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Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied: When America Wasn’t Watching, Some Sheriffs Policing Tactics In A Southern Illinois County Were A Monstrosity


The phrase “contempt of cop” has very little meaning to the lay person outside of the criminal justice system, but it is powerful language and a phrase some use to describe what happened to Rodney King (when four Los Angeles police officers were captured on film repeatedly beating King with batons), or what some also say happened to Freddie Gray (who sustained critical injuries while in Baltimore City police custody, and subsequently died days later as a result of those injuries).

While Rodney King survived the vicious and brutal attack he endured that fateful night back in 1991, a direct parallel can be made between his and Gray’s cases. Both were known to the respective police agencies that became the subject of national scrutiny as a result of their encounters having been filmed and then aired on national news outlets. Both had prior brushes with the police, and some debate whether they were in fact victims of “contempt of cop” style justice, which typically occurs due to police frustrations after repeated arrest of a known criminal that doesn’t result in meaningful punishment of the subject, or an inability of cops to obtain sufficient evidence of a crime for which a targeted subject is suspected of committing. The frustrations usually lead to drastic and often times illegal measures by police to have the subject incarcerated with substantial prison time by any means necessary.

The most egregious case of this kind of justice is when cops pushed the envelope into full “frame up” mode, as depicted in the (Denzel Washington Oscar Nominated role) film “The Hurricane,” which was based on the real life story of former professional boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, who was framed and subsequently wrongfully convicted of murder in a Patterson New Jersey triple homicide case. that a federal court tossed out after he spent nearly two decades in prison. Just like Rodney King and Freddie Gray, Rubin Carter was known to police, with a rap sheet that spanned back to his youth as a juvenile offender, and was targeted with “contempt of cop” style justice by dirty cops and corrupt prosecutors who framed him simply because they felt he belonged behind bars.

Fortunately, Carter garnered help from supporters outside of the state of New Jersey’s highly political justice system. A student’s first book “The Sixteenth Round,” written by Carter himself, led to the eventual belief in his innocence and laid the ground work that eventually resulted in Carter’s release from prison. The evidence which pointed to Carter’s framing was so overwhelming, despite Carter having two jury trials that resulted in convictions and were both subsequently upheld by the New Jersey state Supreme Court, his conviction was tossed out by a federal court on first review of the case record. The case of Rubin Carter highlighted how some law enforcement officials, while in their official capacity, acted as complete monsters and meted out the demise of a man that drew the ire of police who sought their own brand of criminal justice.

Public Fear

Prior to the highly publicized beating of Rodney King that was aired nationally and resulted in the “Watts Riots” (1992), following the unanticipated acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers by a Simi Valley jury, most of America outside of marginalized communities were completely ignorant to the inner workings of the American justice system. For many, the police reports of officers sworn to uphold the law were like the gospel, and if they ever witnessed police beating someone the general consensus was that the subject probably deserved it. In fact, some communities even welcomed such heavy handed police actions, especially during the period in this country that was considered to be associated with the war on drugs, due to the violence and devastating impact drug culture inflicted upon communities all across our nation.

The carnage that drugs, gang violence, and other crimes left behind created an epidemic that resulted in widespread fear, and in many community’s residence were rendered hostages within their own homes. The outcry for relief resulted in federal dollars being allocated for crime initiatives such as the “Safe Streets Task Force” (a coordinated effort with the combined resources of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies focused on violent street crime). For decades now, since federal task force initiatives were boots on the ground fighting a so called war on drugs, the fear that engulfed our country gave way to a heavy handed culture of policing which pretty much gave law enforcement “carte blanche” to deal with serious violent crime and the drug epidemic anyway they saw fit. Such widespread policing gave way to criminal activity within police agencies who took full advantage.

A seemingly unwritten law pertaining to probable cause was born (meaning screw a citizen’s rights), and a new norm for policing was established, as long as cops associated crimes with drugs and street violence, police tactics were not only supported by the American public, but also appeared to be upheld by the courts. The stigma of the “thug”, “hoodlum”, and “gangster” gave new meaning to America’s number one public enemy, that far too many times fell at the doorstep of black youth, latinos, and other minority and marginalized groups in our country. The “Authoritative” nature of certain police agencies seem to erode the very fundamental constitutional rights of American citizens, and was largely justified due to fear and public outcry. The urgency to end urban violence as a result of drug culture may have blindsided the American public, who to this day still may not have fully grasped exactly how far the law actually went to justify some of its prosecutions that put alleged criminal subjects away for decades.

A Reflective Mirror

Admittedly, I found myself trapped inside of a bubble of fear also, having grown up in one of America’s epicenters of violence in the state of Maryland’s East Baltimore, and like most Americans I have also long fostered a visceral hatred for drugs, addicts, and the violence associated with such culture. Luckily for me though, I have developed a posture of objectivity, and I am glad I did, especially when considering what I learned about stories such as the wrongful conviction of James Evans out of Alton Illinois. I have been reeducated it seems, as I thought I knew about most of the ills that plague our society and how our justice system works. I thought that stories about how police can frame an innocent man were only mere incidents of fiction played out on television dramas like in “The Hurricane”.

Although I firmly believe that most Americans want to live in communities free of crime and violence, I’m also convinced we’re collectively opposed to the “rogue cop” mentality which has permeated some police agencies with impunity that rose from America’s synthetic war on drugs. Now decades later, a new generation has inherited our failures that we’ve tried desperately to ignore as a society. You see, its our fear and lack of indulgence that has caused our own justice system to degenerate into the broken, unfair, and prejudicial institution of law enforcement that exist today, and prior to the “Black Lives Matter” movement, the posture of the average American was “not my business not my problem”.

So, the battle cries for equality in America, while not a new phenomenon, is currently in a fight against a system of law that has run rampid while trampling the constitutional rights of Americans both secretively and overtly. Now we are all faced with the self reflective realization that what’s actually wrong with the American Justice System falls directly upon the American people themselves. The over policing of poor communities in neighborhoods of color, followed by the importation of guns and drugs is what led to the carnage and fear that consumed our nation, while white America stood by silent, which resulted in many of their neighborhoods being just as vulnerable to bad policing within their communities as well.

Madison County Illinois

In many cities across America there is now tremendous push back against policing as a hyper sensitivity toward police aggression, and a lack of appetite for certain methods of enforcing the law that were once deemed acceptable, has now evolved into a completely new perspective within the American public, which has stringently demanded oversight, accountability, and police reform. The country now awaits legislation on what politicians and advocates alike say is badly needed redevelopment of our justice system.

However, just like drug culture left a devasting path of carnage, addiction, and suffering within many American cities, many say the same regarding American policing. There have been many families destroyed by bad policing, “contempt of cop” style justice, and corruption by many state prosecutors. In fact, there are municipalities such as Madison County Illinois that have a reputation of corruption so disturbing, that even President George W. Bush called its courts a “judicial hell hole.”

It certainly isn’t my intention to indict an entire county’s justice system in some kind of anti police spirit of hatred and without provocation, but when compelling evidence exist which is so bad and monstrous even, an intelligent mind must seriously ponder how such behavior can be tolerated and acceptable by any American system of law. Is it possible that a County Sheriff solicited the killing of a man solely because he believed the man killed someone? Is it possible for the same Sheriff to pay witnesses to falsely testify before a Grand Jury to obtain an indictment against a man in a murder, when the sheriff knew that the alleged victim was still alive, and then suppressed credible exculpatory evidence that suggest the alleged murder victim was still alive? Is it possible for the sheriff and state prosecutors to use a so called informant to falsely claim that nearly 10 murder suspects all individually confessed committing a murder to him? Is it possible for the sheriff to manufacture false evidence against a suspect to knowingly falsely have the suspect convicted? Is it even possible that the sheriff and prosecutor lied in open court to conceal their wrong doing, and arrogantly admited to their crimes in open court of other cases? Is it all even possible?

The questions I pose aren’t meant to be rhetorical, in fact as a crime blogger who has viewed thousands of documents, including affidavits, court transcripts of actual trial testimony, sentencing hearings and interviewed people within Madison County with intricate detail related to the case of James Evans, and I can answer all of those questions with the affirmative words of “yes.” The evidence is so compelling that I have committed nearly three years of my life advocating for a man that I don’t know from a can of paint, in an effort to expose the state and federal crimes that were committed during the prosecution of Mr. Evans and others.

However, such a commitment doesn’t come without challenges. Our team has been beating the legal streets to solicit support to garner the national exposure that such an egregious case such as this rightfully deserves, and time after time we are faced with the task of having to qualify Mr. Evans’ innocence, or being queried about why people should believe him, and although the case against Evans is very convoluted, the record of his case clearly establishes that the state case was highly circumstantial with paid testimony, suppression of exculpatory evidence, manufactured evidence, and back door deals with known criminals in exchange for testimony, and proven perjured testimony by police and prosecutors alike (a volume of articles highlight the totality of the wrongful conviction of James Evans, but the case is best summarized in the article Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied: The Incredible But Surreptitious Conviction Of James Evans Summarized).

its simply a matter of time before the sheets are completely pulled off the dirty business of Madison County Illinoiso, as grassroot efforts always take considerable amount of time, but gradually through brick and mortar, the evil that was done in the case of James Evans will lay bare exposing some real evil bastards who broke the law and sent an innocece man to prison while destroying his family in the process. The reality of knowing paid public officials committed crimes this heinous demonstrates that actions of police agencies across America like the Madison County Sheriffs Office were a complete monstrosity while people were wrongfully sent to prison for decades on America’s watch. (To read more articles about the case of James Evans, simply type James Evans in the blog’s search engine at the top right to populate a list of previous articles about his fight for freedom).

The People’s Champion Blog

I’m Journalist and Crime Blogger David Adams

The Killing Fields Of America’s Black Youth: Shrevport Louisiana Teen Shamia Little Found Dead

It’s a tragic story that has played out over and over again in communities all across this nation. The sudden lost of a child of color who met a horrific end at the hands of a violent offender. Her name was Shamia Little (17), who Cabbo Parrish police in West Shrevport Louisiana say went missing on July 6, 2021 after an incident involving Little and her 17-year-old boyfriend in the Doug Williams Park, and where they were accosted by an assailant brandishing a gun and robbed the teens.

A local report indicates that at least one witness told police that Little was abducted, but its unclear whether that witness was in fact the pretty teen’s boyfriend or someone else in the park at the time of the crime. Police have told media outlets that the boyfriend ran off to call police to report the robbery, but upon the cops arrival, Little had in fact vanished. Little’s body was presumptively identified a week later, after being discovered behind a business in the 4100 block of Curtis Lane, and not far from where she disappeared.

The authorities have already ruled Little’s death a case of homicide, and say there is evidence at the crime scene that may suggest how she died, but didn’t indicate whether they had actually found a murder weapon. Its a very harsh and difficult reality to digest for many, how a teen girl in the company of a male friend could just disappear like that, which leaves a volume of unanswered questions about the initial account police have circulated regarding the case. For instance, why did the boyfriend just run off to call the cops (an interesting detail considering the current age of digital technology where almost everyone within society has a cellphone) as oppose to running off, or running away with Little in tow, and while calling police together in the process?

The fact that the teens obviously became separated is an extremely disturbing element regarding what happened that arguably doesn’t set well with most followers of this story, especially parents with female children. It’s like a broken record that has been heard countless times involving the duty of a male to responsibly insure the safety of any female in their company (at least that’s how we were raised), and there is no excuse that can be offered, barring intense fear or outright cowardice, to justify abandoning a female in a crisis such as this.

I don’t know, maybe I’m too critical and lack the full context of what actually happened on that fateful night, but I couldn’t resist the obvious lack of protective and survival instincts demonstrated by this teen’s boyfriend. I mean her body was found only a block away from where she was allegedly abducted. Where the hell did this boy run to? There are homes adjacent to the park. If he didn’t have a cellphone, did he run to a neighboring residence to ask for assistance or to use a phone there? Why didn’t he alert someone in the community and then follow or keep track of where his girlfriend was being taken? Did he just flat out run in outright cower?

I’m sorry, but as a father of a female child these are the kinds of actions that I would expect any male in the company of my daughter to perform in a critical moment such as this. This story stinks and smells of foul circumstances that very well may not pan out exactly how the cops have framed their initial investigation of events that led to the tragic and senseless death of yet another young black female child. Perhaps it’s a parent’s worst nightmare when news comes, that their missing child has been found behind a business, in a field like littered trash. The agonizing thought of what your kid must have gone through in her final moments, plays like a very sad song, over and over again, in the minds of her family and friends.

Shamia Little’s death regardless of how the circumstances surrounding her killing unfolds, is a gut punch to Black America, as the death toll of America’s black youth continues to rise without any sign of relenting. it’s a killing field that is very familiar to The People’s Champion Blog, after bringing awareness to another tragic Louisiana case in 2012 involving a 15-year-old mother of a young baby name Keiosha Felix (Where Is Keiosha Felix), who disappeared under suspicious circumstances after reports circulated that the teen may have been sexually abused by family members, Felix has never been found.

At a time in our country when racial tensions are high and the battle cry is “Black Lives Matter,” it appears that such a slogan is more idealistic than a realistic perspective within the black community itself. The killing fields of America are drenched with the blood of young black kids just like Shamia Little who some how got whisked away without warning, and just like countless other killings of young black children, their parents are left with grieving thoughts of how this could have happened. It’s simply another very sad commentary. We have to do better as a community to protect our black and brown babies.

(The family of late Shamia Little (17) has asked for the public’s help in putting their beautiful daughter to rest, Donations can be made to her GoFundMe campaign)

The People’s Champion Blog

I’m Journalist and Crime Blogger David Adams

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied: Region Where James Evans Was Wrongfully Convicted Has Racist Past Of Sundown Towns

The small Midwest town of Alton Illinois is nestled along side the Mississippi River in Southern Illinois, and just a stone’s toss away from the site of the landmark Dred Scott case (a landmark decision of the US Supreme Court in which the Court held that the US Constitution was not meant to include American citizenship for black people) in nearby Missouri. Hidden away from the glare and spotlights of modern big cities in Illinois such as Chicago to the north, Alton and similar surrounding communities like East Alton, Wood River, Glen Carbon, and Edwardsville have a storied past related to race relations.

While the lynching of German immigrant Robert Pragger on April 5, 1918 in Collinsville is probably the mostly referenced incident of mob style justice in Madison County, that historians blame on propaganda circulated by the United States government at the height of World War I, and during very strong anti German sentiment in America, an active culture of disdain for social integration of the races was also very prevalent, as many of these southern Illinois towns didn’t have residence of color until well into the 1960’s. It was a known but unwritten law that blacks were well aware of, that prohibited them from being caught in certain towns at night. In fact, some of these towns excluded black people from its city limits entirely during the day as well as the night fall.

The turbulant times of racial struggles in the deep south of America has always been earmarked as the battle ground for racial equality in this country, but most are ignorant to the fact that their were societal codes pertaining to race relations in America’s heartland as well. To this day there are people in the city of Alton who claim that race relations are still a very troubling reality, especially in the Madison County court system. Black communities are overly policed and citizens of color are more likely to be pinched for petty crimes than their white counterparts who are similarly situated.

Some in Alton say that the “law” will go through extraordinary lengths to arrest, prosecute, and secure convictions of blacks who are seen as uppity “n***ers,” who need to be put in their place. They say a man name James Evans is one of those type of black men who was targeted by dirty white cops. People have told TPC that the cops and prosecutors have a history of allowing violent criminals to roam free, as long as they gave pertinent information pertaining to a target they were focusing on arresting and prosecuting.

That’s a far cry from the shotgun toting all white mob that combed the woods of East Alton back in the late 1890s, while in pursuit of a black male who allegedly committed a crime in town (considering how a mere allegation or just plain suspicion alone, was once upon a time sufficient evidence for blood thirsty mobs that were eager to toss a rope on high to lynch a colored person, whether he actually committed the crime is more than likely tenuous at best). That alleged subject got away, but his escape angered citizens in the town so much that they vowed to never let another person of color live in their community ever again.

The town pretty much achieved that for nearly 7 decades, but while many of those Southern Illinois towns are no longer considered “Sun Down” towns, others claim that blacks are still being lynched in Madison County. Only now they’re called legal lynchings, carried out in a court of law (in Madison County at least). There is sufficient evidence (if anyone cared to look) deeply woven into various court cases involving violent offenders, that shows nowadays they’re actually allowing violent criminals to roam free in exchange for perjured testimony in cases where they say some officials brand of justice could be predicated on superficial premises, or for no other provocation than a guy mouthed off at law enforcement officials in a court house.

Its amazing how towns that were once bent on meting out justice through mob violence, has transformed into a “paper tiger” justice system where murderers and other violent felons are stock holders in backdoor deals that has allowed them to get off the hook for crimes or due miniscule bids in prison for some serious violent crimes. It all depends on who the players are (I guess) and the depth of their desire to put a subject away (for life if possible). That’s why the conviction of James Evans is so baffing (the latest on James Evans Conviction), and to think that law enforcement officials went as far as breaking the law themselves to convict a man with no history of violence whatsoever, adds a lot of fuel to what some Alton residence told TPC regarding how the justice system works in Madison County.

During one interview it was made very clear that allowing a violent black person to roam the streets could be looked upon as a “blessing in disguise” for some racist cops in the Madison County Sheriffs department (like Bradley Wells), because “as long as they are killing other black people, letting them out of jail is practical, besides they could get them on something else later anyway.” As long as white folks weren’t victims of some of these crimes, its really not a big deal.” and that’s where they say Evans drew the ire of cops and the Madison County prosecutors office. He was allegedly selling dope in the community, and its a well known fact that most of the people who are consumers of illegal recreational drugs are in fact a volume of white people. An intelligent, cocky, and smart ass mouthed drug dealer is how they say cops looked upon Evans. An a well orchestrated and intricately woven conspiracy is believed to have been implemented to take him down and off the streets forever.

I’m sure that in the minds of some people, they believe that Evans got what he deserved and that may be a tremendous resolve from their posture, but they should also be cautioned to take notice of the manner in which Madison County prosecutors achieved obtaining a conviction of Evans. First off it should be noted again that prior to his trials for murder and conspiracy to commit murder back in the mid to late1990’s, Evans didn’t even have as much as a school yard skirmish on his record as it pertains to violence. Moreover, in the nearly 23 years since he has been incarcerated, Evans hasn’t had a history of any violence behind prison walls either (that’s simply a miraculous feet). Yet, court records show that some pretty violent felons were cut lose for their suspicious testimony to help the state nail Evans. For instance:

  1. There is the well documented Appeals Court reversal of the murder conviction of Jeremy Brown, who is believed to have been a subject in a murder case along side a man name Demond Spruil. Spruil is well known to Madison County prosecutors, because he testified in at least 8 separate murder cases for state prosecutor Keith Jensen. Officials wired Spruill for jailhouse conversations with Brown and after prosecutors achieved a conviction against Brown, Spruill was given leniency as he also did in other murder cases where he claimed the respective defendants had confessed murders to him. An Appeals Court throw out Browns Conviction citing the state’s recycled use of Demond Spruil as an agent of the state who frequently got out of jail after working for the state. Spruil also testified in Evans Trial claiming Evans had confessed. Just like in other unrelated murder cases, some how Spruill ended up in Evans cell, and he obtained another alleged confession for the state prosecutor’s office. Also, Spruill has a well recorded history of violence, and was even initially a suspect in the very murder case for which Evans was subsequently convicted.
  2. Robert Fletcher was also suspiciously released from jail after Madison County police Bradley Wells and another cop from the Sheriffs department visited him in jail, and showed him post mortem images of his best friend Nekemar Pearson, who James Evans was convicted of killing (according to a sworn affidavit by Robert Fletcher). Fletcher claims Wells and another cop allegedly told him that Evans, Clifton Wheeler, and another man name Brian Warr (Evans best friend) were responsible for his best friends murder. Fletcher and Pearson were both alleged “Crip gang” members, and people familiar with the streets of Alton around that time say that cops should have known that letting Fletcher out of jail would result in yet another murder. They suspiciously released Fletcher and he subsequently killed Brian Warr. TPC was advised that if James Evans had been standing on the streets of Alton that night along side Warr, that he most likely would have been gunned down by Fletcher also, in retaliation for the murder of his best friend. They say the blood of Brian Warr is on the cops hands because they knew what would happen once Fletcher hit the streets, Another classic example of how Madison County allowed violent criminals the opportunity to roam free within the community.
  3. Clifton Wheeler is probably best known as a blazingly violent felon who shot and killed a man name Dwight Riddlesprigger in broad daylight in front of dozens of eye witnesses. Court records show as a matter of fact, that state prosecutor Keith Jensen brokered a deal that allowed Wheeler to serve a minimum sentence for two allege murders, in exchange for his cooperation in the state’s prosecution of James Evans. Wheeler would eventually testify for the state against Evans at his trial, and court records show that Wheeler committed perjury on the witness stand, and Jensen actually broke the law himself by concealing the plea arrangement that he accepted in Wheeler’s criminal case. Wheeler ended up serving a little over 12 years and is still walking free on the streets of Alton this very day.
  4. William Jenkins was also used by the state to help them convict James Evans while granting him leniency for his criminal charges also, but only he returned the favor to state prosecutors by brutalizing and raping an elderly woman after authorities had set him free for his cooperation in the James Evans prosecution.

So you see, at least during that time in Madison County, as long as violent black criminals were committing crimes that were harming other black people, it appeared to be acceptable in the eyes of some law enforcement officials, and a storied past of backdoor deals with some of these very same felons by state prosecutors, who allowed them the opportunity to roam the streets to commit more violent crimes is demonstrative of the extraordinary lengths some of those officials were willing to go in convicting a subject of one of their personally prioritized investigations.

At least three people that were interviewed by TPC say they have been in trouble with the law or have been inside of Bradley Wells office at the Madison County Sheriffs office, and saw with their own eyes a picture of James Evans on his desk along side a photo of his family. That’s probably as personal as it gets when you have a cop who is that obsessed with apprehending an alleged criminal subject, That’s why it should question whether or not their actually was manufactured evidence in the criminal cases of James Evans, after all, Evans has been making this claim since his conviction over 20 years ago, and the courts in Madison County refuse to investigate these allegations.

Maybe the “Sun Down” town mentality still exist and the methodology of dealing with undesirable black folks is just being meted out in a more sophisticated fashion, rather than marching down the hill of Blair Avenue and Alby Street in Alton Illinois like its rumored they used to do in the old days, and string a black person up. Either way, it seems that some things in southern Illinois haven’t changed, and most of it isn’t happening after the sun goes down anymore.

The People’s Champion Blog

I’m Journalist and Crime Blogger David Adams


Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied: The Incredible But Surreptitious Conviction Of James Evans Summarized

When a Madison County Illinois Magistrate slammed his gavel down upon his sentencing of James Evans to the Illinois Division of Corrections for 107 years, after he was convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, many believed that Evans would be put away for the duration of his natural life. While many within the community who didn’t have direct knowledge of the intricate details of those cases were resolved in believing the state’s case, and felt that justice had been served. However, justice in Madison County may not necessarily be meted out in the traditional manner when defendants of color are involved.

The State’s case against Evans and others clearly demonstrates that justice should be studied and scrutinized very carefully (especially in Madison County Illinois). Black defendants facing all white juries is common place in a volume of municipalities across America, whether jury pool manipulation is implemented, or insufficient availability of jurors from diverse ethnic backgrounds is the cause, facing all white juries as a colored person is highly probable in a volume of court cases across this country. This dynamic coupled with a perceived general mindset within certain demographics that a black person is perceived guilty long before the ink even dries on their charging documents, and can easily be supported by the number of cases that result in reversals years later after black defendants served decades in prison.

Unfortunately in most criminal cases, the evidence isn’t the only factor involved in how juries arrive at their verdicts. Its the believability of each sides case that’s present during trial in front of the jury. Evans case is prima facia in regards to that argument. as Evans was charged with killing Nekemar Pearson on June 24, 1995 in the town of Alton Illinois. Court documents reveal that Evans who was allegedly a drug dealer, killed Pearson in retaliation for a home invasion at Evans home where he was tied up, tortured, sodomized with a broom handle, and had his vehicle stolen. All in an effort to rob Evans of money suspected to be from drug solicitation proceeds. Pearson, a man name Marcus Holloway, and others carried out the caper unsuccessfully, and didn’t find any money at all. Expensive speakers were removed from Evans vehicle and sold at a local car business.

The speakers were so rare during that time, the shop owners knew exactly who they belonged too. Word got around that Pearson was the individual who sold the speakers, and revealed his potential involvement in the home invasion robbery. Although Evans reported the incident to police no one was ever charged with the crime. Suspiciously though, court records demonstrate that Holloway was interviewed by police, admitted his involvement, the identity of others involved in the robbery, and some how was allowed to walk free out of the police station on the same day he gave cops his statement without being charged with a crime at all. Holloway’s statement to police establishes a potential motive as to why Evans may have wanted to kill Pearson, but while that may sound good to an all white jury, there were a volume of other moving parts in the case that were either suppressed, ignored, or flat out overlooked by jurors at Evans trial.

When viewing the trial transcript its easy to decipher that the state used an information overload style tactic, which may have overwhelmed the jury and prohibited proper analysis of crucial elements of the case. The state presented no evidence at all that directly linked Evans to the murder case forensically. Prosecutors marched hearsay witnesses in the court room one by one to make their case against Evans, a highly circumstantial case at that, from the gate. One by one they gave their testimonies that on the surface appear to directly implicate Evans in the Pearson murder. Some who were in the court room during the trial say that every state witness was ushered into the court room in shackles. Each of them were facing criminal charges of their own and had been transported to the trial from area jails or prisons. Immediately, the state should have faced credibility issues pertaining to their case against Evans, but the jury apparently believed in the states case despite the totality of their evidence against Evans having come from known criminals.

Their case against Evans was obviously problematic from the very start, as highly exculpatory evidence was suppressed from the jury and Evans defense (I’ll delve into that more later in this article). Long after Evans had been convicted, sentenced, and was serving time, new evidence emerged that highlights the highly problematic testimony of two state witness (Demond Spruill and Clifton Wheeler). Spruill’s testimony became highly suspicious when an Appeals Court Judge reversed the unrelated murder conviction of a man name Jeremy Brown. The authorities had wired Spruill for a jailhouse conversation with Brown and utilized the recordings as evidence to convince a jury of his guilt. On appeal the judge admonished state prosecutors after discovering that Spruill had been utilized by the state in at least 8 other murder cases. The Appeals court ruled that the state’s recycled use of Spruill, while allowing him a get out of jail free card from his own criminal charges, essentially gave Spruill a license to commit crimes while acting as an agent for the state.

Spruil was convicted in 1997 of armed robbery and sentenced to 8 years, but was arrested on the streets of Alton in possession of a gun again in 1999. Court records reveal that Spruill testified in Evans case while also claiming that Evans had confessed killing Pearson to him, and while Spruill in fact received leniency for his 1999 weapons charge for his cooperation in testifying against Evans. The jury in Evans trial never heard about Spruill’s constant use as a jailhouse informant nor his plea deal, thereby prejudicing the jury in accepting Spruill’s testimony on its face as fact, which violates Evans right to a fair trial under the law (grounds for a new trial).

Depending on which story you believe, the state never consistently established exactly how Evans allegedly killed Pearson. In one version of the killing, Evans is teamed with Clifton Wheeler and Brian Warr in the Nekemar Pearson murder. Wheeler was also on the hook for seperate murder charges of his own when he testified against James Evans. Wheeler is believed to have killed a man name Dwight Riddlespriger, but brokered a deal with prosecutors for naming Evans as the triggerman in Pearson’s killing. Wheeler essentially pled guilty for two murders in exchange for a 23 year sentence but the judge in that case gave him day for day (meaning a day off his sentence for every good day of time served). People interviewed in Alton say Wheeler was headed to prison any way, and may have falsely implicated himself in the Pearson murder to help the state convict Evans, a roll of the proverbial plea arrangement dice that worked out marvelously for Wheeler, who is walking the streets of Alton this very day after only serving 12 years in prison.

Wheelers testimony fingers Evans as the alleged shooter in the Pearson killing, places himself at the crime seen as an eyewitness, and again appears to provide extremely damaging testimony for the state against Evans defense. Not so fast though, as we must look even closer into Wheeler’s testimony at Evans trial. Like other state witnesses who testified against Evans, We must be mindful that Wheeler was transported to the trial of James Evans in shackles also. His plea agreement sentencing hearing had already taken place, and was contingent on his participation as a witness for the state against Evans. Under direct testimony by state prosecutor Keith Jensen, Wheeler was asked if he had received anything in exchange for his testimony at Evans trial. Wheeler responded “no” while under oath. Court documents from Wheelers sentencing hearing establishes as a matter of fact that Wheeler perjured himself on the witness stand at Evans trial. Moreover, state prosecutor Keith Jensen represented the state in the prosecution of Wheeler and knew as a matter of fact and law, that Wheeler had received leniency ln his own criminal prosecution for his testimony against Evans (a violation of the law). If Wheeler was in fact an eyewitness to Pearson’s murder by James Evans, then why did the state go to such lengths, knowingly violating the law to conceal Clifton Wheeler’s plea deal?

There were other state witnesses who benefitted from the benevolence of the prosecutor’s office before and after Evans indictment and subsequent convictions. For instance, there is a man name Larry Greer (a known drug addict) who was essentially paid for his grand jury testimony at the Evans indictment hearing. Greer was able to broker a deal that not only allowed him to elude personal criminal charges of his own, but also convinced law enforcement officials to give him back his $1500 dollar bail money. Later on Greer became embroiled in the justice system again facing criminal charges, and had agreed to testify against Evans in exchange for leniency in yet another criminal case of his own. Only this time Greer backed out on the deal. According to court documents and a sworn affidavit from Larry Greer himself, he refused to testify against Evans after learning that prosecutors were seeking the death penalty in Evans cases. Larry Greer was subsequently convicted of murder based on a convoluted murder for hire plot, and conspiracy that was cooked up by dirty cops and fed to a jury related to the Brian Warr killing, despite the fact that Greer actually drove Brian Warr to the hospital after he had been shot by another man.

Then there was the testimony of Tommy Rounds (James Evans Cousin), who like Demond Spruil was a known jailhouse rat, who routinely testified for the state in exchange for leniency in his own criminal struggles. Rounds wore a wiretap for prosecutors during conversations with Evans in jail while he was awaiting trial for pending prosecution for the Pearson killing. Those recordings have been a major stake hold in Evans appeal because he has always contended that the recordings were doctored (multiple conversations edited to appear as one conversation), establishing what Evans claims is in fact the manufacturing of evidence in his conspiracy to commit murder case. Evans claim is a bolstering allegation that directly attacks the integrity of the Madison County Sheriffs and the state prosecutors offices. I’ve personally read some of the transcripts from some of those recordings, and they appear to be filled with the white noise effect (vast majority of recording is inaudible) and doesn’t represent a coherent conversation related to any subject matter at all, let alone a conspiracy to commit murder plot.

Even though those recordings from Rounds wiretap remain a constant area of trouble for the state, many continue to argue that the fact Evans own Cousin testified against him is simply incredulous, and goes a long way of establishing his potential guilt. In reality though, Rounds is reportedly an alleged two bit petty criminal who can’t do his on bid in prison for his crimes, and some have told TPC that he would lie on his own mother to get out of his brushes with the law (Rounds was even accused of burglarizing his mother and sister’s homes). Furthermore, those recordings from Rounds jailhouse wiretap have mysteriously disappeared. Evans has requested copies of those recordings for the purpose of forensic analysis to establish their authenticity, and has even compelled the courts in Madison County to issue 4 separate court orders directing state officials to release copies of that discovery to Evans, but the state has never complied with either of those orders.

Compounding Evans appeal related to those recordings is the fact that his own attorney from the Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry, law firm have even tried to convince Evans to dummy down his manufacturing of evidence claims in his appeal, and take a plea of time served, but when he refused to do that, his own attorney abandoned him and his case was even taken off the court docket for nearly three years, a factor in his appeal that has never been properly explained. Its simply a glaring red flag in his case that may explain an enormous inordinate delay in Evans appellate process. Just as in most convictions cases, Evans lost his initial direct appeal which is usually the original trial court. and In his case that’s Madison County. Although the state of Illinois has long established that the post conviction process should take just a little more than a year to conclude, Evans remains in post conviction for over 18 years (unheard of as far as appellate case standards run). All that’s required to move forward is for Madison County to approve or deny his appeal. Assuming his case is denied, Evans would then be allowed to pray before a higher court. The only problem is Evans can’t get through post conviction because Madison County refuses to remedy or adjudicate Evans claims of manufactured evidence in his case (those jailhouse recordings played at his trial).

While the enormous inordinate delay in Evans appeal is a procedural error by the courts, its further complicated by the state’s failure to comply with a volume of court orders related to trial discovery with impunity, and in actuality bolsters Evans claims of foul play related to the evidence presented against him during his conspiracy to commit murder trial.

However, the icing on the cake really isn’t just those trial recordings and the state’s failure to produce them. The state has even bigger fish to fry in terms of damage control in what in fact just maybe a malicious prosecution of an innocent man by dirty cops and a corrupt prosecutors office. Some years after Evans had already began serving his 107 year prison term, he received a communication from an Appellate Defender, who provided him with a police report composed by an Alton Illinois School Resource Police Officer name Detective Cooley. Cooley had various brushes with Nekemar Pearson whom Evans was convicted of murdering. Cooley probably is best qualified to identify Pearson due to having arrested him on several occasions. The school cop was more than likely familiar with missing person reports related to Pearson’s disappearance, took the initiative to file a police report after spotting Pearson walking down a street in Alton, and interestingly some 9 days after the day in which state prosecutors claimed Evans had killed him.

Evans had allegedly never seen the report or even heard about it and court records show that others working on his defense also say they never were made aware of such discovery. More importantly though, Evans trial jury was never made aware of this discovery either. This piece of information brought to Evans attention years after his conviction is not only new evidence which establishes at minimum, grounds for a new trial, but the document could even completely eviscerate the state’s entire case against Evans. The attorney’s communication to Evans related to Detective Cooley’s police report is such a crucial piece of discovery that its highly probable and reasonable to assume that at least one juror could have ruled in favor of acquitting Evans, based on the fact that a police report, which is usually deemed credible, establishes that Pearson was seen alive after the day that state prosecutors claimed that Evans killed him.

According to the Appellate Defender who alerted Evans regarding the police report by Detective Cooley, he had discovered the document in the case files of Larry Greer, the same man that authorities essentially paid to testify at Evans grand jury hearing. The report’s very existence establishes that prosecutors were well aware of Cooley’s claim of having seen Pearson alive after he was suppose to have been killed. This point related to discovery in Evans case which the prosecutors office is required to turn over to Evans defense, prove that sufficient evidence existed that establishes Evans indictment for murder was obtained through paid witness testimony, and with knowledge by prosecutors that Pearson very well may have still been alive (a serious crime that makes a mockery of the Illinois state courts and our justice system. and completely destroying the life of James Evans and his family). Then there are also reports and witness accounts that claim Pearson (who was on home monitor pending criminal charges for the murder of a man name Willie Nichols), had allegedly been pursued on foot and shot at by members of Nichols’ family on the one year anniversary of Nichols’ death. Some how that information was never allowed into the Evans trial. Pearson’s actual killer(s) may even still be at large within the Alton community.

The case against James Evans when viewed from an objective posture with all evidence and other information now available after his conviction, should at least raise eyebrows of court officials who act as an oversight of lower criminal courts, and demonstrate how prosecutors surreptitiously achieved having an all white jury find Evans guilty of the crimes for which he was charged and subsequently sent to the slammer for over a century. His case should also be a mirror into how our justice system is broken. State prosecutors even knowingly broke the law to obtain Evans conviction. Although it’s a stretch considering how powerful of a piece of discovery Detective Cooley’s police report is related to the Evans murder case, prosecutors may attempt to explain away the report’s existence and failure to be turned over to the defense as a mere oversight, but they will never be able to explain away paying a witness for his testimony during an indictment hearing:

  1. There is clear evidence that state prosecutors may have suppressed highly exculpatory evidence in Evans case.
  2. Prosecutors made backdoor deals with just about every witness it produced against Evans in a highly circumstantial case.
  3. Prosecutors utilized the testimony of Desmond Spruill who a higher court found extremely problematic in unrelated cases as a witness for the state, when the court reversed an unrelated murder conviction of another man when it learned that Spruil had incredibly testified for the state in 8 different murder cases, where Spruill claimed that each of those respective defendants had allegedly confessed to him.
  4. The state even made deals with violent criminals in exchange for testimony during Evans trial, which allowed these criminals to get out of jail to commit even more serious violent crimes (one of those witnesses was charged with allegedly brutalizing and raping an elderly woman after state prosecutors set him free for helping them convict Evans)

There are also other glaring problems with Evans convictions but these are just a few that stand out after having been discovered in the case files of other defendants, or were arrogantly revealed by prosecutors during court proceedings of other defendants. The volume of missteps by prosecutors that were made in the Evans trials reach farther than mere prosecutorial misconduct, that the overt callousness of state prosecutor’s actions, demonstrate that such violations of the law and rights of criminal defendants could be deemed as an acceptable cultural practice that permeates the Madison County courts. Many of these facts now revealed regarding the state prosecution of James Evans, juxtapose to the Madison County courts extreme inordinate delay of his appellate process, which weighs heavily of trial discovery tapes, creates a burdensome dilemma for Madison County that a higher court may easily reverse based on basic constitutional grounds.

Evans 18 year post conviction process is not only unfair and extraordinary, but essentially could be construed as him in fact being held as a political prisoner in Madison County Illinois, as many responsible in securing Evans conviction have moved up the ladder in their respective careers, have established allies with the courts, and in many respects are political figures within the Illinois state justice system. Essentially no one wants to revisit the extremely problematic and highly circumstantial case of James Evans, not even his own paid attorneys. Keeping that proverbial can of worms shut is probably a sticking priority for quite a few people involved in his case, and trampling over the rights of a convict the likes of a black man name James Evans maybe in their minds, simply collateral damage that’s worth extinguishing the facts that reveal exactly how Madison County meted out his demise.

I believe it was my college classmate, retired ATF Administrator, and CNN Analysis Matthew Wayne Horace who advised me that while Evans case appears tragic, its not an anomaly, as he describes police culture in intricate detail in his book “The Black And The Blue,” one of the most powerful indictments ever published of American policing by a former cop. Any police agency or prosecutors office within our entire country must never be allowed to surreptitiously break the law, fail to abide by establish court proceedings, trample the constitutional rights of criminal defendants no matter how contentious their belief is in his guilt, suppress evidence that potentially point to the defendant’s innocence, and then label it as American justice. At the very least, indisputable evidence exist that proves Evans didn’t receive a fail trial under the law, and after being imprisoned for over 20 years. all that’s required is for just one duty bound official to do the right thing in the name of American justice. For this belief, we must continuously pray before the courts.

The People’s Champion Blog

I’m Journalist and Crime Blogger David Adams


A Word From The Administrator: The George Floyd Case And The Continued Attack On Black America

Many citizens from broad spectrums of the American society have followed race relations at some point in time or another, as status, wealth, and prosperity is predicated on the very anatomy of American race relations in this country. While the ruling class has maintained a constant firm grip on the United States underclass, the pervasive old-time tradition of killing her black inhabitants continues unabated as if the thirst for more blood from her citizens of color is never satisfied.

I am certain that I am not alone, as I struggle with comprehending, how despite incidents such as the George Floyd case can be captured in real time before the entire world, yet still there is that element of America’s white society who remain incapable of discerning what rational minds of all ethnicity have collectively concluded as wrong, and then use false narratives to repudiate what a volume of human eyes upon the entire planet have resolved as being authentic.

Before dismissing my comments as hyperbole or a mere generalization, purview chat threads within social media. It really doesn’t matter which platform you view, but the evidence is there for any objective thinker to observe. It’s concerning that the attack upon America’s marginalized colored peoples has spanned over four centuries, despite protest and cries for change, policing in America is raging with the fever of extrajudicial violence against black people. It’s an underlying condition of the racism that has bound us together for 401 years, leaving the children of Africa angry targets and white people feeling afraid and desperate to stay on top.

The very ideal of America or its flawed culture of American ism is rooted in forced bondage, and her European immigrants have utilized a relentless and successful violent attack upon the indigenous people of these shores, coupled with a compulsory extrication of Africans for laborious industry from which modern America was built, and from which a sense of entitlement has been indoctrinated into the “White American” pshyce, leaving the poorest and ignorant of white people believing they are the mystical master race, superior to even the most accomplished and brilliant people of color.

The police have a sordid relationship with us, but so does local government and the business community that to this day work hand-in-hand to restrict our physical, social and economic movement. No, you don’t have to go to Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles or small town mid west America like in Alton Illinois to see what’s wrong with not just white folks, but Americans of all ethnicities who collectively police minority communities. Check out your own back yard. When it comes to American policing, we find that often times the police instituting violence against colored people are well trained, and well mentally conditioned black people who foster a sickness and hatred toward their own people that is just as pervasive as the white man.

Being an American is a good thing, unless of course, you’re black and conscious. If you are, you can’t help but be simultaneously angry and worried that trouble is always around the corner in the form of rabid law enforcers who wouldn’t mind putting us in what they perceive to be our rightful place. On the other hand, it could very well be the random white civilian who demands your identity, and business when they believe you’re out of place by handling your own business. We’ve seen this countless times when white people who utilize police as their personal security agency, have called in fictious reports to law enforcement for no other provocation other than their personal perceived discomfort and fear when interacting with black people

That means white folks, who due to privilege and their literal death grip on the levers of economic and social power, have us in a chokehold meant to squeeze the life out of us for their perception of superiority. Which is exactly what Derrick Chauvin did to George Floyd, matter of factly before a live audience without fear of reprisal.

The black race is under attack and until there is a collective understanding regarding this American hyper-pandemic, not only will we (black folks) remain targets of orchestrated attack from the establishment, we will never be capable of adopting resolution and a cure for the innate American disease of racist bigotry and hatred.

The People’s Champion Blog

I’m Journalist And Crime Blogger David Adams

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied: James Evans Praying To Federal Court For Relief From Embattled Madison County Illinois Judicial Grasp

Disclaimer: The links associated with this blog article are only copies and excerpts extracted from official court records, and do not in any way represent the entirety of those records. A complete copy should be obtained for full context. Additionally, some content may be of an opinionated nature, and doesn’t necessarily represent all of the facts pertaining to the subject matter contained here in.

When the 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush went to Madison County Illinois in 2005, he was there to support “Tort” reform in the state, and highlighted the fact that for the second consecutive year, Madison County was ranked as the nation’s #1 “judicial hellhole.” The county is known for its questionable and frivolous civil lawsuits resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars being awarded in shaky and relatively non existent claims. The former president could easily have made a similar assessment of the county’s criminal courts as well. Legal observers and citizens who have been embroiled in the county’s court process, say the way things are done in Madison County Illinois should have sparked a federal investigation decades ago.

Many former and current defendants have claimed shady dealings such as corruption, malicious prosecution, and manufacturing of evidence by state prosecutors, to send people (mostly black and brown) to state prison for decades. Those claims began to raise eyebrows when legitimacy was added to the outcry toward injustice in Madison County, when the 5th District Appellate Court of Illinois began hearing oral arguments in the People vs. Brown case (831 N.E. 2d 1113) which focused on notorious jail house snitch Demond Spruil.

Brown vs. Illinois Impact

The case resulted in defendant Jeramey R. Brown’s murder conviction being overturned, because of Madison County prosecutor Keith Jensen’s constant recycled use of Spruill to curiously testify for Jensen in 6 other unrelated murder cases that resulted in convictions of those defendants. Those proceedings revealed a very suspicious pattern and practice in murder cases prosecuted by Jensen. Somehow jailhouse informant Spruill would make a showing and produce a confessional testimony allegedly given to him by defendants who were being prosecuted in separate cases, and while most of them say they had never spoken to Spruill. Mysteriously though, Spruill would know details about cases prosecuted by Jensen, implicating defendants while on the stand barking out details that only the prosecutor and police should know about the cases. Click link to view a news article related to Brown’s murder conviction being overturned due to Spruill’s suspicious use by Madison County prosecutors.

In part 3 of “Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied” related to the James Evans case (Nekemar Pearson murder), TPC demonstrated through court transcripts how a man name Micheal Hooks’ erroneous alleged eyewitness account of the Nekemar Pearson murder (that implicated Evans), and Spruill’s initial grand jury testimony of Evans alleged jail house confession regarding the Pearson killing, matched identically. Mysteriously, both Hooks and Spruill who were each facing charges for serious crimes, and were then subsequently allowed to walk free from Madison County Jail after giving (false) testimony to the Evans grand jury.

In the Brown Appellate ruling, judges mentioned how Demond Spruill had been given an 8 year prison term for armed robbery in 1997, and arrested in 1999 while again being found on the streets in possession of a firearm. Court documents show that Spruill was released from his 8 year armed robbery stint for his testimony at the Evans grand jury hearing. Records also show that Spruill was again released from his 1999 criminal case in exchange for his testimony at the Evans prosecution trials, and despite such discovery being a Brady vs. Maryland violation in the Evans case, the record will show that it was never disclosed to the trial jury nor the Evans defense team. Click the link to view an excerpt from a Post Trial Appellate matter in the case of Jeffrey Ewing, where prosecutors admit to having given Demond Spruill a deal related to his criminal charges, in exchange for his testimony in the Evans murder, and the Evans conspiracy to commit murder trials.

Failure to disclose such detail to the court and a defendant’s legal counsel is a direct violation of the law (Maryland vs. Brady, and People vs.Giglio) which gurantees a right to a fair and impartial trial (U S. Constitution 6th Amendment). So, when we look at Spruill’s suspicious use as a star witness by Madison County prosecutor Jensen (which a state Appellate Court agrees with), coupled with the fact that Spruill is the exact same person that 6-8 other defendants just so happened to confess their alleged crimes to and considering Spruill’s apparent reoccurring “get out of jail free” card, it’s a clear indication that he was acting as an agent for the state.

Mean while the state admittedly was making back door deals with Spruill that not only repeatedly allowed him to get out of prison, but essentially gave him a license to commit more crimes. Hell, Spruill was even an initial suspect in the Pearson killing himself before he fingered James Evans for for that murder (some in Alton believe Spruill was very capable of murder and his lengthy criminal record speaks to that belief). More importantly, it raises serious issue with the state’s (Keith Jensen) prosecution of other cases where Spruill was utilized repeatedly as a star witness, especially if those cases had or have other glaring elements that are problematic to the extent that sufficient doubt exist as to whether or not defendants were unjustly prosecuted and convicted (James Evans, Jeffery Ewing, and Jordan Valdez all are others that Spruill helped Jensen send to prison). The James Evans case is one of those exceptionally funky cases though, that should raise more than just a few eye brows. Click the link to view the People vs. Brown Appellate Ruling.

Given the Spruill dynamic as it relates to the convience and coincidence of his having acted as an arm of the prosecution, it should be noted that Spruill who was a key state witness in the Brown case, claimed that Brown confessed to him of having allegedly killed a man name Michael Keller, and that Brown also allegedly solicited him to kill a witness name Mary Weaver. It’s simply incredulous that Spruill was a star witness, and again suspected of acting as an arm of the prosecution in the Evans case who faced similar charges as Brown did (the murder of Nekemar Pearson, and conspiring to kill co-defendant and witnesses). Spruill’s testimony in Evans cases and that of others, should be sufficient to at least grant new trials in all of those respective cases. Madison County won’t adjudicate the post convictions of Evans, Ewing, nor Valdez because those cases were all casualties of a forbidden fruit from a poisonous tree, in the form of Demond Spruill. Those cases have been stuck in post conviction and not allowed to adjudicate through the Appellate process for decades.

Another glaring fact about Demond Spruill in relationship to his cooperation with prosecutors in the Evans cases, is the unmistakable difference in how his testimony changed from his Evans grand jury appearance for the state, juxtapose to his testimony as a witness for the prosecution before the Evans trial jury. Spruill gave a nearly identical account to that of a man name Michael Hooks regarding what allegedly happened to Nekemar Pearson, only Spruil’s account slightly differed by suggesting that Pearson was shot, brought into Evans’ house, and was stored in the basement for at least a day. Spruill even claims that a female who visited Evans’ residence alleges that Evans home smelled like a dead person.

Interestingly though, staying true to form in a Keith Jensen prosecution case, his old star witness standby, Demond Spruill was on the witness stand in the Evans trial to save the day with yet another story of alleged culpable hearsay evidence, claiming like he did in the Brown case, that Evans too had confessed to him, which proved extremely damaging to the Evans defense. Keep in mind that during the time of the grand jury indictment hearings and subsequent prosecution trials of James Evans, Spruill was on the hook for robbery and weapons charges. You literally have to read the grand jury transcripts of Michael Hooks, Demond Spruil, and Madison County police detective Bradley Wells to understand how Spruill’s trial testimony account shifted from what he told a grand jury, and how it suddenly morphed into the prosecution’s version (Detective Wells’ version) of what they claim happened. The entire indictment against Evans was founded on a lie told to the grand jury by Detective Bradly Wells, that Pearson Hadn’t been seen alive since June 24, 1995. Read their individual testimonies related to the Evans case below here:

Michael Hooks grand jury testimony

Demond Spruill grand jury testimony

Detective Bradley Wells grand jury testimony

Demond Spruill trial testimony .

Prosecutor Jensen A Deal Maker

That’s just the very tip of the iceberg in the Evans case. From what we have learned regarding the merits of his case, it seems that a first year law student could easily navigate the extremely complex and misleading specifics of the state’s prosecution of Evans that led to his conviction and subsequent incarceration. One key element that makes an exoneration for Evans achievable, is the fact that State of Illinois prosecutors have already conceded to reversible violations in open court while referencing Evans cases during proceedings of other defendants who are not Evans’ co-defendants in their respective post trial litigations (like in the Jeffrey Ewing and Valdez Jordan cases).|

Also, in TPC blog article “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied” part 6, we provided compelling evidence showing how prosecutor Keith Jensen agreed to pay a man named Larry Greer for his false testimony (subordination of perjury), prior to him testifying before three grand juries, and the Evans’ trial jury for the murder of Nekemar Pearson. We presented Greer’s sworn affidavit, and other court records supporting how Jensen appears to have instructed Greer to reply “no” when asked on the witness stand, if he received anything in exchange for his testimony, despite Greer actually having been paid over a thousand dollars and being granted his liberty. Click to view the Affidavit of Larry Greer. Also, click to read excerpts from transcripts that verify as a matter of fact that prosecutor Jensen and another official admitted to paying Larry Greer (by giving him his bail money back) $1500 dollars prior to testifying before the Evans grand jury. It was never disclosed to the Evans defense team nor his trial jury, that Greer was given money in a deal (People vs. Giglio) involving state prosecutor Keith Jensen and Greer’s attorney. Court record shows that Jensen himself admitted in open court that it was liency being given toward Greer by giving him the money. Such a perk being afforded to a defendant by a prosecutor while the defendant is facing criminal charges just before he is to testify on behalf of the state in a grand jury indictment hearing, doesn’t take rocket science to conclude that Greer’s testimony was paid for by the state prosecutor’s office.

However, there are other records that demonstrate how Greer, just like Demond Spruill, was acting as an agent for state prosecutors (in the Evans case at least). The evidence is compiled in a judge’s ruling pertaining to a federal habeas filed by a man named Robert Fletcher. Fletcher was convicted of killing James Evans’ best friend Brian Warr, who is also an alleged Evans co-defendant in the murder of Nekemar Pearson. In the habeas response the judge cites that Larry Greer along with a man named Jodi Wesley are included in an affidavit contained inside Fletcher’s habeas and also confirmed through testimony by Wesley himself, that not only did Wesley get benefit related to his pending federal criminal charges for testifying against James Evans, but the two (Greer & Wesley) were even quoted in the judge’s response that reveals how they both were joking and boasting while riding together in a prisoner transport van, that they were going to “say whatever prosecutor Keith Jensen and Detective Brad Wells wanted” them to, so they could get out of jail. Greer and Wesley both testified on behalf of the state against Evans at his murder trial, and their deals with the state were never disclosed to the defense nor the jury in Evans cases. Click the link to read an excerpt from Robert Fletcher’s federal habeas response.

Robert Fletcher is also a very key proponent in James Evans’ conspiracy to commit murder convction, as the state alleged that Evans hired Fletcher to kill his best friend’s (Brian Warr) father (Lester Warr). These allegations are probably the most ridiculous and outlandish aspect of this entire ordeal pertaining to the state’s theory against Evans having conspired to kill Lester Warr and other witnesses. During the interviews that were conducted with sources connected to the street culture in Alton during the time of the Pearson and Warr murders, we learned that not only were Pearson and Fletcher close friends, they were both “Crip” gang members. Fletcher was reportedly the leader of the local gang set, and it was widely believed that he killed Warr in retaliation for his alleged involvement in Pearson’s murder. Also, a source told TPC that “if James Evans had been standing on the street with Warr that night, he more than likely would have been shot also.” Court records show that Fletcher was locked up for unrelated charges, when Madison County detectives Brady and Wells visited him in jail, advised him of who they believed killed his best friend, and eventually released him to confront those responsible for the murder according to a sworn affidavit.

“The state’s case against James Evans can easily be dismissed as a convoluted tale meticulously crafted to distort the truth by dirty cops, and a corrupt prosecutor.” — TPC

Fletcher alleges that he was approached by the two detectives who advised him that they were investigating the Pearson murder, presented him with photos (post mortem) of Pearson, and told him that they believed James Evans, Brian Warr, and a man named Clifton Wheeler were responsible for his murder. Then according to Fletcher’s sworn affidavit, detectives Brady and Wells released him from custody, with the permission of the state proprosecutor’s office, and solely for the purpose of allowing him to confront Evans and others who were suspected of killing his friend. Fletcher also claims in his affidavit that the state tried to broker a deal with him through his lawyer, to finger Evans for Pearson and Warr’s murders, and he claimed to have refused to lie for the state against Evans. Now if you follow the Madison County prosecutors office pattern and practice of shady dealings with known criminals to secure them as state witnesses against defendants they aggressively prosecuted, Fletcher’s affidavit on its face appears believable. Additionally, sources told TPC that police officials and state prosecutors knew that by releasing Fletcher that he would violently retaliate against those who police told him were the suspects in Pearson’s killing. “In actuality, the blood of Brian Warr’s killing his on their hands,” the source said. Why would these cops tell Fletcher this crucial aspect of their murder investigation, and then let him out of jail? That seems crazy, but not as crazy as their theory of Evans having solicited and hired the best friend of the person he allegedly killed for the purpose of killing his own best friend. Given many of the facts that we now know, the state’s case against James Evans can easily be dismissed as a convoluted tale meticulously crafted to distort the truth by dirty cops, and a corrupt prosecutor. Click to read the sworn affidavit of Robert Fletcher.

Moreover, there were other pieces of forbidden fruit that fell from the poisonous tree, that also aligned themselves with state prosecutor Keith Jensen, who were violent criminals that did short prison terms after being convicted of murder and other serious violent crimes such as rape and sodomy, and made deals with prosecutors in their own criminal cases in exchange for testifying against James Evans in his trials. For example, Clifton Wheeler was believed to be a co-defendant with James Evans and Brian Warr in the Nekemar Pearson case, according to court records. Wheeler was also convicted of killing a man named Dwight Riddlespriger. He was able to broker a deal with state prosecutor Keith Jensen (for testifying against Evans, Ewing, and others) that allowed him to only go to prison for a 23 year prison term for murder (Riddlespriger), of which he only served roughly 12 years, and is currently back on the streets of Alton Illinois this very day. Click to read an excerpt of a court transcript from the plea arrangement of Clifton Wheeler.

During the murder trial of James Evans, Clifton Wheeler testified that Evans killed Nekemar Pearson and gave other testimony that implicated Evans in the crime, but the state failed to reveal that Wheeler had brokered a deal with prosecutor Keith Jensen to accept a 23 year sentence for an unrelated murder (again the state had and obligation considering case law such as Maryland vs. Brady and People vs. Giglio, to inform the Evans defense of such a plea deal). When asked on the stand at Evans’ trial under cross examination by the defense council, if he had made a deal for liency in exchange for his testimony, Wheeler denied having made a deal with the state. Wheeler was asked again under direct examination by prosecutor Keith Jensen, whether he had received anything for his testimony, and Wheeler again denied having received a deal by answering “no.” The crucial error made by the state is that Wheeler did in fact broker a deal for a 23 year sentence, and not only did he commit perjury, but prosecutor Jensen did as well, as Jensen was in fact the very state official who pled the deal to the judge during Wheeler’s sentencing. That’s also a violation of the law, as Evans’ trial jury was prejudiced by Wheeler’s testimony. Omitting his plea deal violated Evans’ right to a fair and impartial trial. Click the link to read an excerpt from a court transcript during a plea agreement hearing on the sentencing of Clifton Wheeler.

It’s also believed that a man named William Jenkins made deals with Jensen and also received a get out of jail free card for his testimony against James Evans. Sadly though, the state’s fanatical thirst for Evans’ complete soul turned into a sacrifice that would be paid for by a rape victim, who Jenkins sexually attacked and sodomized after prosecutors allegedly set him free for testifying against Evans..

Bending The Law

The fact that prosecutors appear to bend the law in a custom fashion to execute their brand of justice probably isn’t a new phenomenon within the American criminal justice system, but the blatant disregard for the law while trampling the constitutional rights of defendants with impunity by those sworn to uphold the law, just seems mere common place in Madison County Illinois, and is textbook for “judicial hellhole” just as former U.S. President George W. Bush rightfully once dubbed the embattled county’s courts.

Suppression Of Evidence

Mr. Evans began his post conviction process in 2003 after having been sentenced to more than a century in the Illinois Division of Corrections, he was blind sided by a communication he received from an Appellate defense attorney who alerted Evans of a police report that had been sent to his office. The document was highly exculpatory for Evans. An Alton High School liaison police officer who had several past dealings with Pearson, saw him walking down the street on July 3, 1995, which is 9 days after the date that police and state prosecutors claim that James Evans an others were supposed to have killed Pearson. Moreover, Madison County Detective Bradley Wells testified during a grand jury indictment hearing that Pearson was never seen alive again after June 24, 1995. The very existence of Detective Cooley’s report indicates that Pearson was more than likely still alive. In fact, the grand jury was never made aware of this report, nor was Evans’ trial jury. Based on the state’s theory that Evans and others accosted Pearson on the 24th of June and subsequently murdered him, is clearly a theory which implodes related to their entire case against Evans from the gate, but they pursued prosecution of Evans anyway. It is very reasonable to assume that police knew about Detective Cooley’s report of having seen Pearson alive on July 3, 1995, but the indictment hearings against James Evans took place after that date, and Cooley’s report somehow became invisible and irrelavent, only to mysteriously resurface years later in 2003 after Evans had already been tried and convicted. Click the link to read these highly exculpatory documents in the James Evans case, and another exculpatory document from the same Appellate Defender who advised Evans how he obtained the document (in the discovery documents of Larry Greer), demonstrating as a matter of fact that Madison County prosecutor Keith Jensen, who prosecuted both Evans and Greer, had knowledge of Cooley’s report and suppressed the document in the Evans case.

Highly exculpatory evidence in a murder case is an extremely big deal, and the prosecutor has a duty to reveal it to a defendant and his legal counsel. It’s quite possible that the police failed to disclose Cooley’s report of having seen Pearson alive after the date he was supposedly killed, it’s unlikely (since the report is in the record of another defendant’s case records related to Evans’ conspiracy to commit murder case) but quite plausible. However, there is still the matter of the audio tapes from the Evans trial that were played before the jury, and are suppose to be jailhouse overhears between a man named Tommy Rounds and James Evans. Rounds who is Evans’ first cousin, supposedly wore a wired recorder to secretly tape conversations of him and Evans conspiring to kill Lester Warr, the father of Evans’ best friend (Brian Warr) and other witnesses to prevent them from testifying against him in the Pearson murder case. Evans has always and repeatedly argued that the audio recordings are not authentic, because they are recordings of multiple conversations that were spliced and edited to appear as just one conversation. This claim is a serious charge Evans is making, which would mean police, prosecutors, or both manufactured evidence, and fabricated the entire murder conspiracy elements of their case against Evans. It’s very easy to make a claim of this nature against law enforcement, and it’s seldom given any weight or credibility when the allegations are being made by defendants who have been convicted of serious crimes.

“The culture within the judicial system in Madison County Illinois appears to completely void the rights of a volume of black men who are embroiled within its justice system.” — TPC

So, when Evans began his post conviction Appellate process, he claimed actual innocence in his case, cited prosecutorial misconduct based on manufactured evidence, and made a discovery request to obtain the audio tapes played before the jury at his trial, so they could be forensicsly tested. The original trial court in Madison County has dragged its feet in Evans’ request for post conviction relief. The State of Illinois has long established that post convictions shouldn’t take no more than a little over a year to complete. The initial appeall is reviewed by the original court where a defendant was convicted, and rarely are cases overturned at that Appellate level. That’s why the process should be adjudicated swiftly to allow convicted defendants the opportunity to pray to a higher court of law. Evans has been in an Appellate holding pattern (post conviction) for at least 18 years now. Why is that? That’s not a rhetorical question and some watchdog arm of either the Illinois state judicial system, or the media should be seeking answers to the inordinate delay of a plethora of Appellate cases like Evans’ that are problematic for Madison County prosecutors pertaining to the violation of Constitutional rights of those seeking post conviction relief in decisions that originated in that jurisdiction.

Our justice system was designed to afford even those who are condemned for the most heinous crimes against the American Society, the right to appeal their sentencing. There were major Constitutional violations in the Evans cases that are in fact reversible, but the culture within the judicial system in Madison County Illinois appears to completely void the rights of a volume of black men who are embroiled within its justice system. During an interview with Evans he advised me of a conversation he had with an Appellate Defender, who once told him that “his case isn’t an anomaly because that’s just the way it is here. This system doesn’t care about a black man.” That perspective very well may have some validity but there also may be some other underlying dynamic that Madison County is hiding that directly impacts the Evans Appeal. Furthermore, there very well may be something funky regarding the audio tapes that Evans requested from his trial discovery. His claim of the audios being altered isn’t just hot air. Evans has been requesting those tapes from the very initial stages of his post conviction process, and despite a volume of court orders directing the state to turn the tapes over to Evans, the state has never complied. Click the link to view various court orders directing the state prosecutor’s office in Madison Couty to turn over audio tapes played during the trial to James Evans. Failure by the state to turn over the tapes creates tremendous suspicion, due to the fact that Evans has already been convicted and serving his sentence. Why wouldn’t state officials want to follow the law since they believe in his guilt? They should reasonably know that stalling tactics could eventually cause Evans to win his appeal by default judgements.

However, many believe that it’s a strategic maneuver by the Madison County courts to purposefully delay adjudication of his appellate process for as long as possible. The fact that after 18 years Evans is still in post conviction speaks volumes and demonstrates that his case is extradinary, and deliberately being held in a holding pattern. As long as Evans remains under the thumb of Madison County as it relates to his appeal to the original trial court, he can’t ever pray his claims for appeal to a higher court, and that’s a violation of the law. It’s as clear as day what may be happening here in Evans’ case, and the cases of other defendants similarly situated who are seeking post conviction relief in cases born out of the Madison County courts.

Legal Betrayal

It was roughly three years ago that Evans said he held a conference with his hired attorney from the law offices of Rosenblum Schwartz & Fry. Evans says he was advised by attorney Jessica Hathaway, that the state was willing to “grant him time served if he accepted a deal by pleading guilty to his charges, and he could then go home,” according to Evans. He went on to say that “the deal she offered me by the state was only for the conspiracy to commit murder count. I would still be serving time for the murder count, if I had lied, took the deal, and just accepted time served. It was a clever move by either Hathaway, the state, or both to get me to plead,” Evans said. He says that he refused to plead guilty to something he didn’t do and wanted his claims, especially the prosecutorial misconduct and the manufacturing of evidence claims adjudicated. Evans says that Hathaway advised him that “the state would never do that,” according to Evans. He also argues that there have been several attempts by his attorney to get him to “lesson my claims, by requesting that I omit certain aspects of my appeal, such as the allegations that state prosecutors broke the law in my case,” Evans said. When he refused to take the plea deal that attorney Hathaway had suggested, Evans said she advised him that she had been informed by the judge that “the tapes have been lost,” according to Evans. He then stated that “I told her, well if the tapes are lost then immediately file a motion to have my case reversed based on Constitutional grounds. She became angry, stormed out of the conference, and I hadn’t spoken to her or heard from anyone in the law firm in over three years. They simply abandoned me,” Evans told me (Evans’ lawyer, Attorney Mike Mettes was contacted for comment regarding this article related to the Evans case, but cited attorney client confidentiality, and advised TPC that Mr. Evans’ consent is required for his comment. No confirmation of consent was obtained at time of publishing).

Around the time that Evans says his lawyer cut him off, he hadn’t had a hearing or a court date scheduled during that entire time frame. It was also around that time that his mother, who was his primary source of support financially, became very ill. Evans family and friends began searching for alternative sources for assistance since his lawyer was absent, and failed to return a volume of calls he put out to her office. Then, through an unsolicited email, TPC became aware of his plight, and hundreds of court documents were forwarded and researched at Evans request. The inordinate delay in his case was so exceptional that Evans sought to circumvent the normal Appellate procedure in Illinois state courts, and he filed a federal habeas for relief. In a rare achievement accomplished in cases not heard in lower courts first, bypassing the normal state court process, and without the assistance of his lawyer he was able to have a federal court accept his habeas. If successful, Evans’ case could leapfrog into the federal Appellate system where he could be granted a new trial. This is something that Evans and his supporters believe that Madison County officials never wanted to occur, and a basic purview of the case record adds tremendous credibility to such a belief.

Federal Habeas

The state of Illinois cases against James Evans in my opinion appears very problematic for the various foremention reasons. Now that officials in Madison County have been made aware of the pending federal habeas, the Illinois State Attorney General has filed a response in an attempt to block and prevent Evans’ habeas from being heard by a higher court. The lower court has now began having hearings to complete Evans’ post conviction process after all of these years, which has basically been lying dormant within a troubled and unfair judicial system that has repeatedly illustrated a pattern and practice of trampling the rights of defendants who pray to their magistrates for relief.

How is it possible for a state attorney’s office to have multiple court orders directing them to release discovery to a defendant, and they repeatedly fail to comply to those orders with impunity? Allowing such conduct by state officials without sanctions from the bench could be deemed as complicity to deny a defendant due process under the United States Constution, an error which appears to be culturally acceptable in the judicial system of Madison County Illinois when it largely pertains to defendants of color. Strangely though, Evans has been contacted by an attorney from the law firm which represents him and now it (appears) that work is finally being done to move his case forward.

It remains to be seen how this case all plays out considering there may actually have been crimes committed by the law enforcement officials who indicted, prosecuted, and had James Evans convicted and sent to the slammer for a term greater than a century. Sadly though, his case isn’t an anomaly by Madison County standards. I implore anyone to make sense of this audio transcription that was allegedly recorded when state prosecutors had Tommy Rounds wear a hidden wired recorder during a jailhouse conversation with James Evans. The transcription doesn’t follow a logical conversation pattern, and the physical hard recording should match the transcription of the recorded conversation. Ironically, the state still hasn’t complied with multiple court orders to turn over a hard copy of the audio recordings to the defendant. Click the link to view a copy of the actual transcription of a jailhouse secret wired recorded conversation between James Evans and Tommy Rounds.

The audio tapes arent just the nut and bolts of Evans’ appeal, but rather literally of greater significance of his entire life. Most government agents have a responsibility to preserve evidence. These range from police and prosecutors to detectives and investigators working for the prosecutor’s office, administrative staff, and the Attorney General’s Office. The duty to preserve evidence starts as soon as the evidence is obtained and continues after a conviction to cover any exculpatory evidence that might assist a defendant in an appeal. The consequence in violating the duty to preserve evidence, in some extreme cases, the court might dismiss the case. If the issue does not arise until after a conviction, an appellate court might overturn the conviction and order a new trial. James Evans is aware of these possibilities and it’s almost certain that Madison County officials are well aware also. If the case against Evans is solid, then there should be no hesitancy in moving forward but that’s easier said than done.

Finally, there is credible cause for concern for Evans’ safety within IDOC (Illinois Division of Corrections) and that of his family and friends, who have reported claims of being followed by suspicious vehicles on a regular basis during commutes to and from work in early morning hours, traveling from Menard Correctional Center where Evans is housed, basic fears from the memory of police tactics that some say they endured during the initial investigations into the crimes Evans was convicted of, and legitimate concern for Evans’ safety upon the execution of a writ of habeas corpus requiring the Warden of Menard Correctional Center in Chester Illinois, to produce James Evans’ physical body before his original trial court, for the purpose of an evidentiary hearing related to his original post conviction appeal that began over 18 years ago. In most cases these proceedings are done in person, and to comply with the writ, it may be required for Evans to be housed at the Madison County Jail Division in Edwardsville Ilinois, the origins of his incarceration, and it’s feared that the environment may be very unwelcoming for him. Evans has conveyed to TPC personally, of his concerns that he will be cut off from access to the outside world by being placed in solitary confinement, or worse, that he could be silenced permanently through violence orchestrated by jail officials. Therefore, vigilance and prayer for James Evans and his family is being requested, that his decades old bondage will soon be over. You can help James Evans in various ways, by first contacting the state of Illinois Attorney General’s Office and request an immediate investigation be conducted into the inordinate delay of Evans’ Appellate post conviction, by contacting local Illinois State Delegates and request advocacy in the interest of justice, for defendants whose rights have been violated pertaining to appeals, and by contributing to the James Evans “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied” relief fund to cover legal expenses to help regain his liberty. On behalf of the entire Evans family, TPC thanks you all for your support. God speed.

You can aid the Evans Legal Fund by donating here: The Framing of James Evans

Ilinois Attorney General Main Contacts Registry

The People’s Champion Blog

I’m Journalist and Crime Blogger David Adams


In My Skin Part I: Understanding The Effects Of Colorism Has Been My Greatest Upheaval

The earliest recollection that I have of encountering a race related incident was in a kindergarten class room, when our teacher, whose name I don’t recall, paired all of her students in a classroom dancing exercise, and a white girl name Lydia made it known that she was displeased with me having been assigned as her dance partner. She said, “Eew, I have to dance with a brown boy.” I recall being confused when she boldly exclaimed her dislike. I even began to look around the room to see who she was talking about, because in my mind, I was far from brown .

It bothered me that she classified me as being brown, when I knew that there wasn’t that much of a distinction between her skin color and mine. That subtle form of racism started the process of eroding my innocence as a child, because even though I didn’t have the mental capacity as a kid to fully understand the emotional impact the incident had on me, in reality, it created a stigmatization that left me feeling that I was deficient, abnormal, and an undesirable because of the color of my skin.

I must give my mother credit for having the presence of mind of identifying certain traits displayed by her children that encouraged her to implement character building and social education development, by instilling a sense of pide and end encouragement that we could achieve anything in life. After a while, I forgot about the harmful effect Lydia’s comment had on me, but little did I know, it was just the beginning of a tremendous upheaval that would span well into adulthood, as the very color of my skin became a battle ground of many social settings throughout my life.

You see, long before I had met Lydia as a child, society had already carved out the playing field for race relations, and the elicit comment this little white girl made before our kindergarten class was simply a biproduct of what she had been taught, suspectedly by her family, or through the social environment she had been exposed to. It could also be classified as a prima facia case that illustrates how racism and colorism is taught and not an innate human trait.

My perspective is even heightened by the fact that her comments were so foreign, unusual, and concerning to me because I had never been presented with an issue pertaining to my skin color before. The fact that I have the ability to depict the incident with such detail at this age, should demonstrate how powerful of an impact it had on me as an individual. Unfortunately, there would be other Lydia’s throughout my life, and a volume of them would even be members of my own family.

As I became of age and started interacting with some real brown folks, the experience made the racial remark by young Lydia seem like a scene from a kissing both at the state fair, in comparison. In fact, I became more aware of how people within society reacted when encountering others of different skin color. I mean, there were literally dark skinned girts who would say “you are an ugly yellow motherfucker” straight to my face, and for a while, I developed a complex and dislike for darker complexed people because I thought they were negative and evil.

I have come to realize that such thinking was in direct relations to the Lydia affect that had impacted me from childhood. Dr, King’s philosphy of having his children being judge by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin, was a tremendous life line for me, as it allowed me to foster a different way of thinking early on in life. Yet, the battle of colorism was far from over. I can’t count the number of times I got into it with a classmate, someone in the community, and even family members who tried to victimize me because of my complexion.

Somewhere along the way somebody “got it fucked up” that being light skinned was synonymous with being weak, but as I recall, there were also quite a few of those people who needed a bandaid or experienced having to visit the local hospital emergency room to get sutures, when they tried to victimize me with their racial nonsense. It literally was a battle growing up in poverty and being one of the light skin kids in the neighborhood. Fighting before, during, after, and coming home from school became a right of passage.

In fact, like a scene straight out of the iconic Richard Pryor film “Joe Joe Dancer,” my brothers and I would hide sticks, bottles, and large rocks as weapons along the route to school, so that when we had to fight, we had weapons to defend ourselves. We weren’t just fighting the kids in school, but our mother’s desire to live in a multi racial community within the old Highlandtown section of East Baltimore, created hostile community relations in the early 1970’s. Hell, we were fighting kids from all ethnic backgrounds, as the melting pot of urban socialization was being formed in the immediate post Civil Rights era.

My adolescence coupled with growing up in poverty, violent crime, being exposed to alcoholism and drug usage, and having to literally fight to exist was so surreal, its believed that by the time I ever stepped on a college campus, I was already suffering from an advanced post traumatic stress disorder. Many of us who came up in similar environments across the country probably suffered from some form of PTSD or another and despite all of the talk about racism, how the white man was holding us back, much of what I recall experiencing was self inflicted by the black community itself.

Now, while that was probably a very broad and generalized statement indicting the black community, I can only measure it all and form my opinion based on my personal experiences. People will argue that there were so many social economic variables that has created many of the ills that has and continues to plague black communities, but regardless of the causes, the disease of colorism within the black family is a phenomenon polarizing communities of color.

A continuing Blog Series…

“In My Skin: How The Effects Of Colorism Destroyed My Family For Generations,” next article.

I’m Blogger and Crime Writer David B. Adams

In My Skin: An Intimate And Provocative Depiction Of The Illness Of Colorism Within The Black Family

The phrase “black lives matter” is increasingly becoming a rallying cry for justice across the globe as society has placed a microscope on the institution of policing, in the wake of the killings of unarmed black people at the hands of police. Yet, some of the very same communities of color who have emerged as victims of a bloody and heavy handed police culture, are facing serious issues of violence, brutality, and a lack of value for human life that continues to persist within black communities throughout the world.

That being said, there are those who will readily claim that the violence within black communities originated from racism that was born out of American slavery, and that the abuses of white America for centuries is the very catalyst of the on going African American self inflicted genocide. While there is no denying that systemic racism exist in this country, there are a seperate volume of social struggles within the black community that largely stems from “colorism,” not racism.

To understand or even graspe the very concept of how colorism impacts the black family, we must first look at the very primitive and fundamental traits of the human family as a whole. We are visual beings and a volume of our thought processes are formulated upon what we view, and the varying degrees of hues within the human race has created a phenomenon of prejudice towards each other based on color. In America dark skin color is demonized and light skin gets the prize.

Its a sickening practice that has divided the human family since the beginning of time, and it even breaks down into various sub cultures, regardless of the ethnic group, colorism is in fact an illness that permeates humanity and despite the racism black people face in America, its impact within the black community remains the foremost destructive trait of black people, as demonstrated by the often ignored culture of black on black violence.

Therefore, this opinion editorial (OpEd) series “In My Skin” is about my intimate and provocative encounters with “colorism” while growing up in poverty, living, and working in America as a light skinned black man with hazel green eyes. My depiction nor my words won’t be welcoming, but rather a raw honest, and perhaps provocative glimpse of my personal journey and struggles over the years. I thank you all in advance for your indulgence.

An Introduction To A Continuing Blog Series…

I’m David Adams

A Step Toward Justice In Vanessa “Honey” Malone Murder Case: Dekalb County Police Make Arrest In 2012 Georgia Teen Slaying

It was a typical night on October 23, 2012 in Stone Mountain when Flora Malone got into her car to make a routine trip to the mall and pick up her youngest daughter Vanessa Malone from work. They arrived back home a short time later, and then “Honey” as she is affectionately known to her family and friends, told her mother that she was stepping out of the house for a few, and would be right back. “I love you Mom” she says, as she walked out of the door of her home, which would be the last time the mother and daughter would ever speak to each other again.

Honey was on her way to some friend’s apartment where India Smith lived with her boyfriend Travares Benford. They say that Honey walked in on a home invasion in progress, but while there were three other adults at the apartment at the time, Honey’s life was senselessly and tragically struck down through gun violence. If you are new to this story, you can read about the events of that fateful night when Flora Malone lost her baby girl here: Friends Account Just Doesn’t Add Up In Pretty Georgia Teen Slaying .

While I have raised my own personal suspicions regarding what might have happened to young “Honey,” its apparent that police authorities were also on the same path about who most thought may have been an intricate player in the Malone homicide case. If you’ve read some of the many articles I’ve written about this horrific story, then you most likely already know that this mysterious character they call “Mercy” has always been a person of interest in the Malone killing, in my eyes, and now the police as well.

On April 3, 2020 around 4:30 p.m. EST the Dekalb County police took Donald “Mercy” Ashe (34) into custody for the 2012 killing of Vanessa Malone. Initially the authorities remained tight lipped on what broke the case, but during a recent bond hearing state prosecutors revealed that at least two independent witnesses had told police, Ashe admitted to them that he had allegedly killed the Malone teen. Those statements in conjunction with critical DNA evidence provided by CSI Atlanta, helped link Ashe to the Malone Homicide. Its a sudden turn of events that may now be taking positive steps towards justice for the slain young woman, and may also culminate into the closure her grieving family has long sought after.

For nearly seven and a half years (71/2) Flora Malone along with her oldest daughter Cassaundra Pierce-Kennedy, and a volume of “Honey’s” friends have been beating the streets of Stone Mountain, in an effort to obtain leads from within the community from anyone who knew something about the homicide case. Their efforts had fallen short until just recently, when these two unidentified witnesses came forward. You could make the argument that people knew all along what happened and their silence denied the slain woman and her family justice, but that would be beating a dead horse, and instead, we should all be watching closely to learn as much as when can about this tragic story regarding the untimely demise of one of Stone Mountain’s young people who was just starting out as a young adult in her life, to insure that those who are rightfully responsible for her death are brougt to justice.

In the initial period when her case was fresh in the media, there were rumblings and unfounded rumors that the young lady had met her end because of her own deceitful behavior, which some say was the result of setting people up to be robbed. Those negative comments most likely came from within the community from individuals who apparently sought to justify what happened to the pretty teen, but the perverse hyperbole they spewed failed miserably, as a volume of people who knew “Honey’s” character rallied around her family to dispel these erroneous and false allegations against her.

There were also those in the community who threatened violence against me on social media, for suggesting that “Mercy” had something to do with her killing, and I believe these kind of scare tactics are what may have prevented people with information about her killing, from coming forward sooner out of fear of retaliatory violence from those sympathetic to the killer(s) involved with senselessly snuffing out the young woman’s life. In fact, some of the very same people who promoted violence when the time came for justice in “Honey’s” case, are now facing charges of their own in unrelated homicide cases. The irony of it all though!

In my mind though, I knew that things just didn’t add up and “Mercy” was at the center of it all. The stories given to police during the night of her killing, alone are compelling related to the honesty and credibility of Travares Benford and India Smith who say they were victims of a home invasion, that resulted in young Vanessa being slain. For two people who say they were laying in bed together when the front door of the apartment was allegedly kicked in, their accounts of what actually happened couldn’t be more contrasting. He said that there were three gunman, while she told cops that there were four to six armed masked men who stormed into their Hampton Village Apartments in Stone Mountain on October 23, 2012. The pair also claim to have been tied up and forced to lay down in the bathtub, while the gunmen ransacked the apartment. There was also a third person allegedly in the apartment that night, and we now know that his name is Donald “Mercy” Ashe. Although he was also an alleged victim of the home invasion, the initial account of what allegedly happened that was given to police by Benford and Smith, offered no indication of “Mercy’s” whereabouts while the home invasion was in progress. This aspect of the case has always bothered me. They only offered the rationalization that he fled the scene because he had an outstanding arrest warrant for an unrelated crime.

Donald "Mercy" Ashe
Police authorities believed that Donald “Mercy” Ashe (pictured) is allegedly responsible for the brutal slaying of 100 pound teen Vanessa Malone back in 2012.

Now with state prosecutors claiming to have two independent witness who say Ashe confessed to them of allegedly having killed the young woman, and coupled with DNA evidence allegedly connecting him to her slaying becomes very problematic for Smith, Benford, and potentially others who were living in the Hampton Village apartments that night, around the time that the crime occurred. So, the Dekalb County Police are possibly going to make additional arrest in the Malone homicide case. The possibility of criminal charges for others may stem from the discovery of newly found evidence in the case, that emerged roughly three years after Malone was murdered.

“The rationalization that “Mercy’s” disappearance was surrounding an attempt by him to elude police capture for an unrelated crime is perhaps plausible to an extent, but the willingness of others to aid in this guy’s intentional avoidance of having an encounter with the police that night, may be indicative of him being involved in the crime that took place in the apartment directly below where he was allegedly hiding from cops.”

–The People’s Champion Blog

TPC learned several years after the homicide that “Mercy” had not actually fled the scene that night as originally thought. He was allegedly in the apartment directly above the one where Malone was killed. Its unknown whether this allegation was ever confirmed, but it should have served as a pivotal moment in the case, that reportedly may have shed new light on the entire matter, and should have directly challenged the credibility of Benford and Smith, regarding statements they gave police that fateful night. Let’s face it, did Benford and Smith know that “Mercy” was held up in the apartment directly above the apartment where the Malone teen was killed, while the cops where there conducting their investigation? More importantly, if “Mercy” was also a victim of the alleged home invasion, why would Benford and Smith lie about where another victim in the crime whereabouts was? The rationalization that “Mercy’s” disappearance was surrounding an attempt by him to elude police capture for an unrelated crime is perhaps plausible to an extent, but the willingness of others to aid in this guy’s intentional avoidance of having an encounter with the police that night, may be indicative of him being directly involved in the crime that took place in the apartment directly below where he was allegedly hiding from the cops. Read my article on the newly discovered information in the Malone Homicide here: The Fight For Justice In Georgia Teen Slaying Continues Three Years Later With New Information

Knowing what we all know now, why on earth would anyone believe what these people had to say regarding what went on in that apartment the night young Vanessa was killed? Therefore, if the authorities don’t think that “Mercy” was a victim at all in the home invasion and now believe him to be the actual killer, its more than likely safe to assume that they also know that Benford and Smith may have lied to police about what happened to Malone that night. As a result they both could be criminally charged at the very least, with providing false information, conspiracy, accessory to murder after the fake, and potentially murder itself if its proven that they participated in anyway that resulted in her death (i.e. calling her to lure her to their apartment knowing that potential harm may have awaited her).

Additionally, if the tenant(s) who lived above the crime scene were in fact interviewed by cops that night, and its proven that they held information regarding the case from police, they could be criminally charged as well. Either way, I stand by my original posture regarding this tragic story, that young Vanessa Malone was lured to that apartment, after potentially being accused of something, and for the purpose of violence. Similar perspectives are offerred on the True Crime Daily Podcast embeded below.

The above true Crime video shows a clip of “Honey’s” mother Flora Malone describing the odd manner in which her daughter was behaving prior to leaving the home that last night. The way the mom describes it, it appears almost as if it was a final goodbye, that wasn’t fully realized until she was summoned to those apartments after having been told that her youngest child had allegedly been killed. I can’t personally even imagine the feeling that she must have endured, and nearly 8 years later the family is only at the begining of finding closure.

While the arrest of Donald “Mercy” Ashe appears to be a step toward justice in the Malone homicide, we must be cautioned that he has only been charged and suspected with having killed her. True justice is far from certain in any case, but I believe that once some of the basic questions that I’ve offered surrounding this case are answered, I believe not only will we know exactly what happened, justice will prevail, and young Vanessa “Honey” Malone may finally rest in eternal peace. This is what I believe and this is what we should all pray for. May God continue to comfort the Malone family as they relive this horrible nightmare again while seeking justice. God speed.

To be continued…

The People’s Champion

I’m Journalist and Crime Blogger David Adams

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied: What Is The Prosecutor’s Office In Madison County Illinois Hiding In The James Evans Conviction Part VII

When young Nekemar Pearson went missing in the town of Alton Illinois back in 1995, he was on court ordered home supervision while awaiting prosecution on criminal charges for murder. The youth was alleged to have killed Willie Nichols. One night when Pearson didn’t return home at the time he was ordered to, his mother filed a missing person report with Alton Police, but on the exact day he was alleged to have gone missing, there were eyewitness accounts that the youth had reportedly been seen running from Nichols’ family members, who pursued him, and were shooting at him as he fled. The police and the prosecutors office knew about this information, but never pursued this aspect of the case. It was even rumored that Pearson was hiding out to avoid becoming a casualty of a retaliatory murder.

There are still to this day a volume of theories about who may have killed Pearson, but back then, the police made a man named James Evans the primary suspect in the Pearson murder case, and subsequently set a series of criminal acts in motion to obtain an indictment and conviction of Evans, which resulted in him being sent to prison for over a century. The motive used by the state was that Evans killed Pearson in retaliation for a home invasion that Pearson and accomplices allegedly kidnapped Evans, beat him, robbed him of his vehicle, and stole expensive speakers from Evans’ truck and sold them within the community.

Rumors around Alton during that time depicted Evans as a drug dealer who had money, prompting the Pearson youth and others to invade Evans’ home in a robbery that only landed the brazing bandits a net of $35 dollars and the money they received from the sale of his car speakers. While Evans remained clueless regarding the identity of the masked men who had robbed him, he would eventually learn that it was Pearson who had sold his speakers. So, when the Pearson youth went missing, some say one of Pearson’s accomplice and Alton cop Bradley Wells concocted, and spent the theory around Alton that Evans must have retaliated against him for the home invasion robbery.

Strangely though, Alton police (Bradley Wells) obtained the details regarding the robbery from one of Pearson’s accomplices, who not only admitted his involvement along with Pearson, but was even allowed to go home the same day without any criminal charges being filed against him. That aspect of the case has raised eyebrows and sparked suspicion within the community for years, based on what people have conveyed to TPC. Its an unlikely outcome for anyone who admits to police such a violent crime and then is allowed to roam free. The wide speculation regarding how the story that Evans killed Pearson was created, may have been the result of a deal brokered by dirty cops and a violent felon, who conveniently got out of a robbery and abduction beef for essentially playing ball with Wells and the prosecutors office to help frame Evans for the Pearson killing.

With the information implicating Pearson and others in the robbery and abduction of Evans, Alton police, allegedly spearheaded by Bradley Wells, set out to develop a complete fabricated conspiracy of how and why Evans murdered Nekemar Pearson, while the fact that the youth had been pursued after in a violent manner by members of Willie Nichols family, was an extremely pervasive piece of discovery in the case and an incident that just so happened to have occurred on the same day he went missing, and also just happened to be on the one year anniversary of Willie Nichols’ killing that had allegedly been committed by Pearson. Its simply incredulous that this information never made it into the Evans case during the trial.

None of these facts mattered to Alton police, but you would have to understand the culture of policing in the town during that time to fully grasp how Evans’ story became an American Tragedy. Evans’ fate appeared to be sealed when he caught the eer of Bradley Wells, who suspected that Evans was a lowlife neighborhood drug dealer (an allegation, despite testimony from state witnesses who say he was, Evans has never been proven to be a drug dealer) that Wells had a hard on for. People in Alton who have been in Wells’ office back during the 1990’s, say that Wells had two photos on his desk. One of his family and one of Evans.

I’m told that Wells fostered a hatred for Evans that ran so deep, that nearly everyone who got into trouble back then were offered plea deals, money, and even had charges dropped against them in exchange for any dirt they could provide that would help nail Evans with criminal charges in the Pearson homicide. Also, while I have exposed details of individuals who took deals from the state testifying to fabricated accounts that were manufactured and fed to them by the prosecutor’s office, I won’t go in depth by identifying them in this article, to avoid showing Mr. Evans’ hand with his case now being appealed before courts.

However, I will say this. Rarely has there ever been a capitol murder case that resulted in the conviction of a defendant, when there was absolutely no evidence whatsoever connecting the defendant to the crime. The state marched witness after witness into the courtroom and one after the other, they were all dressed in jail or prison garb, and had some sort of plea deal on the table with the state in exchange for their false testimony against Evans in the Pearson murder case. All along while the state knew that Pearson hadn’t been killed on the day they told the Evans trial jury he was. In fact, the state had an affidavit from an Alton School Police Resource officer (Cooley) who had arrested Pearson in the past, indicating that he saw Pearson and another youth walking down the street 10 days after the day the state told the jury that Evans had killed the youth.

The suppression of this highly exculpatory evidence is discovery that was never disclosed to Evans’ defense, and its doubtful that a jury would have found him guilty of murder when the alleged victim was reportedly still alive over a week after the day prosecutors were claiming he was killed. Also, these details were not known by Mr. Evans until years after he had been convicted and was serving a 107 years sentence.

Then there is the issue with the audio tapes the state played for the jury that they say is Evans conspiring to kill his alleged co-conspirators in the Pearson murder. Evans has always contended that the audios were tapes of multiple conversations edited to appear as one. Which is why Evans has for years been seeking to obtain originals of the audios for forensic testing purposes to determine their authenticity. However, for some reason the audios played for the jury during Evans’ trial is an achilles heel for the state prosecutor’s office in Madison County Illinois, who despite several court orders for them to turn over trial audios to the Evans defense, has failed to do so.

The arguments are simple in this case and should have been a rudimentary aspect of post conviction, which is the appellate process in which every convicted criminal has a constitutional right. Despite the fact that Evans was convicted and committed to a state correctional facility to serve out his term, he still has rights under state and federal law. He has been denied many of these rights though. The state of Illinois has long established that post conviction proceedings should take no more than a little over a year to complete. Mr. Evans has been incarcerated for nearly 22 years and his appeal has been available for adjudication since 2001. His case has such an inordinate delay, that its entirely suspicious in terms of how the judge has allowed this process to linger for so long, especially considering such blatant defiance of the court by the Madison County prosecutor’s office by not releasing discovery.

Its highly unlikely that the original trial judge who is also seated over Evans’ post conviction proceedings, would rule adversely against a trial and conviction that he adjudicated. So what exactly is the delay here, and why hasn’t the court under this judge sanctioned prosecutors or held them in contempt for their failure to comply with a volume of court orders directing them to turn over discovery? We must be mindful that without out Evans’ claims being properly adjudicated, he can’t move forward through the appellate process and pray before a higher court. Without those audio tapes that are a very crucial element of his appeal, he is stuck in a holding pattern and can’t move forward. Where are those audios that were played during his original trial? That’s the million dollar question. They are either legitimate recordings or like Evans has claimed, there is some funny business going on.

Therefore, in the minds of the all white trial jury that found Evans guilty without a shred of physical evidence, with possible manufactured audio tapes, suppressed exculpatory evidence, and with only hearsay testimony he must have been guilty of the crimes in the minds of his trial jury. Perhaps if Evans had those test to prove that they are fake or if his defense had that police affidavit, maybe they wouldn’t have found him guilty. Case closed is what the state wants you to believe. They want you to believe that despite never having any criminal history of violence, that Evans retaliated against Pearson for robbing him, and subsequently shot and killed him, and discarded his body in the woods up north in Godfrey Illinois. That’s what the state of Illinois wants you to believe, because in Madison County, which is just a stone’s throw away from the famed Dred Scott case, the life of a black man means nothing, and finding the actual person who killed a black youth is even more insignificant. Rather, its even perceived as a bonus when a black man is killed by another black man. Hell, who even cares if the right person is captured. That’s two for the price of one any way yo look at it.

That’s just all of my rhetoric though, what do I know? I’m just a writer who has been scouring through court records, interviewing people in Alton, and reading affidavits surrounding a bogus murder charge that has some very funky moving parts. The fact that the state has shown a deliberate unwillingness to follow court orders to turn over those original trial tapes, indicates very plainly, that they have no intention on doing so. Why? If the tapes are legitimate and the state believes in their case, that James Evans killed Nekemar Pearson which resulted in his conviction, then:

“Allow my claims to be adjudicated and provide the audio tapes so they can be forensically tested.” — James Evans

What does the Madison County Illinois prosecutor’s office have to hide?

To Be Continued…

I’m Crime Blogger David Adams

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