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U.S. REP. TLAIB ANNOUNCES 10M SIGNATURES TO IMPEACH TRUMP; INTRODUCES CALL FOR CONGRESSIONAL INQUIRY
Searcy’s appeal of Judge Timothy Kenny’s Dec. 3, 2018 denial of his motion for a new trial based on actual innocence currently pending
Grievance targets repeat offender AP Patrick Muscat, who also falsely prosecuted Davontae Sanford, later freed after nine years in prison
Searcy’s complaint among of a number of recent shocking revelations about deliberate misconduct in Wayne Co. Prosecutor’s Office, DPD, including police murder of Terrance Kellom
(Editor’s Note: Voice of Detroit broke the story of Mr. Thelonious Searcy’s false conviction, and extensively covered the evidentiary hearing he won through a pro se complaint written after his own thorough research and documentation, aided by other outstanding jailhouse lawyers. Searcy’s success in winning that hearing is a beacon of light for hundreds of other falsely convicted individuals behind MDOC walls.
Links to VOD’s stories on Searcy’s case are below this copy of Searcy’s grievance.)
THELONIOUS SEARCY GRIEVANCE VS. AP PATRICK MUSCAT
Dear Attorney Grievance Commission: February 11, 2019
I submit before this commission that Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney Patrick Muscat, is in violation of the MICHIGAN COURT RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT, RULE 8.4 MISCONDUCT (B) & (C).
Attorney Muscat, engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or violation of the criminal law where such conduct reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer. In accordance with Violation (C), Muscat has engaged in a conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.
Muscat was the Prosecuting Attorney in the People v. Thelonious Searcy, case number 04-12890-01. This violation occurred on May 6, 2005 during jury deliberation. The foreperson for the jury sent a letter to the court, specifically asking “What type of caliber weapon or bullet killed the deceased?” The court responded, after speaking with both attorneys they agreed that the bullets were too deformed to determine the type of caliber that killed the deceased . . . . (trial transcripts, volume 5, May 6, 2005, pg. 89, lines 5-13).
Upon receiving this information from the court, the jurors found Searcy Guilty of Premeditated Murder, Assault with the Attempt to Murder and Felony Firearm (trial transcript, volume 6, May 9, 2005).
This question asked by the jury was critically serious for multiple reasons. (1) First and foremost the jury was deliberating on a First Degree Murder charge. (2) Secondly, this question showed that the jury had doubt. This assertion can be supported by the question posed to the court. “We want to know what type of caliber weapon or bullet that killed the deceased.” The jury could not or would not render a verdict until this specific question was answered about the weapon that killed the deceased.
Prosecuting Attorney Muscat had a legal, ethical duty as a sworn Officer of the Court to provide truthful information to the jury in the above case mentioned in this Formal Complaint.
This attorney’s deceitful, malicious actions caused Thelonious Searcy to suffer irreparable harm as a criminal Defendant. Searcy was sentenced to Life Without Parole in the Michigan Department of Corrections because this Prosecuting Attorney chose to deliberately lie to the jury about not knowing what type of caliber weapon killed the deceased.
On May 15, 2018, Thelonious Searcy had an evidentiary hearing before 3rd Circuit Court Presiding Judge Timothy Michael Kenny. During this hearing it was factually proved that Prosecuting Attorney Patrick Muscat deliberately lied to Searcy’s jury about the caliber bullet found in the deceased. The Prosecuting Attorney representing the Wayne County Prosecuting Office during this evidentiary hearing was Thomas Chambers. Mr. Chambers commissioned Sergeant Patricia Little from the Wayne County Conviction Unit to retrieve the following evidence property tags listed below:
E07191604, E0719704, E07191804 and E07191504
The above property tags were identified as being 40 calibers.
Independent firearms expert David Balash identified these bullets as 40 calibers. Balash further stated that no other caliber bullet weighs the same as a 40 caliber bullet. He also testified that these bullets were found in the deceased’s body. A Laboratory Firearm Analysis Report dated 1-7-2005 was listed as People’s Exhibit #23 by Prosecutor Patrick Muscat during trial. This specific report shows that Muscat knew the caliber of the weapon that killed the deceased. Detroit Firearm Expert David Paunch identified those tags listed above as 40 calibers (see laboratory report number F-0436E).
Ignoring the exculpatory findings from the Detroit Police Firearm Experts David Paunch and Lloyd Allen exposes that Prosecutor Muscat deliberately committed perjury to obtain a criminal conviction. Thus, disregarding Searcy’s constitutional right to have a fair trial, which was utterly adverse to the judicial system.
It is well said that the Prosecutor may not use knowingly false testimony to obtain a criminal conviction. A Prosecutor’s duty to prevent lies from entering the evidence in the guise of truth stems not from any particular role in the adversary process; rather it is derived from the prosecutor’s duty to represent the public interest and to place the pursuit of truth and justice above the pursuit of a conviction.
In this particular case, the false information given to the jury has not been corrected. Nor has this prosecutor been held accountable for this malicious misconduct. Searcy prays that this Honorable Commission would conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the inflammatory, corrupt tactics utilized in this formal complaint.
Above is Vincent Smothers’ confession to the murder of Jamal Segars, taken by Private Investigator Scott Lewis.
VOD stories on Thelonious Searcy’s wrongful conviction in 2005, evidentiary hearing 2017-18, in chronological order:
Fed. court hearing May 2 follows DPD off. Darrel Fitzgerald’s admission that Terrance had no hammer, none was in house; did not resist arrest
“He (Fitzgerald) had a tear in his eye during deposition, likely thinking of his own 20-year son”–Atty. Ayad in brief
Forensic evidence negates police version of killing, indicates more than one shooter: shell casings of different kinds found in rear bedroom, bathroom
Terrance Kellom shot in back twice, evidence and eyewitness reports indicated Off. Quinn shot him as he lay on ground
Father Kevin: police saw his son with him in the street before illegally raiding home; they could have arrested him on street.
Federal court hearings continue as State AG Dana Nessel, Wayne Co. Pros.Kym Worthy open new investigations
Ayad: “If Kym Worthy doesn’t do her job this time, we will do it for her.”
By Diane Bukowski
May 10, 2019/Updated May 13, 2019
DETROIT – Family and friends of Terrance Kellom, including his two little children Terrance Desmond and Terranae Destiny, packed the courtroom of U.S. District Court Judge Sean Cox May 2 to listen to oral arguments on defense motions to dismiss the family’s civil lawsuit filed after the young father’s death.
The family had watched in agony April 27, 2015 as members of a Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Task Force (D-FAT) including I.C.E., the DPD, and other out-county agencies, shot Kellom a total of four times inside his father Kevin Kellom’s home on Detroit’s near northwest side. Evidence shows I.C.E. agent Mitchell Quinn shot him in back as he lay on the ground.
An additional fusillade of other bullets left spent casings scattered through the home.
Kellom was 19 years old, with a pending arrest warrant for armed robbery. He was also expecting the imminent birth of his second child. and was planning to turn his life around, according to his father.
After the court hearing May 2, family and friends gathered outside and chanted, “Justice for Terrance,” echoing the cry raised in massive street protests, largely by Black youth, that took place directly after Kellom’s death.
Judge Cox held the hearing in the wake of the stunning disclosure April 8 by the family’s attorney Nabih Ayad that Detroit Police Officer Darell Fitzgerald changed his earlier version of events and said in a sworn deposition Nov. 26, 2018 that the young father was in custody, unarmed, with no hammer in his hand when he was killed, and that he buckled to his knees after the first shot before a fusillade of bullets struck him. Fitzgerald is a defendant in the lawsuit and headed the DPD section of the task force. Pros. Kym Worthy earlier showed a photo of a hammer at a press conference, admitted it had no fingerprints, but refused to issue charges against I.C.E. agent Mitchell Quinn due to “insufficient evidence.”
“Defendant Fitzgerald blew the lid off this cover-up,” Ayad wrote in his response to the defendants’ motions.
“As every practicing attorney would know, it is not every day that law enforcement have the courage to come forward and speak the truth as to what transpired in a situation like this. As anyone with common sense can see, it is clear what could happen to this individual in his everyday employment with the department. E.g., isolation, stigma, harassment, hostility and possibly even violence.”
Ayad alleged that the officers on the D-FAT team and their superiors conspired to cover up the true circumstances of Terrance’s death.
The defendants claimed depositions given by family eyewitnesses were contradictory and unbelievable. Defendant Quinn said he entered the home due to “exigent circumstances,” after hearing from officers inside that the younger Kellom was “belligerent” when they attempted to arrest him. Ayad said in his brief that Quinn assumed it was OK to enter when he saw Defendant Fitzgerald inside. However, one account of what happened said that Quinn along with his parter Eaton and Fitzgerald were all outside the house prior to entry.
“Here, a defendant who is being sued for wrongful death of an individual changes his story and admits the decedent was unarmed when shot,” Ayad continued. “If Terrance Kellom was unarmed, there was excessive force used . . . All of Defendants should be thanking their lucky stars that they are not being criminally charged and put in jail at this time for conspiring to cover up the unlawful killing of an unarmed African-American young man.”
The D-FAT team killed Kellom as a rebellion was erupting in Baltimore over the police killing of Freddie Gray, and Black Lives Matter marches were taking place all over the country.
Ayad additionally cited a report by Firearms Examiner and Forensic Science Consultant David Balash indicating that bullets from more than one shooter, not just Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) officer Mitchell Quinn, likely entered Kellom’s body from four different directions, including two from the rear which landed in his back and leg. Balash cited other forensic evidence contradicting the police version.
“The investigation into the shooting death of Terrance Kellom by the Detroit Police department appears to have been driven solely by what the shooter and other members of the arrest warrant entry team told the investigators what happened rather than having the evidence drive the investigation,” Balash said.
Ayad and his partner Atty. William Savage said State Police Officer Richard Sanchez, handling his first criminal investigation, did not interview any of the officers involved. Neither did members of the Prosecutor’s office. Sanchez was situated at DPD headquarters while the investigation proceeded, and was officially embedded in the DPD homicide unit for the duration.
After Ayad’s April 8 disclosure, both Worthy and State Attorney General Dana Nessel said they would re-open their offices’ investigations into Kellom’s death. No further word from them has been heard.
Ayad said after the hearing, “If Kym Worthy doesn’t do her job this time, we will do it for her.”
The May 2 hearing itself was brief, with Judge Cox indicating that he had already thoroughly studied the filings in the case. (See box at top left for description of Plaintiffs’ Claims and Defendants’ motions.)
In addition to his First Amended Complaint, Ayad submitted a powerful brief in response to defendants’ motions. (See FAC and brief links below story.)
He attached depositions including those from Darell Fitzgerald, in which Fitzgerald denied that Terrance had a hammer and said he saw no hammer in the home, from Kevin Kellom and other family eyewitnesses who completely contradicted the police version of events, from I.C.E. agent Quinn, who alleged he could not remember how he got to the scene or what he was wearing, from state investigator Richard Sanchez, and the report from Balash. Many of the public copies of those depositions kept in the federal court for inspection were substantially redacted.
Regarding Quinn’s motion for summary judgment, Cox said the dispute between family eyewitnesses who reported police surrounded Kellom as they walked him down the stairs from an upstairs bedroom, and police reports claiming he jumped through a hole in that bedroom’s closet to the first floor was not as relevant as “what occurred while Terrance was in the [downstairs] hallway.”
“What would you give if Terrance Kellom was not resisting, had no weapons, and had his hands up?” Cox asked the defendants. At one point, he interjected during Atty. Ayad’s arguments claiming excessive force, “You’re winning.” He also cited Kevin Kellom’s testimony in his deposition, asking if defendants were writing that off.
He asked what evidence was present that Quinn was going to shoot, and how defendants could have prevented the shooting, including obtaining a search warrant. A warrant to search the father’s home was not signed until three hours after Terrance’s death. According to depositions from family members, Teria Kellom, Terrance’s sister, had to demand to see even the arrest warrant for Terrance, which alleged he had held up a pizza delivery man.
“Upon further inquiry, Officer Fitzgerald changed his story again regarding an arrest warrant, confirming that he never showed any warrant to anyone, because he was going to show the arrest warrant to Mr. Kellom only after the house was ‘clear’ but before that could happen, other officers had apparently made their way into the attic where they began shouting at Terrance Kellom,” Attorney Ayad wrote in his brief in response to Quinn’s motion for summary disposition on the case.
Ayad added that the defendants had deliberately taken a statement from a police interview with Kevin Kellom after the traumatic death of his son out of context.
“Defendant Quinn argues that Kevin Kellom consented to officer’s entering his home, and ‘supports’ this argument by quoting two partial-statements to purposefully take them out of context,” Ayad wrote.
“On the very day of his son’s killing while still emotionally shaken, Kevin Kellom was interviewed by police and stated the following in regard to the encounter he had through his screen door with officers standing on his porch:
A. And he said, “Open your door.” I said, “Open my door for what?” I said, “What’s the problem?” I said, “I didn’t call the police.” And the other guy said, Open the motherfucking door or I’m going to tear it down.” I opened the door and I let them in. I ain’t got nothing to hide from the police. I let them in . . .”
The defendants argued that there was evidence the younger Kellom lived at his father’s home, whereas Atty. Ayad said the D-FAT team went to three different addresses before going to the father’s home. He said none of Terrance’s official ID’s and other documents used his father’s address. A search warrant for the father’s home was not obtained until three hours after Terrance’s death.
In his report, forensics investigator Balash said, “Mr. Kellom suffered four (4) bullet strikes and all four are from different angles as well as directions. . . .[cites GSW’s from autopsy report]. Agent Quinn stated that Mr. Kellom charged at him and that he fired while retreating and falling with Mr. Kellom falling toward him (facedown) on the floor. The evidence and the account of the shooting do not correlate.”
Balash said fired cartridge casings were found in the hallway, bathroom and on one of the closet shelves. In his deposition, Kevin Kellom said he saw three officers go into the bathroom and the two rear bedrooms before his son was killed. The police version indicated only Quinn shot Kellom while standing in front of him. Fitzgerald, who was holding Terrance, said he moved to the side when Quinn began shooting.
Balash said “GSW wound #3 was located in the back of Mr. Kellom with the bullet partially exited his right chest wall . . .something prevented this bullet from fully exiting the body.” Family members Kevin and Teria Kellom reported seeing Quinn stand over their fallen loved one, possibly with his boot on his back, and shooting him in the back as he lay on the floor. Officers handcuffed Kellom after the fusillade of shots ended.
Noting the poor quality of crime scene photographs, Balash reported there was no photograph of the uncovered floor area under which Terrance allegedly laid after being shot. (Note photo to right shows area with evidence markings is covered by what appears to be a black article of clothing.)
MSP personnel had noted a gouge in the floor there. Balash said a fired bullet was recovered next to Kellom. He said the counter number #8 (seen in photo at right) was assigned to two pieces of evidence, including a bullet hole in the floor beneath Kellom’s body, which disappeared in subsequent police reports and was converted to a shell casing.
He added he did not “note any testing of the involved officer (Quinn’s) weapon for either confirmation that he was the only shooter or for the ejection pattern of his weapon. The dispersal of the fired cartridge cases at the scene should have required that testing.”
Below is a quote from the medical examiner’s autopsy regarding GSW #3:
In his answer to the Quinn motion to dismiss, Ayad additionally says that MSP Investigator Richard Sanchez could not answer questions about why the third bullet did not completely exit Kellom’s body and says eyewitnesses confirmed the circumstances:
A photo of the bullet which partially exited Terrance’s back before it impacted a hard surface, likely the floor after Terrance fell face down after being shot initially, is included in Ayad’s ongoing explanation of GSW #3, taken from his continuing deposition of Investigator Sanchez.
After the hearing, Judge Cox said he would issue rulings on the defendants’ three motions but did not give a time frame.
Below is interview with Kevin Kellom about his son, before massive march April 28, against Terrance’s execution that took over the streets of Joy Road for hours, as Detroit police hovered nervously around, worried that it would erupt into another Baltimore rebellion.
TKellom First Amended Complaint, by Atty. Nabih Ayad:
Part I and II of Atty Ayad’s response to motion for summary disposition:
Forensic consultant David Balash report
Above: Members of P.O.S.T., including Kevin Kellom at left, call for Pros. Kym Worthy to step down March 22, 2017. Kellom has never stopped fighting for his beloved son.
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Detroit’s Monique Williams, RN, continues trail blazed by first Black nurse Mary Eliza Mahoney and Drs. Rebecca Lee Crumpler and Eliza Grier
Williams overcame negative influences in her background to become a nurse, teacher, and prisoner advocate
She is raising and inspiring her daughter and many other young women to build a brighter future for all
By Ricardo Ferrell
April 30, 2019
Growing up on Detroit’s west side near Joy Road and Schoolcraft, an area once known for drug infestation and violence, Monique Williams managed to navigate around the traps and snares which could have been an obstacle to her growth and advancement had she not held on to her determination. She refused to follow in the footsteps of those closest to her.
Looking back 20 years, Monique shared with this writer how vulnerable and impressionable she was, and how several of her friends either ended up strung out on dope, dead, or in jail. She said she had a strong determination to make it out of a virtual war zone filled with shootings and killings that happened regularly.
While Monique’s friends were busy staying in the streets, she was doing the opposite by studying, and staying in the books. She knew that in order to make a meaningful difference and help change a culture replete with hopelessness and despair, she would have to seek and acquire a solid education.
Recognizing the high demand for nurses, Monique enrolled in her first nursing class in 2006. She has striven relentlessly ever since, first obtaining two degrees. Monique now works at the Drew School for the Disabled, and mentors and assists students with their school work, while also working there as a shift nurse.
Monique Williams is following in the footsteps of those who came before her, including Mary Eliza Mahoney, Rebecca Lee Crumpler, and Eliza Anna Grier. They were some of the first Black women nurses and doctors known to enter the field in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
Monique’s fiancé Keith Thomas, who has known her since childhood, told me, “Monique is the love of my life. Every day I wake she is on my mind. She is one of the most selfless individuals I’ve ever known.”
Monique is the second eldest of five siblings.
“I recall how she would help take care of her siblings while her mother worked multiple jobs to provide for them,” Keith continued. “Monique had a child at an early age. Her daughter fueled her determination to excel in many classes on her way to the top. Now at 32, Monique is on the way to becoming the best in the medical profession.”
Keith said she started a career in cosmetology, but soon realized it didn’t fill her need to help people, so she switched professions and went into nursing.
“She immediately found her calling and passion to help those she encountered,” he said. “Monique also has a beautiful and infectious smile, and a caring and loving heart, which shine during her work at Drew five days per week from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., helping children with special needs. The world is yet to know her, yet she does so much for the world.”
Keith said despite the negative energy in her background, Monique is determined to prevail, beating the odds by turning a negative into a positive.
“Now she works relentlessly to make the world a better place, as an advocate to young women all over the state, in addition to her work with the disabled and in-home health care,” Keith added. “She continues to be a blessing to everyone she comes in contact with during the course of her day.”
Keith went on, “She never let her storms wash away her dreams, or prevent her from seeing the sun which comes afterwards. She is now in a position to see to it that her beautiful teenage daughter is on track to attend a good college, where she can focus on a healthy future. She will not have to deal with the struggles her mother faced as a teenage mother, who had to surpass insurmountable odds, in an inner city that often times traps innocent-minded individuals, many of whom find themselves in the School-to-Prison pipeline.”
He said Monique extends herself to many incarcerated women and men with heart felt words of wisdom and hope that they too can prevail and overcome their own hardships by committing themselves to change their thinking, and focusing on finding their true purpose in life.
He summarized, “This beautiful spirit is definitely one of a kind, and her leadership skills and qualities will go on inspiring and motivating the next wave of positive Black women for the future. There’s no doubt whatsoever that Monique Williams will have an impact on generations to come. We love and appreciate you Pooda, for all that you do. Keep up the hard and meaningful work young lady, because you’re surely making a mark on this world. We will always recognize your greatness, for you have, and will continue touching countless lives.”
Writer’s final note: This universe has been blessed with the unique presence of Monique. Let the core of her existence touch everyone who is reading this written acknowledgment of one of God’s special creations, whose heart, mind, spirit and soul is bringing hope to those that are lost, extending healing to those who are sick, and visiting those who are in prison. Monique Williams, I commend you for recognizing your true worth, which is that of being a service to others. May your beautiful heart and soul be filled with the light of joy and happiness you so truly deserve. Many women and young girls will find inspiration from your story, and strive to discover their way out of the same dark circumstances.
FREE CHARLES K.K. LEWIS NOW! CRUELTY: 43 JWLOP RE-SENTENCING HEARINGS IN 3 YRS; HEARING TUES. APR. 16
NOTE: THE COURT HAS RESET THIS HEARING FOR 1:30 PM APRIL 16, 2019
MCR 6.004 (A): “The defendant and the people are entitled to a speedy trial and to a speedy resolution of all matters before the court. Whenever the defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial is violated, the defendant is entitled to dismissal of the charge with prejudice.”
Charles K.K. Lewis: 43 hearings on juvenile lifer re-sentencing, one for each year of his incarceration; no end in sight
Judge Qiana Lillard denies sentencing defendants to top of guidelines if they exercise their 6th Amdt. right to trial, despite three COA opinions
“My stand will help all these little kids coming after me whose court files have been lost”–Lewis
By Diane Bukowski
April 14, 2019
DETROIT — In the case of juvenile lifer Charles K.K. Lewis, are Wayne County Pros. Kym Worthy, Judge Qiana Lillard, and AP Tom Dawson obstructing justice in order to protect Lillard from further disastrous Court of Appeals rulings, three of which have remanded defendants to a judge other than Lillard for sentencing?
Those Appeals Courts cited Judge Lillard’s stated policy of sentencing defendants to the top of the guidelines if they insist on their Sixth Amendment right to a trial instead of pleading guilty at the outset. In a fourth case, People v. Walker, an MSC ruling is expected shortly. Inside sources indicate that it may result in a suspension of Judge Lillard from the bench.
“At this point, it’s probably better to just move on to the sentencing,” Lewis told Judge Lillard during his last hearing March 29. “I know you have a policy of sentencing people to the high end of the guidelines. The only thing I need to deal with is whether I’m going to start my appeal of right today or whether I’m going to start it nine months from now.”
Judge Lillard kept interjecting that she had no such policy, but it is documented in transcripts from the cases of Christobal DeLeon (2016), Derek James Smith (2015), Floyd Pennington (2014), and Harold Lamont Walker (2014). (Read opinions below story.)
Lewis says he has no confidence that a mitigation hearing in front of Lillard will result in anything other than a sentence of life without parole, in part because Lillard already denied a motion to sentence him to a term of 40-60 years filed by SADO defense attorney Valerie Newman in 2016. Newman did not appeal.
The Judge has held 43 hearings in Lewis’ re-sentencing over three years, after denying his earlier motion to dismiss his case due to the loss of 28 years of his court files and his Register of Actions. His 44th hearing has now been set for Tues. April 16, 2019, at 1:30 PM, when yet more hearing dates will be set.
Lewis says he is “100% confident” that any Appeals Court will consider his and his lawyer’s contentions on the record that a mitigation hearing cannot be held without a complete court file.
They have also filed motions recognizable under the U.S. Constitution declaring his actual innocence and incompetent assistance of trial counsel.
Judge Deborah Thomas read his first trial transcript, now missing, and opined that he should have been considered acquitted because there was no record of why Judge Joseph Maher dismissed the jury then.
There is also no record of who the jurors were in his third trial in front of Maher, which supplanted a second jury seated in front of Judge Ollie Bivins, the first African-American judge on the Genesee County Circuit Court bench. Judge Maher, a long-time racist, took it back from Bivins. For information on Judge Bivins’ illustrious history fighting for his people, see http://blog.mlive.com/flintjournal/people/2008/01/ollie_bivins.html
Lewis has contended on the record that he was the first juvenile lifer to win a re -sentencing in front of Judge Edward Ewell in 2012, and that therefore he is not subject to the Michigan statutes established for juvenile lifer re-sentencings in 2014, under ex post facto rulings.
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith recently banned the portion of those statutes that denied re-sentenced juvenile lifers access to earned good time and disciplinary credits, also citing the ex post facto bar.
“Once we set the mitigation date, Mr. Schulman and I will work together and come up with dates for all the experts to testify,” Dawson said. “Mr. Lewis can then decide how much he wants to participate—that’s his right. We can then decide how to move forward. Mr. Schulman and I can then present evidence and the court has ability to address it sometime in the future.”
For the second time in the last two hearings, defense attorney Sanford Schulman presented himself for the hearing set for 10 a.m., then disappeared to another courtroom for over an hour. He and Dawson then left to confer in the witness room.
Lewis told VOD that he was about to be taken back to his room in the Macomb Correctional Facility when the Court finally called and said it was ready.
Schulman reported that two “mitigation experts” he tried to hire for Lewis’ hearing have now backed out. The second, Gayl Amalfitano, submitted a questionable resume as documented in VOD’s last story.
He said that once a mitigation expert is hired, that expert would designate any other experts needed for the hearing, causing further delay.
Two television news cameramen waited patiently in the courtroom during all the delays.
Court of Appeals dissenting opinion in Harold Lamont Walker case, pending Michigan Supreme Court decision .http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/COA-H-L-WALKER-dissenting.pdf
Court of Appeals opinion castigating Judge Lillard for racial anti-immigrant comments in Christobal DeLeon case: http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Lillard-People-v-DeLeon-2.pdf
Court of Appeals opinion in Floyd Pennington case: http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/People-of-Michigan-COA-Floyd-Ray-Pennington.pdf
Court of Appeals opinion in Derek James Smith case: http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Lillard-People-v-Smith.pdf
(Note: the story on the Aiyana Jones settlement falsely says that police had a warrant for her father Charles Jones. The warrant was for Chauncey Owens, her aunt’s fiancé, who did not live in the Jones household.)
Kellom lawsuit continues in front of Judge Sean Cox April 16, 2019 at 2 p.m.
A day before stunning revelations about deaths of Terrance Kellom, Aiyana Jones, Chief Craig tries to blame lying cops for “letting criminals go free”
Will the real criminals Craig, Pros. Kym Worthy, and killer cops go to prison instead?
By Diane Bukowski
April 9, 2019
DETROIT — Will Detroit killer cops now be sent to prison? What about lying cops, who Chief James Craig said he will fire in a newscast April 3, only to be confronted in the following days with lies told by cops in the slaughters of Terrance Kellom, 19, and Aiyana Jones, 7? Will Wayne Co. Prosecutor Kym Worthy, Chief Craig, and former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade face charges of collusion and obstruction of justice in the cases of Kellom, Jones, and many more?
Terrance Kellom: Officer says in sworn deposition that 19-yr.-old father was executed by Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Team (D-FAT)
In a stunning deposition announced April 8 by attorney Nabih Ayad, Detroit police officer Darrell Fitzgerald swore under oath that the version he and 0ther police gave of the Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Task Force (D-FAT)’s slaughter of Terrance Kellom 19, on April 25, 2015, was a complete falsehood.
He corroborated the statements of Kellom’s father Kevin Kellom and family eyewitnesses that Terrance was brought downstairs, unhandcuffed, by two Detroit police officers, then knelt on the ground in the hallway to the family’s living room, surrendering.
He denied Kellom previously had jumped through a hole in a second floor bedroom closet onto the first floor and emerged, threatening cops with a hammer. He said the Task Force, specifically I.C.E. agent Mitchell Quinn, executed the young father as his family watched.
He also said that forensics and autopsy reports showed that more than one cop killed Kellom, since different types of bullets penetrated his body from different directions, including from the back.
“The witnessing officer changed his story and made clear that there was no hammer in Terrance Kellom’s hand and that he never saw a hammer at the scene of the house that day,” Atty. Ayad said during a press conference held on the steps of the U.S. Federal Courthouse April 8.
“They assassinated my son,” Kevin Kellom told an angry rally of hundreds, largely youth, near their home on Evergreen in Detroit April 26, 2015.“They [police] closed the [front] door, then they brought my son down the stairs, and they shot him in the chest. They executed my son in my face.”
Fizgerald was the lead Detroit police officer in a joint task force that included I.C.E. agent Mitchell Quinn, earlier fired from the Detroit police force over assaultive behavior, and cops from various suburbs.
Despite having seen the father and son returning home from the store on the street, when the D-FAT could easily have arrested him, they instead invaded the home without a search warrant and slaughtered Kellom.
Pros. Kym Worthy sealed Kellom’s autopsy report and waited for months until she finally announced no charges would be filed against Quinn or the rest of the team.
She admitted no fingerprints had been found on the hammer Terrance Kellom allegely brandished, and that there was evidence that at least one bullet had penetrated Kellom in the back.
Below, Kevin Kellom tells what he and his family witnessed during the slaughter of their son Terrance on Aug.
Aiyana Jones settlement
On April 4, Attorney Geoffrey Fieger announced that the City of Detroit had agreed to an $8.2 million settlement in the 2010 slaughter of Aiyana Jones, 7, by another joint task force incuding Detroit Police Officer Joseph Weekley during a military-style assault on her grandmother Mertilla Jones’ home. Attorney Geoffrey Fieger said the family would not comment, but a family friend’s Facebook comment on grandmother Mertilla Jones’ page said it all: “No amount is enough, them bitches need to fry.”
Worthy and Assistant Prosecutor David Moran, along with trial Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway, colluded in two trials of Detroit officer Joseph Weekley, part of a Detroit “Special Response” task force that forcibly entered the home of Aiyana Jones, 7, on May 16, 2010 and shot the little girl to death with an MP-5 submachine gun, on Detroit’s impoverished east side.
Weekley contended that Mertilla Jones had confronted him and shoved his gun, causing it to fire accidentally. Evidence produced at two trials against Weekley showed that could not have happened.
Meanwhile Aiyana’s dad Charles Jones was sentenced to 40-60 years in prison largely on the false testimony of jail-house snitches who claimed he supplied the gun to Chauncey Owens to kill Je’Rean Blake “48 Hours” before the slaughter at Aiyana’s home. In a police video shown at Owens’ trial, Owens denied any involvement by Aiyana’s father, and named another man entirely.
The anguish this family has experienced in the years since the brutal slaughter of their little angel Aiyana goes far beyond that one incident. Above, Mertilla Jones recounted the horrific events of that night. Her version was largely corroborated by a medical examiner who testified at Weekley’s trial that the gunshot that killed Aiyana showed no stippling, but that that did not mean Weekley was firing from a distance.
He said there is also no stippling in a contact gunshot wound, which Ms. Jones described during this court session. She was widely reviled in the mainstream media for that comment as well as a comment that police “came to kill” her family.
What more could be surmised from the fact that an A&E “48 Hours” production crew worked closely with Detroit police in planning the entire raid to satisfy public blood lust, when in fact the cops could have arrested Chauncey Owens, the target of the raid, several times when they saw him walking the streets as they surveilled the house?
Craig: lying cops will be fired???
Police Chief James Craig said in a widely announced interview on WXYZ Channel 7 on April 3, just days before the Kellom and Jones announcements, that that he would “fire” Detroit police officers caught lying, because their previous lies prevented them from testifying against “criminals” who then walked free. The broadcast targeted two women officers charged with lying about domestic incidents, instead of the many cops who have been shown to lie in order to send “criminals” to prison for decades.
What about Olie McMillian, who had evidence from 16 cases in his home?
Earlier, Chris Graveline, Director of Professional Standards and Constitutional Policing, described what criminal case files and evidence were found in the home of retired Detroit Police Sgt. Olie McMillian during his eviction Feb. 7. Graveline spoke during a Feb. 14 community meeting of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners, but did not provide names of the defendants or case numbers. He reported that materials police officials took out of a dumpster and the residence included:
- Portions of case files and evidence relating to 16 criminal cases from 1997 to approximately 2008, when McMillian worked in the DPD homicide division.
- Physical evidence including clothing, cell phones, and a handgun.
He said the DPD is sorting through the files and evidence to determine whether the cases are still open or closed, or have gone to trial, among other matters, then will turn them over to the Wayne County Prosecutor. That was Feb. 14, but nothing has been heard nearly two months later from the offices of Chief Craig or Kym Worthy regarding whether charges of concealing evidence will be brought against McMillian. Even more important, nothing has been revealed about the names of the 16 defendants, whether they are in prison, and whether the evidence concealed in McMillian’s home affected the outcome of their trials.
Strangely, Deputy Chief Todd Bettison commented that no such instances of concealed or otherwise corrupted evidence have occurred since Chief Craig’s appointment by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr in 2013.
Robocop Melendez, who beat Floyd Dent, earlier framed son of Coalition V. Police Brutality member and dozens of others, killed two
“Robocop” William Melendez was recently in the news for nearly beating Detroit auto worker Floyd Dent to death last hear. But previously he had a long tenure with the Detroit Police Department, during which he murdered one man. In 2000, he was allowed to testify in the 2000 trial of the young son of a Coalition v. Detroit Police Brutality activist, accused of armed robbery. Melendez claimed the young man had a gun, which was never found. His attorney filed a post-conviction motion for relief after discovering Melendez had been convicted of filing a false police report.
Ironically, the trial was held in front of then Judge Kym Worthy. Worthy denied the motion. Reggie Crawford, featured in the video at top condemning lying cops, campaigned on behalf of Melendez for the young man’s conviction. He also claimed that Lamar Grable had a gun when he was shot to death 8 times in the back and chest by three-time killer cop Eugene Brown.
The jury in a civil trial against Brown vehemently disagreed, awarding $4 million to the Grable family for Lamar’s murder. The city appealed and lost in the state Supreme Court, increasing the amount to $6 million with interest.
The 10-yr. battle by Arnetta Grable and Lamar’s father Herman Vallery was finally victorious, but took its toll. Ms. Grable passed at the age of 69 in 2017, and Mr. Vallery passed a year later. Cornell Squires, whose son was framed by Melendez, passed at the age of 57 in 2016.
RUSSIAGATE FEAR-MONGERING IN U.S. PRODUCES BILLIONS IN PROFITS FOR ARMS INDUSTRY, GROWTH OF FAR RIGHT
‘Truth was the real take-away from Mueller’: RT America’s Sanchez tackles Russiagate (VIDEO)
So many countries meddle in US affairs – and the US meddles right back. Why did Russia become the exclusive boogieman; the bête noire of the US media’s road to nowhere? RT America host Rick Sanchez explains how Russophobia drives the biggest, most powerful industry in the world: US weapons.
Rick Sanchez has broken down the true lessons of the Robert Mueller probe and Russiagate, revealing why he believes Russia was pegged as the US’s “exclusive boogieman.”
On Thursday’s edition of ‘The News with Rick Sanchez’, the show’s host gave his unfiltered response to the Mueller report that aimed to finally put an end to the two-and-a-half-year-long anti-Russian hysteria in US politics and the mainstream media.
Sanchez claimed “truth was the real take-away” from the report, given that there was no evidence of Russian collusion and despite this lack of evidence, so many MSM journalists readily participated in Russiagate, leaving real stories untold in their pursuit of this “trail to nowhere.”
Instead, Sanchez explained that the “demonization of Russia” is used to drive the “most powerful industry in the history of the world” – US weapons.
“Using a complicit media, the arms industry rakes in billions and billions of dollars simply convincing us and other countries all over the world that they need protection from Russia,” said Sanchez. “Whether Russia really poses a threat or not doesn’t really matter.”
ICYMI: MUELLER’S COLLUSION DELUSION: US MEDIA IS FURIOUS THEIR PRESIDENT ISN’T A RUSSIAN SPY
The dysfunction in American politics has reached the bizarre stage where there is visible anger that President Donald Trump didn’t collude with Russia to take the office.
Russiagate has been a fixture in the news for two years, where the media sold a story that it wasn’t a case of ‘if’ but ‘when’ Special Counsel Robert Mueller would find evidence to prove that Trump was Moscow’s man in the White House. Unfortunately, Mueller wasn’t playing ball and – having taken the unprecedented approach of considering facts and not wishful thinking – he concluded that there was no evidence of collusion to be found. So ICYMI looks at how America is dealing with the fact that Trump may have been elected because people thought he was the best option. Like what you see? Please subscribe: http://youtube.com/ICYMIvideo.
RUSSIAGATE HYSTERIA LIVES ON: ELECTION MEDDLING SANCTIONS BILL HAS ITS DAY IN THE SENATE
April 3, 2019
Mueller may have had his day, but the specter of Russian meddling still hangs over Washington. A bill newly introduced in the Senate promises to slap harsh sanctions on Russia should future election interference be discovered.
The ‘Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines’ (DETER) Act is the latest attempt by US lawmakers to squeeze Russia for a range of perceived election-related offenses. Introduced on Wednesday by Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida), it would require the Director of National Intelligence to determine within 30 days after every federal election whether Russia or any foreign government attempted to interfere.
If the DNI were to find such interference, it would require sanctions to be imposed on a list of Russian banks and energy companies. It would also prohibit US citizens from engaging in business with any entity owned by the Russian government, and freeze the assets of Russian political and business leaders targeted for sanction in the US.
The bill’s text, seen by Reuters, appears to be a carbon copy of a bill introduced by Van Hollen and Rubio in January 2018. That iteration of the DETER Act never made it past introduction, and has languished in Congressional limbo ever since.
While the bill pays lip service to targeting election interference from “China, Iran, North Korea, and other foreign governments of concern,” its main focus is undoubtedly Russia.
Whatever form any potential interference takes, six Russian banks would be immediately blacklisted: Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank, Bank of Moscow and Rosselkhozbank. Ditto for Russia’s energy sector: the act requires “two or more” of Russian energy firms Gazprom, Rosneft, and Lukoil to be sanctioned if interference is discovered.
Although the oft-repeated line is that “17 US intelligence agencies” found evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election, only three of these agencies claimed to have noticed any foul play: the CIA, FBI and NSA. The DNI’s report, published in January 2017, was nevertheless characterized in the media as representing all 17 agencies.
After last year’s midterm elections, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats issued a report concluding that “Russia, and other foreign countries, including China and Iran, conducted influence activities and messaging campaigns,” but were unsuccessful in influencing the vote. Coats’ report did not provide details of these “messaging campaigns.”
Sanctions are a favorite tool in the US diplomatic arsenal, but their effectiveness has been questioned. Russia has one of the world’s lowest debt to GDP ratios (somewhere around 13 percent), and has for years been selling off US bonds and stockpiling gold. In his state of the nation speech in February, Putin declared that Russia now has enough cash in its reserves to cover all of its external debt.
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LEFT OPT FOR ELECTION SCAREMONGERING? REPORT CLAIMS ‘US DARK MONEY’ MEDDLING IN EUROPE
March 29, 2019
A new alarming report claims American Christian conservative groups funneled millions to fund “shocking” meddling in European politics. Seems like a big scoop, or just a ploy to sway European Parliament elections?
The report released by the UK-based political website openDemocracy this week spares no black paint to produce a picture of gross interference in European affairs. The perpetrators are conservative Christian charities, which, the records show, pumped at least $50 million into European countries.
All the right names that can scare a left-leaning reader are duly mentioned. Donald Trump? Check. Vladimir Putin? Check. Steve Bannon? Check, three times. Also listed are billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, the DeVos family, including Blackwater founder Erik Prince, and the evangelical preacher Franklin Graham – who notably travelled to Russia earlier this month, the report stressed for some arcane reason.
Of course the US public records over the past decade, which openDemocracy used as the source for the figure, don’t identify the recipients. But the readers may well assume that they had the most nefarious goals in mind.
“The scale of this meddling by US extremists is shocking, but sadly no surprise to us. Every day European societies face concerted attacks by outside forces seeking to impose reproductive coercion,” commented Caroline Hickson, regional director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation’s European Network. “This is utterly at odds with the European values of democracy and human rights.”
The authors make no secret that they compiled their work ahead of the European Parliament elections, which will be held throughout EU member states in late May. Right-wing and Eurosceptic parties are widely expected to score big wins at the ballot. Some 40 incumbent MEPs penned a letter calling for action to investigate “US Christian fundamentalists” and their influence on Europe.
The report seems to be an exercise in scaremongering, painting private donations made by a conservative foundation as something untoward, John Laughland, British conservative author and historian, told RT.
“Some of the organizations that they mention I personally know. This is just ridiculous. There are MEPs and European political parties that receive money from American sources, including liberals,” he said.
The notion of ‘dark money’ being used to ‘interfere’ in European affairs has been around in some political circles for quite some time. The only difference with this report is that the parties accused of interfering are private charities rather than a foreign nation like Russia, the most popular target for such accusations in the past few years.
Perceiving ‘dark money’ behind political opponents is a kind of conspiratorial thinking that some people in the left-wing camp demonstrate, Laughland added. “They think that any kind of movement or current of ideas that is not their current of ideas is either because people are stupid or because they are paid,” he said.
The complaints about “Russian election interference” made by the EU and the US, which have a long record of their own meddling in foreign nations, looks like a vivid example of pot calling kettle black, he said. The left complaining about the right receiving foreign money while receiving foreign money themselves would look similarly hypocritical.
British Journalist Neil Clark, pointed out that while $50 million may seem like a large sum of money even spent over ten years, it dwarfs compared to the billions and billions floating around in European politics. A significant portion of that money goes to liberal causes funded by wealthy sponsors like Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros, the best-known person of that ilk.
The impact that his Open Society Foundations made on Europe, especially in the eastern part during post-Soviet transition, is undeniable. Incidentally, the foundation is one of the primary sponsors of openDemocracy itself, alongside US-based groups like National Endowment for Democracy, and the Ford Foundation.
Clark warned against piling up a dozen Christian conservative groups into one vaguely neo-Nazi-shaped boogeyman, which is what the report seems to have done. More so, if the goal was to turn it into a campaigning point for the May elections.
“The issue that the left should be fighting on is economic. Employment, rising poverty in Europe, austerity – these are the issues they should be focusing on, and not culture wars,” he told RT. “And this report to me seems as if it wants to encourage culture wars… Basically, Steve Bannon versus George Soros.”
Does Judge Qiana Lillard fear more Court of Appeals opinions chastising her for her rulings?
Lillard ignores U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McCoy v. Louisiana that the defendant has rights under the Constitution, while atty. is only the assistant
Defense atty. Schulman ignored Lewis’ on-the-record pleading to appeal judge’s certification of “facsimile” file in place of 23 years of lost court records, deleted Register of Actions
Schulman: “You have to have a file to have a mitigation hearing;” a mitigation hearing is also needed to sentence juvenile lifer to LWOP
Lewis–“I’m actually innocent, so I have a very unique situation. You refused to acknowledge the actual innocence motion (Schulman) filed for me so that means that you’re not going to deal with it in mitigation. That means we have to open the door for the little kids coming behind me who didn’t have nothing to do with it so they can raise that issue as well.”
By Diane Bukowski
March 26, 2019
DETROIT-– “I believe this Court and both attorneys are trying to trap me here to stop my access to higher courts that will overturn this court’s rulings,” says Charles K.K. Lewis regarding his upcoming hearing Friday, March 29 at 10 a.m. in front of Judge Qiana Lillard.
He adds however, “I have to remember in spite of how bad I may think that things are for me that they are better for me than they are for Jabo, Gray-Bey and a host of brothers here serving life that will never get out of prison. So, I’m thankful to even be in the fight for my freedom.”
This hearing will be the FORTY-THIRD in Lewis’ juvenile lifer re-sentencing, which began three years ago on March 2, 2016. The early hearings were spent taking repeated, duplicative testimony from court officers that Lewis’ official court records along with his Register of Actions were LOST LOST LOST, and had been since sometime after 2012.
Lewis cited legal precedents indicating his case should be dismissed as a result, but Lillard ordered the defense, prosecution and Clerk’s office to share their records to recreate a file.
Lewis objected loudly that turning his records over to the prosecution violated attorney-client privilege as well as a Michigan Supreme Court ruling that a criminal record cannot be reconstructed.
Repeated hearings were then held with various defense attorneys, including one Lewis paid specifically to argue for dismissal of his case because of the lost files.
“In my decades in Michigan’s prisons, I have never ever seen a post-conviction hearing go on this long,” commented Ricardo Ferrell, who also writes for the Voice of Detroit.
Above is video of oral arguments on Harold Walker case in front of the Michigan Supreme Court, with SADO defense attorney Adrienne Young representing Walker. Justices Bridget McCormack, Richard Bernstein, and David Viviano expressed shock at Judge Lillard’s conduct during Walker trial. One Justice suggested referral to the Judicial Tenure Commision.
On May 8, defense attorney Sanford Schulman and Judge Lillard barreled ahead with preparations for a mitigation hearing despite the lost records. At the request of AP Tom Dawson, Lillard had certified what she termed a “facsimile” record. Lewis entered his request on the court record asking to Schulman to appeal the certification, but Schulman and the court ignored his request. Lewis says however that his filing made a record for the Court of Appeals, as did five other motions Schulman filed which were summarily denied by Lillard
“You have to have a file to have a mitigation hearing,” Schulman told VOD outside the courtroom. He neglected to say that a mitigation hearing is also required to re-sentence a juvenile lifer to life without parole. Without it, a term of years or dismissal are the only other options.
Judge Lillard said that her order of Nov. 11, 2016 did not actually deny Lewis a term of years sentence or dismissal of his case, one reason he has cited for not believing she will re-sentence him to anything other than LWOP. She called it a “captioning” issue. For full clarification, read the actual order at http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Judge-Lillard-order-reconstructing-Charles-Lewis-file-1-compressed-1.pdf
Judge Lillard told Schulman March 8, “You’re representing a client and he has the interest but you’re still the lawyer; and I know that Mr. Lewis says he’s been practicing law for over 40 years, and to some extent he has been because he had to fight for himself, but the reality is that he lacks the formal training and he lacks the expertise that you have.”
In fact, Lewis earned a paralegal certificate during his tenure in the MDOC, as well as an associate’s degree in general studies, and has taken numerous other courses. He worked as clerk in several law libraries where he researched not only his case but those of other prisoners. He began studying law as a 17-year-old falsely convicted of the murder of an off-duty police officer.
“I figured the law got me in here, so I would have to study it to get out,” Lewis says.
The U.S. Supreme Court contradicted Lillard’s assessment in McCoy v. Louisiana (2018), when it overturned a death sentence handed out to Robert McCoy because his trial attorney, against McCoy’s vigorous demands, pled him guilty hoping to avoid the death penalty. The jury handed out the death penalty anyway.
U.S. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote, “The Sixth Amendment guarantees to each criminal defendant “the Assistance of Counsel for his defence. . . . The choice is not all or nothing: To gain assistance, a defendant need not surrender control entirely to counsel. For the Sixth Amendment, in “grant[ing] to the accused personally the right to make his defense,” “speaks of the ‘assistance’ of counsel, and an assistant, however expert, is still an assistant. . .
“Trial management is the lawyer’s province: Counsel provides his or her assistance by making decisions such as ‘what arguments to pursue, what evidentiary objections to raise, and what agreements to conclude regarding the admission of evidence.’ Gonzalez v. United States, 553 U. S. 242, 248 (2008). Some decisions, however, are reserved for the client—notably, whether to plead guilty, waive the right to a jury trial, testify in one’s own behalf, and forgo an appeal.”
During the May 8 hearing, Schulman argued that he had spent a great deal of time hiring two experts for Lewis’ mitigation hearing.
The first, Gayl Amalfitano (whose name Schulman could not pronounce properly) in fact presented a highly questionable resume in which she claimed she obtained a degree in criminal justice from Macomb Community College. That institution currently lists only nine hours of criminal justice classes and awards only associates’ certificates, but not in criminal justice.
Amalfitano’s resume says she has worked for owner-operated Insights Mitigation at 12327 E. Eleven Mile Rd. in Warren since 2017. The company is not registered on the state’s business entity listing in the Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Previously, she says she worked for The Insights Group at the same address. An Insights Group is registered with LARA, but it’s location is listed in Brighton, MI with a resident agent named Sandra Maki.
She lists dozens of death penalty and juvenile lifer cases she claims to have worked on, only by name and case number, with no particulars regarding what she did. See her resume at http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Gayl-Amalfitano-resume.pdf
Compare it to the sample resume included in Michigan Justice Institute benchbook on juvenile lifer mitigation hearings at http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Carol-Kolinchak-cv.pdf. Kolinchak was originally hired by Schulman to handle Lewis’ case. Schulman refused to hire another expert Lewis found who had handled mitigation hearings in situations where the defendants claimed innocence.
Amalfitano told Schulman she had interviewed Lewis’ alibi witnesses when she worked at Sunshine Investigations. Her name does not appear on any of the agency’s reports. But its last report, on an interview with band member Aaron McCarthy is a telling affirmation of Lewis’ alibi that he was performing with the “Pure Pleasure” band at a hall during the night the off-duty police officer was killed. His trial attorney never contacted any of the band members. See report at http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Email-from-Sunshine-Investigations-05-20-2014_29638_.pdf
The second expert, a polygraph examiner, is J. Paul Carey of J. Paul Carey Consulting in Utica, MI. Carey was a career detective with the Sterling Heights Police Department and heads the Michigan Association of Polygraph Examiners, whose members include many current and former police officers from cities in Southeast Michigan.
Is this expert a good unbiased pick to examine a man convicted of the murder of a Detroit Police Officer? Schulman told VOD that a polygraph examiner would be the first expert hired for Lewis’ mitigation hearing. Nothing in the literature on juvenile lifer mitigation hearings suggests using polygraph examiners.
Court of Appeals dissenting opinion in Harold Lamont Walker case, pending Michigan Supreme Court review.http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/COA-H-L-WALKER-dissenting.pdf
Court of Appeals opinion castigating Judge Lillard for racial anti-immigrant comments in Christobal DeLeon case: http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Lillard-People-v-DeLeon-2.pdf
Court of Appeals opinion in Floyd Pennington case: http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/People-of-Michigan-COA-Floyd-Ray-Pennington.pdf
Court of Appeals opinion in Derek James Smith case: http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Lillard-People-v-Smith.pdf
- #TAKETHEKNEE! FRI. OCT. 6; FREE CHARLES LEWIS, INNOCENT, IN PRISON 41 YEARS; COURT FILES DESTROYED
- ‘ROGUE JUSTICE!’ FREE ANOTHER INNOCENT DETROITER, CHARLES LEWIS, NOW! HEARING WED. FEB. 15 @ 9 AM.
DPD reports it is “investigating” portions of 16 criminal case files including physical evidence found in the home of retired Sgt. Olie Millian, Jr. Feb. 7
Says it is also investigating other cases from 1997 to 2008; nothing said about other decades of missing files, including juvenile lifers
DBOPC called for a meeting to decide discipline of officers re: Snapchat video of young Black woman ticketed, evicted from car in freezing temp
Snapchat officer Steele later fired, implicated in racial animosity in 6th Pct.
By Diane Bukowski
March 22, 2019
DETROIT – The Voice of Detroit has filed a Freedom of Information Act request related to the discovery of official Detroit police homicide files and evidence in the home of retired DPD Detective Olie McMillian, Jr. on Feb. 7. The items were discovered by individuals hired by the landlord to clean out the place, during an eviction proceeding.
VOD is asking for “a detailed list of each case involved, with copies of all files and their contents including case numbers and defendants’ names, and photographs of all physical evidence discovered.” For full request, see http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/FOIA-Law-Dept-Police-evidence-2.pdf
Chris Graveline, Director of Professional Standards and Constitutional Policing, described what was found during a Feb. 14 community meeting of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners. He did not provide names of the defendants or case numbers. He reported that materials police officials took out of a dumpster and the residence included:
- Portions of case files and evidence relating to 16 criminal cases from 1997 to approximately 2008, when McMillian worked in the DPD homicide division.
- Physical evidence including clothing, cell phones, and a handgun.
He said the DPD is sorting through the files and evidence to determine whether the cases are still open or closed, or have gone to trial, among other matters, then will turn them over to the Wayne County Prosecutor.
“I fail to reconcile first of all why department evidence related to a crime would be in the personal possession of any officer,” Atty. David A. Robinson told VOD earlier. “That breaks the chain of custody and compromises the case of whoever is being investigated. You have to question the officer’s motive. It goes beyond sloppiness since officers certainly are trained in the significance of the integrity of evidence. And it begs the question of motive. There have been many cases where Brady violations have occurred where officers have hidden evidence in favor of a suspect’s claim of innocence.”
Robinson said if VOD’s FOIA request is denied, he will pursue a lawsuit in court.
During the Feb. 14 meeting, District 7 Police Commissioner William Davis asked, “As it relates to officers in the past having access and taking custody of evidence, is there an investigation to make sure there’s not lots of other evidence out there that could adversely affect our citizens?”
Deputy Police Chief Todd Bettison responded, “We have procedures in place right now that Chief [James] Craig started that it’s a checklist that before a member retires, we get to find out what [cases] he’s on, they have to turn that evidence in.
“It’s not about taking [it] home period or anything like that—that’s completely a violation of department policy,” Bettison continued. “In regards to every possible thing that could have happened in the past, because we’re not aware of this, we are looking at it. Since Chief [James] Craig has been there, we are confident that it hasn’t happened. With this being a new development, we’re going to look at all avenues to make sure that there weren’t any other members during that time that participated in that crisis.”
Former Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr appointed Craig to that position July 1, 2013, while the city was under “emergency management” by the State of Michigan. Craig previously spent 28 years with the Los Angeles PD and served on an internal panel that whitewashed crimes committed by LAPD cops in the “Ramparts” Precinct.
Deputy Chief Bettison’s version of the investigation leaves out any cases other than those from 1997 to 2008. It is now more than 11 years afterwards, not to mention the years prior to 1997, during which many defendants have been serving decades in the MDOC.
Numerous Michigan Department of Corrections prisoners are asking about their own case files in the wake of this news. Private investigator Scott Lewis earlier told VOD that he estimates at least 30 percent of Michigan prisoners are innocent.
Exposes of hidden evidence and missing criminal case files have come to light periodically, most notably in the “miscellaneous files” travesty of 1996. Atty. Sarah E. Hunter exposed police practices of keeping files, records and evidence favoring the defendant hidden from both prosecution and defense. Hunter, a long-time advocate for prisoners, died in 2017.
Read her stunning affidavit at http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/Sarah.Hunter.Affidavit-re-miscellaneous-files-1.pdf
As Michigan juvenile lifers face extremely tardy re-sentencings pursuant to two U.S. Supreme Court rulings in 2012 and 2016, many attorneys have told VOD that they have discovered that at least portions of court files and other records required for mitigation hearings are missing. Many of these juvenile lifers have spent decades in prison
For example. Charles Lewis, now 59, who has been incarcerated since 1977, has heard three years of testimony by Wayne County Clerk’s office representatives that five boxes of physical files in his case went missing sometime before his case started re-sentencing hearings in front of Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Qiana Lillard in 2016. Additionally, entries on his Register of Actions, the official record of the case, are completely missing from 1997 to 2000.
According to U.S. and Michigan Supreme Court precedents, Lewis’ case should have been promptly dismissed. Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Qiana Lillard heard testimony about the loss of the files in 2016, but has insisted on holding a mitigation hearing without actual records of jury convictions in his case.
She claimed an April 3, 2000 order in which former Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Gershwin Drain dismissed the case and conviction, which was discovered lost in another file, was forged by Lewis. No proof of such a forgery or charges were ever brought.
Lewis gave a detailed statement in court regarding the discovery of the document by court clerk personnel, the case was not further investigated. Instead, all Lewis’ physical case files from 1977 through 1999 went missing, and his Register of Actions for the same period was wiped out.
In 2007, this writer and the now defunct Michigan Citizen won a ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court in the case of Diane Bukowski v. The City of Detroit, which forced the Detroit Police Department to disclose the factual findings in the Shoulders Report, an internal investigation into the killings of three individuals and shootings of six others by Detroit police officer Eugene Brown, in separate incidents over five years. The DPD had repeatedly refused to do so.
The case of Eugene Brown roused hundreds of people in the City of Detroit to protest against police brutality and killings for many years afterwards, beginning in 2000, with the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality in the forefront. Also killed by Detroit police in 2000 without cause were a deaf man with a rack, who could not hear officers’ orders to put the rake down, and an autoworker firing at a dangerous dog from his front porch.
The high court remanded the Brown case back to the trial court of Judge Wendy Baxter for an opinion consistent with their ruling. Baxter released the Report, with some redactions. It rrecommended among other matters that Brown should have been charged and/or disciplined in those cases. See MSC ruling at http://voiceofdetroit.net/wp-content/uploads/BUKOWSKI-v-CITY-OF-DETROIT-MSC.pdf.
The MSC wrote, “It is the public policy of this state that all persons, except those persons incarcerated in state or local correctional facilities, are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and public employees, consistent with this act. The people shall be informed so that they may fully participate in the democratic process.”
The families and friends of Brown’s victims, including the late Arnetta Grable, Herman Vallery, Cornell Squires, and others massed outside the Frank Murphy Hall as Grable and others went to the office of Prosecutor Kym Worthy to demand action against Brown on murder charges, which have no statute of limitations. They were told Worthy had always had this report and had no plans to act on it.
Brown was instead promoted to Sergeant and continued working in the Detroit Police Department until his retirement.
CRAIG: DPD HAS ‘STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH CITIZENS:”–REALLY?
In 2016, Chief Craig told CNN, “In my tenure . . .rarely do you hear [an] outcry if it’s a black officer that’s involved in a shooting and the suspect is black. It’s always the reverse.”
He said later, “I made the statement (on CNN) because it’s true from a national perspective. In Detroit, we’ve had police-involved shootings by both black and white officers and there’s been no outcry.
That’s because we have a strong relationship with our citizens. . . . Eugene Brown predates me, and I can’t speak to that.”
March on April 28, 2015 for Terrance Kellom, 19, killed by police April 19. Uprisings in Baltimore against the police murder of Freddie Gray were taking place at same time.
In fact, during Craig’s tenure, police murders of young father Terrance Kellom, 18, on April 19, 2015 and Kevin Matthews, 35, who was autistic, occasioned mass marches in Detroit and Dearborn.
TERRANCE KELLOM, 18 and a young father expecting his second child, was shot multiple times and killed after a seven-member multi-jurisdictional, multi-racial Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Task Force (D-FAT) invaded his father Kevin Kellom’s home with an armed robbery arrest warrant, but no search warrant.
Police identified the shooter as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) agent MITCHELL QUINN, a former Detroit police officer with a record of previous shootings. They said he fired because Kellom threatened him with a hammer, statements contradicted by family eyewitnesses. During a press conference, Worthy admitted there were no fingerprints on the hammer, which police alleged Kellom had used to chop a hole in an upstairs closet and drop to the first floor. She never brought charges.
DECEMBER 23, 2015: KEVIN MATTHEWS, 35, who suffered from mental illness but was nonviolent, was shot multiple times and killed by a white Dearborn cop, still unidentified by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who has had the case on her desk since January, 2016 without taking action. The cop chased on foot out of range of his car’s dashcam video, to a backyard in Detroit, where he shot him multiple times as a neighbor heard him begging, “Don’t shoot.” No action was taken by Detroit police or the prosecutor re: this invasion of Detroit’s borderline.
APRIL 2, 2013: MATTHEW JOSEPH, 23, killed by a multi-agency task force at the corner of Linwood and Hooker after a short chase, shot at least 50 times. Detroit police officer Patrick Hill later died of wounds police admitted were “friendly fire,” first blaming Joseph. Neighborhood witnesses said Joseph had never moved out of the driver’s st of his car and never fired on police as they alleged.
March 30, 2015: ANTHONY CLARK REED, 24, died during a traffic stop by Detroit police on the city’s southwest side.
“They said they pulled him over because it looked like he was doing something under his seat,” his father Pastor Anthony-Reed Clark said. “I asked, don’t you realize he was probably looking for his inhaler because he has asthma? The first thing he said was ‘I can’t breathe.’ They yanked him out of the car, shortened his breath more, and increased his heart rate. That’s why he died.” Pastor Clark said there were at least six police cars at the scene afterwards. The medical examiner found no drugs, alleged by police, in his stomach.
June 25, 2015: MAKIAH and MICHAELANGELO JACKSON, 3 and 6 YEARS old, killed during Reckless chase of Lorenzo Harris by Detroit Special Ops officers Steven Feltz, Richard Billingslea, and Hakeem Patterson. The children were killed on Nottingham near Frankfort, N. of E. Warren.
“The police tried to ram the car at the corner of Nottingham and Brunswick [one block north of Mack] and nearly hit my kids, 14 and 11,” a resident living near that location said. “He [Harris] almost jumped that curb over there where there were other little kids. You’d think the police would have backed off the chase at that point, but they were going 80 to 90 mph right on his bumper. If he would have tapped his brake, they would have hit him.”
January 27, 2016: Detroiter JANET WILSON, 31, was shot to death by Dearborn and Detroit cops after leaving Fairlane Mall Jan. 27, 2016 after a verbal dispute with store employees. Police jammed her car into a roadblock. They claimed she had tried to run them down, then fired multiple rounds into her car, killing her.
December 7, 2016: Unidentified Detroit cop fatally struck a bicyclist on the street in Highland Park.
DPD COP STEELE FIRED FOR RACIST SNAPCHAT POST
The Detroit Board of Police Commissioners noted that they have the power to carry out disciplinary actions during their Feb. 14 meeting. On Feb. 28, Officer Gary Steele was allegedly ‘fired’ by Chief James Craig for his racist “Snapchat” post about a young Black woman he and his partner ticketed for expired plates, and then forced to walk home in freezing weather. Two members of the DBOPC, who are elected, spoke at Craig’s press conference on the matter.
Chief Craig gives an update regarding the investigation of the officer ‘s Snap Chat post
Posted by Detroit Police Department on Wednesday, February 27, 2019