Tag Archives: Female

One or more of the wrongly convicted persons are Female

Amber Hilberling

high-rise-deathAmber Hilberling admitted to pushing her husband, an Air Force veteran, out of their 17th-floor apartment in Tulsa during an argument in June 2011.

But she claimed in court she did not intend to kill him, and blamed his fatal fall on “dangerously unsafe” window glass that was too weak to stop his plunge.

Amber, who was seven months pregnant when her husband died, cited self-defense and even rejected a plea deal that would have given her only five years behind bars.

But a jury convicted her of second-degree murder in 2013, after only three hours of deliberation. A judge sentenced her to 25 years in prison.

Amber still stuck by her self-defense claim, repeating it in a televised prison interview with Dr. Phil.

“There was an altercation in which I defended myself,” she told Dr. Phil, adding that her husband flew into a rage after she called him a coward.

She also claimed in the interview that her husband abused her through their 11-month marriage, and she always kept quiet about it.

“I was really good at lying,” Hilberling said.

“That was our relationship: Josh getting in trouble over and over again and me saying, ‘Oh, no, it’s not his fault. That’s my fault. I did that.’

In October 2016, Amber committed suicide in her prison cell.

Sources:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/okla-woman-convicted-killing-husband-found-dead-cell-article-1.2844093

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2016/10/25/woman-who-pushed-husband-to-his-death-from-a-25th-floor-window-found-dead-in-prison-cell/

Discussion

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.

Discussion | Proposal Post | Facebook Page

Vanessa Cameron

Vanessa Cameron was convicted of murder of her son’s father in 2012. She was sentenced to 70 years. There was no physical evidence. Just a false confession from Vanessa and the testimony of the co-defendant Lakisha Brown. The alleged shooter was acquitted of murder. The real shooter plead guilty and received 25 years. The real shooter is Vanessa’s older sister Susan Sutton. All facts of the case can be read on www.freevanessa.com.

Featured case #152Proposal Post

 

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.”

Lorinda Swain

Lorinda Swain was convicted in 2002 for sexually abusing her adopted son.

But her son later told the court he’d lied about the abuse. After more than seven years in prison, Swain was let out on bond when a judge ruled she deserved a new trial.

But the Court of Appeals overruled that decision two separate times.

Source: What does an innocent person have to do to get their conviction overturned? April 4, 2016

Proposal Post

Calhoun Co. prosecutor won’t retry Lorinda Swain May 19, 2016
“In an order issued Wednesday, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Swain was entitled to a new trial. Later the same day, Calhoun County Prosecutor David Gilbert told 24 Hour News 8 that his office would not move forward with the retrial.”

Amanda Brumfield

IwINQRZOWfzhFoC-800x450-noPadThis nightmare began on the evening of October 3, 2008 when Amanda’s goddaughter, whom she was caring for, climbed out of her Pack ‘n Play and fell to the floor in Amanda’s home. She seemed fine after a brief period of fussing then played and had a snack before going to bed for the night. She actually was injured far more than anyone could have suspected and died a few hours later in her sleep. Her death was devastating, but this accidental tragedy turned into the unthinkable when Amanda was arrested the following June and subsequently charged with Capital Murder, Aggravated Child Abuse, and Manslaughter of a Child.

Amanda’s biological father is Billy Bob Thornton. We believe his Hollywood celebrity status had adverse influence on the police and Medical Examiner investigations, which ultimately influenced the filing of charges in the first place and led to inaccurate sensationalized press reporting.

Amanda’s trial began May 23, 2011, the day before and in the same courthouse as Casey Anthony’s trial. We believe the heinous facts associates with the Anthony case and its vast media coverage created a powerful public awareness that impacted the ability for Amanda to have a fair trial. The notoriety of the Anthony case led to a community mindset with far reaching adverse influence that greatly overshadowed Amanda’s innocence.

We believe these wrongful charges were based on medical opinions that have no evidentiary basis and defy common sense. Furthermore,recent acknowledgements within the legal and medical communities support the fact that the theory  behind Shaken Baby Syndrome is junk science.

Amanda was acquitted of Murder and Aggravated Child Abuse, but found guilty of Aggravated Manslaughter and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. No motive, no eyewitness testimony, no prior record, no physical evidence that Amanda ever harmed her goddaughter in any way, yet Amanda is in in prison.

Amanda is now represented by The Innocence Projects of Florida and Wisconsin. A motion for Post Conviction Relief was filed in January, 2015.

We believe Amanda was falsely accused, egregiously charged, and wrongfully convicted. Amanda is innocent and did not receive a fair trial.

Copied from website https://freeamandabrumfield.wordpress.com/

Featured case #131Facebook page | Proposal Post

Pamela Smart

Pamela Smart was convicted of conspiring with her 16-year-old lover, William Flynn, and three of his friends to kill her 24-year-old husband, Greggory Smart, on May 1, 1990, in Derry, New Hampshire.

This was largely as a result of the testimony of Flynn and his friends, who were treated leniently in exchange for their testimony, and secretly taped conversations in which Pamela appeared to contradict her claims of having wanted to reconcile with her husband and having no knowledge of the plot. She was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole.

Supporters say the taped conversations via wiretap were inaudible. For that reason the court had them transcribed by a secretary, not an expert, and therefore they were not transcribed properly and the person who transcribed the tapes cannot be named or found. Sentences spoken by Cecilia Pierce were attributed to Pamela Smart and vice versa.

Pamela did say incriminating things on the tapes, but there is an obvious innocent explanation – she pretended to be in the conspiracy to try to get an admission from one of the guilty parties (Cecilia Pierce), but it back-fired big-time. She knew the conversation was being recorded.

Bill Flynn was a drug addict and petty thief , Patrick Randall an aspiring hitman. Pamela only knew Bill Flynn, she admitted having an affair with him, this would doubtless not have gone down well with the jury.

Bill Flynn was no innocent. He was having sex with another woman at the same time he was having the affair with Pamela.

Pamela was implausibly accused of seducing 15-year-old Flynn and threatening to stop having sex with him unless he killed her husband.

The judge permitted the murderers to be housed together, giving them ample time and opportunity to coordinate their stories and even watch each other testify in live time on televisions in the jail.

Appeal rulings : State-v-Smart  | Smart-v-Goord

Featured case  #134Website | Discussion | Proposal Post | Petition | Facebook Page

 

Connie Oakes

Connie Oakes was wrongly convicted of fatally stabbing Casey Armstrong in the neck while he sat in the bathtub of his Medicine Hat trailer in May 2011.

The conviction was based on a confession from Wendy Scott, who has an IQ of 50 and had accused three others of the murder.

Scott subsequently retracted her confession, and her conviction has been overturned, due to a lack of corroborative physical evidence.

In January 2016, one of Connie’s lawyers told an appeal court “This verdict was not supported by any reasonable use of evidence, this is a person who has a history of blaming other people of murder. She has provided sworn testimony once again. This is troubling.”

Source: ‘I want to see her set free’: Defence seeks new trial for Connie Oakes in fatal Medicine Hat stabbing Calgary Herald, 12 January 2016.

Featured case #126Discussion | Proposal Post

News

April 6, 2016 Connie Oakes’ murder conviction quashed over ‘unreliable’ testimony from low-IQ witness

April 28, 2016 ‘She’s coming home’: Connie Oakes free after murder charge stayed by Alberta Crown

 

Tyra Patterson

Tyra Patterson was sentenced in December 1995 to spend the rest of her life in prison, for having participated in a robbery of a group of white girls in a car the previous year. At the end of the robbery, Michelle Lai was shot in the head and killed.

In an affidavit from 2013, LaShawna Keeney, the confessed shooter, expressed remorse for the “horrible crime I committed”. She went on to say that Patterson had not been involved in the robbery but had tried to stop it: “She walked up to me and told me to leave the victims alone.”

Source: A tale of two Tyras Guardian, 14 Jan 2016

Featured case #122 Discussion | Proposal Post | Petition | Facebook Page | Website

Suzanne Johnson

Suzanne was convicted of assault on a child causing death ( shaken baby ), it made no sense but experts thought at the time the only explanation of three symptoms was shaking.

The judge said she was obviously an exemplary, caring, and loving lady, but the medical science established her guilt.

However it is now known that a short fall, like a fall from a high chair, can result in trauma sufficient to cause an infant’s death. Additionally, death from a short fall injury is more probable when an infant has a previous skull injury. In fact, when Jasmine fell from her high chair, she had an existing skull fracture that had occurred months earlier. The preexisting skull fracture was confirmed by Jasmine’s failure to thrive, physical discomfort, feeding problems, constant crying, and by autopsy findings.

Cyntoia Brown

Cyntoia Brown was convicted of murder for shooting and killing Johnny Allen, a 43-year-old man. She was aged 16 at the time, and had a physically and sexually abusive boyfriend named “Cut-throat”, who brandished guns at her and forced her into prostitution. She stated that she had been repeatedly raped, was on drugs, and afraid that she would be shot when she shot Allen.

Proposal Post

Petition closed with 25,734 supporters

Barbara Holder

BarbaraHolderBarbara Holder was wrongly convicted of the murder of her abusive husband Curtis Holder on May 30, 1997.

She was convicted due to the testimony of Johnny Lopez, who confessed to killing Curtis.

Lopez testified that a third man, Mark Dixon, had told him Barbara would pay him $30,000 to kill Curtis.

Lopez gave many different statements before implicating Barbara. Mark Dixon did not testify.

More information on the trial here.

Featured case #105 Website | Discussion | Discussion Group | Proposal Post | Featured Case Post

Marilyn Mulero

On May 12, 1992, two members of the Latin Kings were shot and killed in a Humboldt Park bathroom. At 9:00 p.m. the next evening, Chicago police arrested Marilyn Mulero and Jackie Montanez, took the women to Humboldt Park, and interrogated them about the murders. The officers displayed Marilyn and Montanez to Latin King members, which associated the women with the crimes. After being displayed, detectives separately interviewed the women. Police denied Marilyn legal representation and questioned her for over nine hours in her non-native language.

After interrogation without counsel or sleep, Marilyn signed a prepared statement, which implicated her for both murders. Marilyn’s attorney, Jeremiah Lynch, entered a blind plea of guilty, paving the way for Mulero’s death sentence. Lynch failed to provide Marilyn an accurate and honest assessment of the strength of her case. Lynch’s representation fell far below the objective and professional standards of reasonableness. Lynch did not interview a single witness, police officer, or verify any witness accounts, despite the fact that Marilyn maintained her innocence. In total, Lynch only spent about ten minutes with Marilyn. Shortly after a court sentenced Marilyn to death, Lynch quit the legal profession and entered priesthood.

The prosecution’s key witness, Jackie Serrano, claimed she witnessed the murders through her apartment window. Serrano saw three women and two men in the park from her apartment. Serrano saw the taller woman enter the bathroom with a man and heard a firecracker sound. Serrano saw the tallest woman leave the bathroom, without the man, and saw the shorter woman shoot the other man in the back of his head.

Subsequent investigation showed it was impossible for Serrano to observe the homicide. In addition, law enforcement officers, with almost two decades of experience, concluded Serrano’s account was impossible. Not only was it impossible to hear a gunshot or a verbal conversation, but it was physically impossible for anyone, at night, to have seen the murder from Serrano’s apartment, over 489 feet away. Montanez later admitted to shooting both men.

Despite strong evidence of innocence, Mulero has been wrongfully incarcerated for over two decades. She maintains her innocence and the California Innocence Project is working toward her exoneration.

Source: http://californiainnocenceproject.org/read-their-stories/marilyn-mulero/

Featured case #12 Proposal Post | Featured Case Post

Kimberley Long

Kimberly Long spent the day of Oct. 5, 2003, bar-hopping around the Corona area with her boyfriend, Oswaldo “Ozzy” Conde, and their friend, Jeff Dills.

The three ended the day at a bar called Maverick’s and then went to the home she shared with Long, around 11 p.m. There, she and Conde got into a fight, after which Long left with Dills to cool off.

She returned home around 2 a.m. on Oct. 6. During a recent phone interview from the California Institution for Women in Corona, about 65 miles from Palm Springs, Long choked back tears while talking about that night.

“I remember walking through the door, and it was unlocked when I came in. I saw a light on in the back. I kicked off my shoes, and I saw Ozzy on the couch, and I called his name,” said Long, who was an emergency-room nurse at the time. “I walked over to the light to turn it on, and when I did that, I turned around, and I saw a big blood stain on the couch. I saw him and I realized that something went wrong.

Kimberley called 911, but was later charged and convicted of murder. The prosecution alleged Kimberley killed Conde and then changed her clothes before dialing 911, however while there was reportedly blood on every wall of the living room, there was no blood on Long or her clothing. The drains inside and outside of the house were dry, indicating there wasn’t an attempted cleanup.

Kimberley Long’s first trial ended in a hung jury, with nine of the 12 jurors voting to acquit. In 2009, her second trial ended in a guilty verdict for second-degree murder—even though the judge himself stated he would have acquitted her. Two alternate jurors also reportedly said later that something must have gone wrong during deliberations, because the evidence against Long was very thin. She was given a sentence of 15 years to life in prison.

Kimberley has the support of the California Innocence Project.

Full article here (May 2015) | Discussion | Proposal Post

News

Conviction overturned, released on bail June 2016

Diane Fleming

Diane Fleming was a Sunday school teacher and a mother, who loved her husband and her family. She is a very kind lady who helped and fed the homeless for many years. One day her husband Charles became very ill and she called 911. Her husband was admitted to the hospital and he died after two days. The medical authorities and the police alleged that Diane poisoned her husband with methanol. She was arrested, indicted, and convicted for killing her husband.

Seven years later, Dr. Al Bayati was contacted about the Fleming case. He spent 400 hours investigating the case and his findings clearly reveal that Charles Fleming died as a result of adverse reaction to medication and supplement and misdiagnosis.

Source

Read the full report here.

Abstract:

Charles (Chuck) Fleming’s acute illness developed on June 12, 2000 induced by the ingestion of toxic doses of creatine monohydrate and high levels of propylene glycol (PEG). Chuck was taking several medications contained PEG that increased creatine bioavability and caused acute renal failure, severe hypophosphatemia, and ketoacidosis. Chuck’s serum phosphorous level was 0.1 mg/dL (normal range: 2.8-4.9 mg/dL) and his hypophosphatemia caused hemolytic crisis. Chuck’s red blood cell count and hemoglobin levels on June 13th were reduced by 27% of those measured on June 12th.

The bleeding, edema, and necrosis observed in Chuck’s brain were caused by the high doses of heparin and sodium bicarbonate given in the Hospital. Chuck developed acute cardiac dysfunction due to hypophosphatemia, hypokalemia, hypomagnisemia, metabolic acidosis, and metabolic alkalosis. Chuck suffered from cardiomegaly and pulmonary atrophy as a result of the chronic use of corticosteroid medications. Chuck’s heart and right lung weights were 183% and 84% of normal average weight for age, respectively.

The treating physicians and the medical examiner did not measure formic acid in Chuck’s blood, urine, stomach contents, or tissues. The blood methanol measurements reported on June 12th and 13th represent a false positive. It is likely that the four bottles of Gatorade containing methanol presented in court are not the same bottles of Gatorade that Diane and Chuck spiked with creatine monohydrate on June 11th. The commonwealth’s allegation against Diane that she poisoned her husband with methanol is not supported by medical and scientific facts, which support Diane’s innocence.

Proposal Post | Facebook Discussion Group | Facebook Page

Linda Carty

Linda Carty claims she was framed by drug dealers in response to her work as an informant and has appealed her conviction. Her appeals have been unsuccessful and the appeal procedure has been exhausted.

In 2014, key witnesses against her, including a DEA agent for whom she worked as an informant, recanted and claimed they were coerced into testifying against her by the prosecutor.

Retired DEA Special Agent Charles Mathis accused prosecutor Connie Spence with threatening to allege in court that he had had an affair with Carty. Mathis denies the affair, but was concerned the effect it would have on his career.

Two of Carty’s co-defendants accuse prosecutors of threatening them with the death sentence and of feeding them stories implicating Carty.

Her co-defendant, Chris Robinson, testified against her at her trial, but has since recanted, claiming that prosecutors coerced him to testify that he saw Carty put a trash bag over Rodriguez’s head when Rodriguez was in the trunk, claiming the story is untrue. “When we were rehearsing I would say the story back to them they would stop me and add something in or take it out then make me keep going. They would stop me by saying ‘Wait, wait, this is what happened,’ ” he said in his affidavit. Capital murder charges were dropped against Robinson in exchange for his testimony.

Another co-defendant, Gerald Anderson, who was not called to testify, alleged that prosecutors attempted to get him to testify falsely against Carty as well.

Source: Wikipedia

See also http://www.reprieve.org.uk/case-study/linda-carty/

Featured Case #86 Discussion | Facebook Page | Proposal Post | Featured Case Post | Petition

 

Cherelle Baldwin

Cherelle Baldwin was charged with the murder of her abusive ex-boyfriend.

Cherelle Baldwin, like many domestic abuse victims, loved her ex-boyfriend. Jeffrey Brown wasn’t all bad. He could be charming, loving and apologetic, despite a criminal record of selling guns, robbery and resisting arrest by his early 20s. They had a baby, a boy, before he moved in with another woman.

But it wasn’t over, at least for Brown. He used access to his son to repeatedly threaten Baldwin, taking her phone, credit cards and money. He beat her up in her home, causing Baldwin, who is eight inches shorter than Brown, to call the cops twice. After his last conviction in early May 2013 for breach of the peace, a reduced charge, Baldwin wanted to help him get anger management counseling. But the most she could do was get a court order barring more threats, harassment or assaults against her while he was visiting their son.

That order meant little, according to court records and Baldwin’s attorney. Days later, Brown abruptly showed up at Baldwin’s home as she was getting ready for work and took their 19-month-old from her, only returning him after she chased after Brown by driving on the wrong side of the road. Then his stalking increased.

That day, May 16, or two days before Brown died in a fight with Baldwin, he texted her 36 times. At first, he profusely apologized, but then he wanted her to give him money and to have sex. She tried to ignore him and replied that it was time to move on. The next day, he began texting again at 7:30am, and did not stop until after midnight when Brown texted that he was following her car. “I’m behind u lol [laugh out loud],” he wrote. On June 18, he started again at 6:36am, accusing her of lying. After 12 texts, she wrote, “Leave me alone!!!!” He replied, “N u will see how crazy shit will get today.”

When the police, firefighters and ambulances arrived two hours later, they found Brown crushed between Baldwin’s car and a cement wall at the end of the driveway. His hand clenched a two-inch-wide leather belt she told police he had used to whip her before she fled to the car. Below his body was her purse with her phone and credit cards. Baldwin was barefoot and in her night shirt on the ground beside the car, dazed and crying for her baby. She had a badly broken leg. The baby was in the house. Photos taken at a hospital afterward by her mother showed marks around her neck and streaks of raw skin across her back.

In February 2015, after a six-week trial, a jury voted 11-1 not to convict her. The state will retry the case.

News report June 11, 2013 “This is clearly a case of self-defense,” said Baldwin’s lawyer, Sam Kretzmer. “My client’s life was threatened.”

Featured Case #81 Full Story Here | Proposal Post | Featured Case Post | Facebook Page

Report at Rawstory.com March 10, 2015

Woman Accused Of Murdering Her Abusive Ex Goes Free After Almost 3 Years Behind Bars March 31, 2015