My ardent and unrelenting quest for freedom in the wake of a grave injustice upon me by the N.O.P.D. and State Prosecutor’s Office.
I’ve been incarcerated for going on 22 ½ years for a crime that I was falsely accused of by the State’s sole principal witness, framed by the New Orleans Police Department and prosecuted by the state on evidence that raises serious questions about the integrity of the police investigation and handling of this case.
According to reports written by police officers and detectives on the case along with the state’s case-in-chief, the events of the crime unfolded as follows: in between 12:00 AM and 1:00 AM on April 6, 1993, the victim was abducted by a masked perpetrator carrying an AK-47 and then was brought to the victim’s grandmother’s house in search of drugs. Upon entering the apartment, they encountered the grandmother who was ordered up the stairs along with the victim. After making it up the stairs, they entered a room occupied by the victim’s girlfriend and newborn child. Although they were awakened by the events taking place in the room, the girlfriend pretended to still be asleep. However, as the perpetrator ordered the victim and his grandmother out of the room and back down the stairs, the girlfriend followed them downstairs (in spite of the masked perpetrator’s orders for her to return upstairs) where she at some point asked the victim who the perpetrator is. In response the victim allegedly mouthed to his girlfriend (in the presence of the perpetrator) that this is “Allen”. The victim was subsequently taken from the apartment and driven away in his car that was also occupied by several other assailants. Almost an hour later, police arrived on a crime scene several blocks from the original crime scene where they found the victim shot to death on the sidewalk.
Several hours later at approximately 9:00 AM a homicide detective was accompanied by N.O.P.D. officers to interview witnesses to this crime: the victim’s grandmother and his girlfriend. The girlfriend of the victim stated that she could not see the perpetrator’s face because he wore a ski mask and gloves. She however was able to identify the perpetrator by voice and clothing because the perpetrator allegedly wore the same clothing for 2 straight days. In spite of the girlfriend’s alleged identification of me to the police on the date of the crime, an arrest warrant wasn’t issued for my arrest until a month after the crime. The grandmother’s account was that the ski mask prevented her from making an identification but she could tell it was a black man by the tone of his voice. Also, although the grandmother was present during every phase of this crime inside of the apartment, not one time did she mention anything about any form of interaction between the perpetrator and the victim’s girlfriend, nor the victim and his girlfriend. The only mention of the girlfriend by the grandmother was that she was asleep in the bedroom with her young child. In spite of the incident reports having the grandmother as the one witness to have been present from the time the perpetrator entered the apartment until the time that he exited the apartment, she was never called by the state to testify as a witness at trial.
Upon leaving from interviewing those witnesses, law enforcement agents proceeded to a location where the victim’s vehicle was found. When assessing the vehicle for evidence, crime scene investigators lifted 16 latent prints from the victim’s vehicle. Although the state’s principal witness supposedly identified me to the lead detective on the case, the latent prints expert assigned to the case stated that he was not given any names of a possible suspect upon receiving the fingerprint evidence. Upon examining the prints in search of a possible match, my name did not register although I have a prior conviction for cocaine. The only name that matched 3 of the 16 prints was found to belong to the victim’s friend who was never a suspect or person of interest to the police. In order for the computer to register a match to his name this guy must have had a prior conviction of some sort. It wasn’t until about 3 ½ months after I had been arrested and about 5 months after the date of the crime that a lab report surfaced indicating that one of the other 13 latent prints was found to match one of my fingerprints. In stark contrast the same latent print expert came back with a match to 3 of the victim’s friend’s fingerprints within 6 days of the incident.
My trial attorney failed to contest crucial parts of the state’s case and also failed to independently test the evidence used against me. Due to a lack of resources to challenge the validity of my conviction, I litigated my case in post-conviction proceedings as a pro se litigant. However, with the necessary assistance and resources I can prove my innocence and demonstrate where I was framed by the N.O.P.D.