Vernon Bateman was accused, with two others, of holding a woman at gunpoint in the early morning hours of January 23, 1998, and sexually assaulting her.
However (according to a petition) the Doctor who examined her could find no signs to confirm her story, and the rape kit was mysteriously lost.
The woman initially failed to attend court in September 1998, but after a continuance was granted, did eventually identify Vernon as one of her assailants.
Following the trial, the woman gave a taped statement, gave a sworn statement, and wrote a letter to the Lake County Prosecutor, in each of which she recanted her trial testimony and indicated that she could not positively identify Bateman as one of the men who raped her and that Corporal Mary Banks had coached her into selecting his picture from the photo array. However the woman re-affirmed her identification in 2008 at an evidentiary hearing, saying that she lied in her statement to Vernon’s PCR counsel.
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.”
Humberto Sanchez-Rengifo was convicted of the sexual assault of a 15 year old girl on June 16, 1997, and sentenced to life without parole.
Huberto claims this was a case of mistaken identity. The attacker allegedly sexually assaulted the victim for two hours, raping her after threatening her with a knife.
A semen stain found on the sheet of the bed where the assault took place was found to be from another man. A fingerprint expert testified that none of the latent fingerprints recovered from the scene connected Humberto to the offense.
Huberto claims an identification card with his picture on it was found in the victim’s mother’s bedroom, where the rape occurred. According to Huberto, officers displayed the card to the victim and inquired if that was her assailant. The victim gave a vague and inconclusive response. However, by the time of the jury trial, her story changed and she was now certain Huberto was her assailant.
Discussion | Proposal Post
In March 2013 two young men Garreth Stephens & Jared Sowders were arrested in Clark Co. Indiana and charged with the murder of Steven Baldwin, based solely on hearsay from the original suspect in the case who was a known drug dealer.
They spent almost 6 months behind bars before being released on bail.
There was no physical evidence or evidence of any kind that placed either boy at the crime scene.
Both Garreth and Jared had strong alibis.
Garreth was 19 years old, a student at Indiana State, a private pilot who was in the ISU aviation program completing his federal aviation requirements to be a commercial pilot. Jared was 18 years old, had just graduated high school, was sworn into the Army and was getting ready to leave for boot camp.
On November 14, 2014, a jury found Jared and Garreth not guilty.
Defense attorneys Bart Betteau and Perry McCall called the exoneration a vindication.
Bart Bettau stated: “Not only did we prove that there wasn’t enough evidence out there to convict them. I think Perry and I together proved they were absolutely innocent.”
Facebook Page | Discussion | News Report
Dustin McCowan, the Porter County man is serving a 60-year prison term for the Sept. 16, 2011, murder of his former girlfriend, Amanda Bach, of Portage.
Discussion | Facebook Page
Supreme Court denies McCowan appeal bid March 25, 2015
Featured Case #31 : Facebook page | Proposal Post | Featured case post | Info
Hubert was staying with his uncle & aunt, James’ parents. The detectives did not suspect Hubert when they came to arrest James, but then James’ mother called the police and alleged that Hubert admitted to stabbing Keith.
The media reported that Hubert was the killer, he was offered 30 years in a plea bargain to testify against James & Megan, he declined.
The state brought witnesses
(1) James’ ex (JX) that is still in love with James, who testified against Hubert.
(2) James’ mother (JM) who alleged that Hubert talked to JM on Misty’s phone (not true), and allegedly said he stabbed the victim.
There was a hat found by police in Keith’s backyard that had Hubert’s DNA, James’ DNA and also two unknown people. This hat was worn by many people, it is not clear how the hat got there.
A cigarette stub was found in Keith’s home with Hubert’s DNA on it, however Hubert had visited Keith’s home on previous occasions, so this should not have been suspicious.
Hubert could not raise the last $4,500 needed for a private attorney, and the case was passed to a public defender who was not well prepared for trial.
Megan and Levi were scared, so they cooked up a plot, with Rachel’s help ( Rachel being Levi’s mum ).
Featured Case #4
James Stone is innocent, but has lost nearly 30 years of his life.
Around 5am on August 10, 1985, a young woman was stabbed twice 40 miles West of New Albany, Indiana. She had given James Stone a lift home around 2am. James never left home, as his family knew for certain, however the woman accused James, likely out of fear of her real attacker.
The police believed the story of the woman, concocted false evidence to support the story, and James was wrongly convicted. Trial facts:
o A tape recording of a detective’s perjured testimony was erased, resulting in an incomplete record of the trial.
o The erased perjury was a detective’s claim to have matched James’ tennis shoes to the crime scene. In fact testimony from another detective proved this to be impossible, the shoes were locked in a car boot the whole time.
o An ex-boyfriend of the woman was never questioned by police and his existence was concealed from the jury. The break-up was just a week before the attack.
o The prosecutor was Stan O. Faith, who lied, suppressed evidence and suborned perjury during the first trial of David Camm, freed after 13 years in prison on October 24, 2013.
Proposal Post | Featured Case Post | Facebook Page | More Detail
Hearing on 14 November 2014 was postponed.
Appeal hearing March 19, 2015 – denied.