GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) –
Theodore Lipscomb is a free man. He was arrested Thanksgiving and charged with kidnapping an 18-month-old boy and stealing a car.
He says he is innocent and has this message for the mother who called 911 and had him arrested.
“I have no hard feelings against her,” Lipscomb said. “I still have love and consideration for her. I ask just speak the truth and let it be known that I would never hurt your child or take your vehicle for that matter. We’d been together that whole day.”
Lipscomb claims the two along with the mother’s boyfriend ran errands the day before Thanksgiving using the mother’s vehicle. The 18-month-old boy was also in the car. Lipscomb says it was 11 p.m. when they made their last stop. He says they stopped at a home and
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On the day Lamonte McIntyre was sentenced to consecutive life terms in prison, he said just 13 words to the court:
“Judge, I would like to tell the court that I’m innocent. That’s all.”
On Thursday, more than two decades later, McIntyre’s family and friends poured into a Wyandotte County courtroom for a hearing that has called into question his conviction.
McIntyre, now 41, smiled at the approximately 50 friends and relatives who had assembled in the courtroom as he entered.
He’s an innocent man who has languished in prison for 23 years, his loved ones say. In a rally outside the courthouse beforehand, they cried: “I say free, you say Lamonte.”
Moreover, we had an expert perform what is called photogrammetry. There was a surveillance video of the robbery, but you couldn’t see the perp’s face. With photogrammetry, the expert goes into the store and measures the height of everything in the store that shows up on the surveillance tape — the counter, the top of the cash register, the windows, everything. And from that, and some simple geometry applied to each frame of the video, you can determine the exact height of the perpetrator. The perp in this case was five inches shorter than Kevin, without a doubt.
So we had DNA evidence, and we had rock solid photogrammetry evidence, and presented this in court many years ago. But the court denied Kevin, even though it acknowledged the strength of our evidence. And so did the court of appeals.
AUSTIN – John O’Brien worked in the Tarrant County jail library in 1997, and befriended a fellow inmate who asked for his advice. One day as they chatted about John Nolley’s legal woes, the pet store clerk and small-time pot dealer confessed to savagely stabbing to death Sharon McLane in her Bedford apartment.
That’s the story O’Brien told jurors at Nolley’s 1998 trial, anyway. He also assured them that prosecutors hadn’t promised him anything in exchange for his testimony and that he had never before snitched on a fellow inmate.
Almost none of O’Brien’s story was true, particularly the bit about Nolley’s confession. But the jury didn’t know that, and they sentenced Nolley to life in prison for the crime. He spent 18 years in prison before investigators uncovered new evidence pointing to his innocence.
Nolley’s out of prison now, starting a new life and waiting for a final court ruling in
Lamar Johnson was led into the Baltimore courtroom Tuesday with his arms and legs in the shackles worn by convicted murderers, but with a wide smile across his face.
For more than 13 years, through two failed appeals and countless crushed hopes, the West Baltimore man had waited for these moments in court.
Circuit Judge Charles Peters, without comment, granted Johnson a new trial on evidence that three new witnesses said Johnson wasn’t the gunman from a 2004 killing in East Baltimore. Then prosecutors dropped the old murder charge against him.
After spending more than a decade in prison for a murder that prosecutors now say he didn’t commit, Johnson was set free.
His mother, Kathy Taylor, seated in the courtroom, held crumpled tissues to her eyes. His attorneys, grinning, patted Johnson, 33, on his shoulders. He had been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison.
KALKASKA — Jamie Lee Peterson lives about a mile from the courtroom where he was wrongfully convicted of murder. He said it’s not his first choice but he doesn’t have too many options.
Everyday life can be a struggle after spending nearly two decades in prison for crimes he didn’t commit, he said. Medical issues hold him back from full-time employment. His $700 Social Security check hardly covers the rent. And food assistance doesn’t quite float the grocery bills.
“I just want to get my house and my girlfriend from downstate and start a new life together,” he said.
Peterson, 42, nearly 20 years ago was convicted of the murder of Kalkaska resident Geraldine Montgomery, 68, who had been raped and left to die in the trunk of her car. DNA testing later vindicated Peterson and he was released three years ago this month after serving 17 years in prison.
The tattered walls of
This story was co-published with The Atlantic.
On Oct. 15, 2008, James Owens shuffled, head high despite his shackles, into a Baltimore courtroom, eager for his new trial to begin. Two decades into a life sentence, he would finally have his chance to prove what he’d been saying all along: The state had the wrong man.
Owens had been convicted of murdering a 24-year-old college student, who was found raped and stabbed in her home. Then he’d been shunted off to state prison until DNA testing — the scientific marvel that he’d watched for years free other men — finally caught up with his case in 2006. The semen that had been found inside the victim wasn’t his. A Maryland court tossed his conviction and granted Owens a rare do-over trial.
State prosecutors balked, insisting they still had enough evidence to keep Owens locked away and vowed to retry him.
Owens wonders today if his prosecution became all about keeping the win. “Instead of focusing on me and getting me to take a deal for something I didn’t do, they need to focus on the victim. Her murder has never been solved,” he said. “I think they should go back and look and do something for this girl.”
In 2011, Owens found a lawyer, Charles Curlett, to sue Baltimore. Curlett determined that there were several issues of misconduct involved in Owens’s conviction. First, his lawyer had been told nothing of the changing stories Thompson gave the detectives. The information could have been used to undermine Thompson’s credibility and failing to share it was likely a violation of Owens’s due-process rights. Such failures are known as Brady violations, after a 1963 Supreme Court case in which the justices determined that withholding favorable information from the defense is unconstitutional. Also, one of