how Gombert claimed to have sex with Josette at the time she disappeared and that he suggested he had gotten away with murder because two “suckers” were convicted.

On Tuesday December 20, 2016 Krivak’s motion was denied by State Supreme Court Justice Victor Alfieri, who said Krivak and DiPippo’s cases are different, and the new evidence isn’t likely to change the verdict because of Krivak’s “detailed, voluntary confession” to the police after his arrest in 1996.

Krivak’s attorney, Adele Bernhard, called the judge’s ruling “surprising” and “disappointing.”, and said that Krivak’s confession has “the hallmarks of a false confession.” The new evidence, his lawyers say, points to Howard Gombert, who is serving time in Connecticut for sexual assault, as the girl’s likely killer, not Krivak and DiPippo, who were convicted of the crime in separate trials in 1997.

“One of the things the police are supposed to do in trying to get them to confess is to get them to talk about evidence that isn’t already known,” Bernhard said. “So for example, if they can get the suspect to say the victim was wearing purple underwear and no one knows that except police. But everything in the alleged confession was already known from the crime scene.”

Bernhard said the defense team will file an appeal of the judge’s decision early in 2017.

“We’re going to ask the appellate division to review the judge’s decision, and I’m sure that they will,” she said. “We just want to give the jury an opportunity to consider all the evidence. The jury didn’t get to do that.”

The Putnam Sheriff’s Investigator, Daniel Stevens, that helped secure Krivak’s disputed  confession through the use of a lie detector was the same detective that gave Jeffrey Deskovic the lie detector test that preceded his false coerced confession. Deskovic was exonerated by DNA evidence and the taped confession of the actual perpetrator.

Sources: News reports 30 September, 201620 December, 2016DiPoppo Exoneration Report at the National Registry of Exonerations.

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Marcus and Brandon Wallace

tdvquerphmnjxoz-800x450-nopadMarcus and Brandon Wallace, along with a friend, Keidric McKinstry, were all accused of opening fire and killing an innocent bystander at Creekside Village Apartments on June 8, 2010. A jury found Brandon Wallace, 24, guilty during a trial held in October 2011. Marcus Wallace, 29, pleaded guilty to manslaughter 10 months later.

Investigators arrested the Wallaces and McKinstry after witnesses said they saw them fire shots. “They got the wrong information when they arrested my son. They got the wrong two boys,” said Mable Wallace, Marcus Wallace’s mother.

In October 2013, attorneys for Marcus filed paperwork to withdraw his guilty plea, and the attorney for Brandon Wallace filed documents requesting a new trial.

Both claimed that witnesses who could have proven alibis were never called to testify. The attorney for Marcus Wallace presented affidavits from family members, who said they had a voice mail of another family member admitting to the shooting that attorneys did not introduce in court.

Co-defendant Keidric McKinstry pleaded guilty to the murder in March 2012 and is now serving a 21-year sentence at Ventress Correctional Facility. He hand-wrote and signed an affidavit filed in October 2013 stating that Brandon Wallace was not with him the night of the shooting and that his attorney wouldn’t allow him to speak about that before he was convicted.

Another affidavit filed by one of the shooting victims stated that he did not see Brandon Wallace at the apartment complex that night. Both are willing to testify under oath that Brandon Wallace was not there, Birmingham attorney David Gespass said.

An attorney representing Marcus Wallace also filed several affidavits signed by friends and family members who say they were with Marcus that night.

His mother, aunt, cousin and a friend stated that he was home watching the NBA playoff game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. He only left the apartment once, after borrowing his aunt’s house shoes and 50 cents to buy a cigarette from a neighbor, they stated.

The women also said that they have a recording from another family member admitting that he and another friend actually committed the murder and hid the weapons. The attorney representing Marcus at the time did not offer that voice mail as evidence and did not present witness statements that they say would have confirmed his alibi.

Marcus Wallace’s attorney wrote that he only pleaded guilty because he was told he could receive a life sentence if a jury found him guilty.

Source : News Report, October 13, 2013

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Jessie McKim

Jessie has been in prison since April 1997 for a murder that never happened.  Attorney Jennifer Bukowsky received a letter from Jessie McKim and was so shocked by this obvious injustice that she has been fighting to correct it – pro bono – ever since.

Experts on both sides agree the victim wasn’t suffocated, she overdosed on meth.

Jessie’s case was heard before the Missouri Court of Appeals- Western District. WD77803. Unfortunately, while the Court of Appeals ultimately agreed with Jessie’s attorney on two important legal issues (which can be used to assist other innocent inmates in bringing petitions for a writ of habeas corpus), the Court unfortunately denied Jessie’s petition.

Their grounds for denial were completely different from the Cole County Circuit Court’s grounds for denial because the Cole County Circuit Court found that the victim overdosed on meth but denied Jessie’s release on the theory that perhaps Jessie caused the overdose.

The Western District Court of Appeals found that would be an improper ground to deny the petition as that issue was never before the jury.

Instead, the Western District Court of Appeals found that despite the uncontroverted medical opinions from six pathologists (including one hired by the Attorney General) that unequivocally agree that Dr. Dix’s opinion was incorrect and inconsistent with the practice of forensic pathology, the Court found that because Dr. Dix did not recant his testimony, there was enough evidence to support a conviction. Unfortunately Dr. Dix is deceased so it is impossible to seek a recantation from him.

Source: http://www.lawbuk.com/free-jessie-mckim/

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