Ahmed: “Where are the consequences” for Sgt. Ernest Wilson, who framed him and has been named in multiple lawsuits over the years
“There are dozens and dozens of other innocents still in prison.” –Ahmed
Atty. Wolfgang Mueller calls for speedy resolution of such cases
Why are Thelonious ‘Shawn’ Searcy, Darrell Ewing and Derrico Searcy still confined after definitive Michigan court rulings vacating their wrongful convictions?
DARRELL EWING/DERRICO SEARCY Final Conference
Judge Darnella Williams-Clayborne
Daily Docket A Thur. July 29, 2021 9 am
By Diane Bukowski
July 28, 2021
DETROIT – Exoneree Mubarez Ahmed won a record $9.95 million arbitration award against the City of Detroit July 23, for his wrongful conviction of the murders of Lavelle Griffin and LaTanya White on Feb. 9, 2001. The conviction cost him 17 years of his life in prison. During those years, his mother, his five-year-old son, and an 18-year-old brother died.
Detroit Police Officer Ernest Wilson, the officer in charge of the case and the chief engineer of Ahmed’s false arrest and conviction, was indemnified by the city after first being a co-defendant.
Ahmed and attorneys for Detroit had agreed that the decision would be binding on both sides.
Wilson, previously a star on A & E’s “The First 48,” has been involved in many such cases, some of which led to lawsuits. Additionally, Ferndale police arrested him Dec. 6, 2020, allegedly after a high-speed chase, for drunk driving while armed with an illegal weapon.
‘I am pleased to bring this case to a final resolution for Mr. Ahmed,” attorney Wolfgang Mueller told VOD. “But it leaves several questions unanswered. For example, I don’t know why the City still employs Mr. Wilson. The City needs to resolve these [exoneree] cases quickly so it and the exonerees can move forward. A huge trial verdict could devastate the City. The City will pay the arbitration verdict out of the general budget which is ultimately taxpayer money.”
Ahmed himself has expressed outrage that Sgt. Ernest Wilson is still on the force. Wilson coerced the chief trial witness, Izora Clark, to wrongly identify Ahmed during a line-up, and recruited jail-house snitches as well. (See video at top of story.)
“This cop didn’t just take 18 years of my life, he took everything I loved; where are the consequences for him?” Ahmed asked during an interview with Fox2 Detroit News in 2018.
VOD contacted Deputy Chief Rudy Harper of the Detroit Police Department, head of media relations, for comment regarding any actions being taken by the DPD to investigate and charge Sgt. Wilson.
DPD investigator Nicole Kirkwood responded, “I was advised that Sgt. Ernest Wilson is no longer with the department.”
In Ahmed’s lawsuit, Attorney Mueller wrote, “On Feb. 15, 2001, one day after Plaintiff’s arrest, the Officer-in-Charge (“OIC”) of the case, Sgt. Ernest Wilson, brought an eyewitness, Izora Clark, to view a lineup that included Plaintiff. Immediately before the live lineup, WILSON showed Ms. Clark a photograph of Plaintiff and told her this was the man they believed committed the murder and was in the lineup. WILSON also told Ms. Clark [falsely] that another witness had identified Plaintiff.
“. . . .The showing of the single photo of Ahmed was both unduly suggestive and unnecessary, as Plaintiff was already in custody, having been arrested without a warrant the previous day. Not surprisingly, after the tainted procedure, Ms. Clark identified
MUBAREZ AHMED as the shooter. Plaintiff was the only person in the live lineup who wore a beard.” See full lawsuit complaint at:
Mueller also said that Wilson withheld proofs that Ahmed had no access to a car similar to the one seen at the crime scene.
Mueller said the Assistant Prosecutor who signed the warrant based on Wilson’s report was Kenneth King, now a 36th District Court Judge. “He relied on the false statements and fabricated evidence contained in the Investigator’s Report and recommended that Plaintiff be charged with the double-murder of Mr. Griffin and Ms. White.”
The Prosecutor at trial was Jerry Dorsey IV.
Maria Miller, Director of Communications for Prosecutor Kym Worthy, said, “The matter was investigated by the CIU when they reviewed Mr. Ahmed’s case. The CIU did not find that Assistant Prosecutor Jerry Dorsey IV committed any misconduct in Mr. Ahmed’s case. The police misconduct was pervasive and involved lying under oath and coercing the eyewitness. Similarly, during the review of the other 28 cases the conduct of the assistant prosecutors was reviewed and the CIU determined that none have involved prosecutor misconduct.”
A panel of three arbitrators, all former judges, awarded the $9.95 million after several months of dispute. Ahmed, Mueller and attorneys for Detroit agreed that the decision would be binding on both sides.
Private investigator Scott Lewis, formerly a long-time TV news reporter, and the Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan’s law school investigated the case. The Wayne County Conviction Integrity Unit followed, stipulating to the exoneration in court.
“This was a really weak case,” U-M’s Innocence Clinic Director David Moran said in 2018. “An eyewitness ID was the entire case against him. There was no other evidence,” Moran said in 2018. “She described the shooter as someone of a different race than Ahmed, and there was also an obvious suspect who wasn’t investigated.”
On his release from prison in 2018, Ahmed told the Detroit News that there “dozens and dozens” more innocent people in prison, who have been there for decades. “When you say justice, where is it at? Everybody just ignores it. They’re looking for convictions. Don’t just throw the key away on somebody. Do your job–that’s all. There are dozens and dozens of prisoners that are innocent, who can’t even be heard, right now, who have spent 20 and 30 and more years in prison.”
Hundreds of families and supporters of prisoners they say are wrongfully convicted took over the street outside the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit for five hours June 4. The rally was organized by Thelonious ‘Shawn’ Searcy and Darrell Ewing, who each won definitive victories in Michigan courts vacating their convictions and granting them new trials. In both cases, the real perpetrators of the murders they served time for confessed in affidavits and in testimony.
Searcy is currently out on appeal bond, confined to home on a tether, as was Mubarez Ahmed, and Ewing is in the Wayne County Jail. His co-defendant Derrico Searcy is still in the MDOC. All three are in limbo, waiting for Worthy’s action to re-try them or dismiss charges against them in light of the extensive evidence of their innocence.
In Searcy’s case, well-known hitman Vincent Smothers confessed on the stand in detail over two days, during a 2018 evidentiary hearing, in addition to filing written affidavits and giving a videotaped interview to private investigator Scott Lewis. In Ewing’s case, the man who confessed, Tyree Washington, had his attorney provide his written confession to Ewing’s Asst. Prosecutor Kam Towns at trial before his conviction. Washington said Towns would not accept it, saying she already had the guilty parties. Scott Lewis also videotaped Washington’s confession.
In both cases, other extensive evidence surfaced that pointed to the men’s innocence. Despite the court rulings, Prosecutor Worthy has delayed any decision on whether to re-try the three men.
Ewing and his co-defendant Derrico Searcy, who is Thelonious’ brother, are scheduled for yet their final conference on Thurs. July 29, at 9 a.m. AP Kam Towns has still not provided discovery for a trial, claiming it should be sealed from public view, although earlier court events and information have been publicly available for the last 11 years.
Ewing told VOD, “Kam Towns and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office recent dilatory filings are just that, a stall tactic. The discovery in this case that they seek to conceal has been made public record and out in the hands of everyone for over a decade. Moreover, not one witness on their list has been harassed, intimidated or threatened since our wrongful convictions. Trust, if that was otherwise, the State would have presented the proofs; instead they make blanket assertions.
“Truthfully, my prayer is that Kym Worthy, Valerie Newman, and their entire office have been using this additional time working to clear us of these crimes. If that’s not the case, may Allah (God) convince Judge Clayborne to let justice reign, ordering the prosecution to immediately provide discovery to my defense team of attorneys Coral Watt and Lillian Diallo and expeditiously set this case for trial, or drop the charges. Then and only then will I be able to finally put this never-ending nightmare from Hell to rest once and for all.”
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