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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

The Growing Impact Of Social Media And The Mellinnial Backlash: Delaware State University White Athletic Coach Under Fire For Perceived Racist Post

Some say it was just a song and are genuinely confused regarding the fall out and outrage related to Delaware State Head Equestrian Coach Jennifer Ridgley’s social media post on Facebook, where the once esteemed University leader who is white, was depicted riding in a vehicle with another unidentified female on her personal time, singing lyrics to a rap song by troubled and controversial gangster rapper “Tekashi 6ix9ine” (real name Daniel Hernandez), which contained lyrics about gun violence, included vulgarity, and some say appeared racist considering the cavalier manner in which Ridgley conducted herself in the short video clip with no regard for her employment at an Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

The offensive video clip was posted on Ridgley’s Facebook page on June 30, 2019, but once it began to circulate a couple of days ago, a growing outcry from within the University’s Alumni and the greater Del State community began calling for her termination from the University and spread onto social media as well. The incident has also sparked growing debate regarding when an employee is actually free from their responsibilities in education and other professional industry. Ridgley has a tremendous record as a leader of the University, while the Delaware State equestrian program has grown to national prominence under her direction, and is a basic fact about her tenure that may serve as a buffer from growing ridicule that is related to her social media post.

“We send shots, shots, shots, shots, shots nigga!
It’s always 6ix9ine this and 6ix9ine that!
Niggas on my d#@k and on my yack.
These niggas lookin’ for me you could hit my jack.”

— Gangster Rapper 6ix9ine

The core of the debate as depicted on threads within social media appears to be predicated on the fundamental argument of our constitution’s first amendment, the “freedom of speech and expression.” A basic freedom for which every American is entitled to based on the nation’s original charter, but in the age of digital technology coupled with a millennial societal code, such freedoms aren’t exactly guaranteed anymore depending on your personal conduct that some within society may deem offensive. Its a trend sparked by young people in the 21st century that has powerful backlash and consequences when private life meets the age of digital technology.

Those who criticize Ridgley’s action say she should have known better when you consider the political climate in our country, our current President, and his white supremacist political base. Although it really was a song that Ridgley was singing on her own time, those lyrics have a disturbing and controversial stigmatization, and is troubling to many Americans considering the epidemic of gun violence in our country. “We send shots, shots, shots, shots, shots nigga! It’s always 6ix9ine this and 6ix9ine that! Niggas on my d#@k and on my yack. These niggas lookin’ for me you could hit my jack,” certainly aren’t the kind of words you would expect to hear coming from a leader in higher education.

In the below attached undated communication to the Delaware State University community that was signed by President Dr. Wilma Mishoe and Provost Dr. Tony Allen, the public was advised that Ridgley had been placed on administrative leave pending an ongoing investigation into the social media post from her Facebook page. While some applauded Mishoe’s swift action related to the incident, others were disturbed that Ridgley would in fact be paid while on leave from her job with the University, but its not that simple. While her actions may have been alarming and offensive to many, unless there was a social media or code of conduct clause in her employment contract or within the University’s collective bargaining agreement with its employees, the institution has no just cause to just simply terminate her. She is in fact entitled to due process under the University’s policy practices. It almost seems more beneficial for the University to simply payout her current contract, to just simply rid itself of her. That’s an action I’m sure may be plausible and legal.

Now that the University has spoken and taken action to at the very least, temporarily remove Ridgley from her coaching position, those who have looked into her actions more closely like most, are probably concerned and wondering why a song by a 22-year-old rapper, singing about gun violence and other explicit language referring to the nether regions of the human anatomy would be interesting enough to an NCAA athletic coach, that it not only appeared humorous to her, but allowed it to motivate her to post the content on social media. Its probably very logical reasoning to consider if at any point Ridgley ever thought about the potential backlash that the content contained in her personal video would create, or if it even mattered to her at all.

A volume of posters on social media simply referred to Ridgley’s behavior as a brief lapse of judgement, but its important to note that after the video was created, there is another process, like actually uploading the clip to Facebook that has to occur before it can be viewed by anyone else. So, what part was actually the moment of poor judgement? Not just that though, after all of the controversy related to rap music over the years since its inception into mainstream music in the early 1970’s, it suddenly became a music genre that drew widespread concern from parents when their children began singing musical lyrics that contained vulgar terms such as “nigga”, “bitch”, and “hoes.”

Since Ridgley’s job requires her to interact with a volume of very impressionable young adults, perhaps its an aspect of cultural etiquette that Ridgley was ignorant to, but regardless, as a leader at an Historically Black College and University, Ridgley should more than reasonably have known better than to allow such behavior to be as widespread on social media as it has become. It was extremely arrogant and disrespectful for her to make such a video public. Her posting the video was no coincidence and likely was deliberate. Why though? More importantly, why would any middle age working adult professional allow themselves to be cast in such negative light, especially related to music by “Tekashi 6ix9ine” who was convicted in January of this year for federal crimes after confessing to racketeering, illegal firearms possession, and aiding in attempted murder as part of a violent crime ring, the Trey Nine gangsters. Also, in a separate 2015 case, Hernandez pleaded guilty to criminal sex acts with a 13-year-old after claiming he believed she was in fact 19-years-old.

There are a volume of students who come to Del State from various inner city communities to escape the kind of violence depicted in the song that Ridgley was singing, in pursuit of higher education which could lead to better financial opportunities for them. Its simply counter productive for a leader in higher education of any capacity to not only allow themselves to be scrutinized in such a fashion, but also become such a distraction in the workplace that it may cause them to lose their employment, which in many cases is completely justified when such an unnecessary negative image is brought to the doorstep of any institution of higher learning.

Also, some say that the writing was on the wall and Ridgley should have been dealt with years ago after a student protest on campus back in 2010 regarding the disbanding of the University’s Equestrian team that was announced by then University President Dr. Harry Williams. The students rode the school’s horses onto the main campus and blocked the entrance to the administrative building, in protest of the equestrian program being disolved, and allegedly at the behest of Ridgley. Yet, while Ridgley has come under fire for her social media post that some called racist, the coach may be a problem of Delaware State’s own making.

Several decades ago when HBCUs began suffering financially, a growing trend emerged where institutions that were historically black had to reinvent themselves to keep their doors open. The former Morris Brown College collapsed under the financial struggles described, and even South Carolina State nearly went under. In Dover the lack of funding forced Del State along with other HBCUs to diversify as a sound strategy to survive economically. While those running the respective HBCUs won’t readily admit it, the takeover of black Colleges and Universities began several decades ago. When diversification was ushered in as a business marketing strategy, Del State and others began aggressively recruiting white students, white faculty, and white staff out of necessity to simply survive. For those who don’t believe its true, do your own research, and you’ll discover how the demographics of a volume of historically black institutions of higher learning have flipped.

While Delaware State’s student body is still composed of roughly 73% of its enrollment, 65% of the faculty and staff are now white. A fact which supports the argument of diversification in an effort to attract more white students. Unfortunately, when you recruit staff for a specific and limited criteria, often times the result is obtaining educators who don’t foster the kind of pride that once existed in an HBCU like Del State, and many of these same educators often feel empowered to do essentially what ever they please. Ridgley’s video clip was despicable on its face, but the outright gull to post it on social media was as if she dared the University to do something about it.

That’s why I’m glad that Dr. Mishoe didn’t even flinch in making the decision to take corrective action in this incident, as it has become a distraction, is disrespectful to our young people, and is exactly the kind of poor judgement that should never be indicative of the caliber of educator employed at Delaware State University. I join my Hornet family who applaud Dr. Mishoe’s swift action related to this matter, and only hope that the necessary process begins to govern this kind of behavior in the future for anyone associated with the University. This kind of disrespect for the legacy of Delaware State should never be tolerated. Needless to say, financial support by Alumni will always serve as a remedy to help prevent such dire measures that the University may be forced to pursue for financial stability at the expense of losing its cultural identity in an effort to survive economically.
(To comment, select the “Read More” button. bottom right of the blog post, and scroll to the bottom for comment features).

The People’s Champion

I’m Crime Blogger David Adams

“When They See Us: Mini Series On Central Park 5 Was A Prelude To The O.J. Simpson Case, And Highlights Historic White Outrage & Fear”

Film maker Ava Duvernay’s Netflix series about the wrongful conviction of five black and latino boys in the late 1980’s for the beating and rape of a white New York investment banker, is perhaps one of the most gut wrenching, soul stirring and provocative stories appearing on film regarding race in America since Alex Haley’s “Roots.” The writer captured the essence of what many criminal defendants of color have been claiming for decades. While the vast majority of their cries regarding police brutality, coercion of statements, and other illegal police tactics seem to always fall upon death ears, in a rare fashion the “Central Park 5 case” was textbook in supporting these claims, but only after the real perpetrator of the crime came forward and confessed.

As depicted in the “When They See Us” series, the evidence initially didn’t fit a multiple suspect scenario, but prosecutor Linda Fairstein pressured police investigators to round up any black person in the park on the night of the attack. In a wide dragnet similar to how mobs of angry whites would gather up any black person in sight when the mere implication of disrespect, assault, or any perceived harm of a white woman was alleged to have happened, police set out and did just that at the behest of Fairstein. The fact that none of the “Central Park 5” knew each other, is a clear indication of just how random police were in their selection of potential suspects.

With the exception of Corey Wise who was 16 years of age at the time of the crime (Considered an adult at age 16 in the State of New York), none of the youths’ parents were present during the initial police interviews and interrogations, which police and prosecutors should have known would be problematic from the gate. Then add food and rest deprivation along with alleged police brutality to the mix, and even the most hardened or resilient kid between the ages of 14-16 could potentially say what ever police authorities wanted them to say. The kids cracked under this kind of pressure after being hounded for 12 of more hours, in an effort for no other provocation but to simply get out of there, and while not fully understanding the consequences of implicating themselves in a felony crime of this nature.

Now that the Netflix series has gone viral, many of the law enforcement officials involved in the prosecution of the Central Park case have come forward and denounced Ava Duverney’s version of the case as “complete fabrication,” despite to the contrary that there was no physical evidence linking any of the boys to the crime. The only evidence that investigators had was circumstantial in the frivolous confessions extracted from the youths during their initial interviews with the police, and without the presence of their parents or legal counsel which was a direct violation of their constitutional rights. Yet Fairstein and others pushed the prosecution of these juvenile subjects, when in fact the confessions should never have been permitted to be entered as evidence on the grounds that they were illegally obtained. This is the American justice system version when people of color lives are in the balance.

During a CNN interview former police officer Eric Reynolds claimed that Duvernay’s version was marred with inaccuracy, and chiefly the claim that the youths were interviewed without their parents present. Reynolds claimed that the parents were in fact there during the interviews, and implored viewers to watch the interviews in their entirety for themselves. Reynolds claims are nothing more than an attempt to gain support from the white American public in the belief that the “Central Park 5” were in fact guilty. However, when you watch the confessions you see that the youths were asked if they had previously made a statement to police regarding what they were about to tell prosecutors. Law enforcement never talk about the police interviews or reveal those recordings, and when you consider the fact that known of them knew each other, juxtapose to the confessions where they implicate each other and fail to align their statements with the evidence or the correct location of the crime, its clear that something doesn’t add up. (Eric Reynolds CNN interview)


— Donald Trump

The official’s consistent posture of pointing to the youth’s being guilty isn’t just preposterous considering the facts we now know, but it points to a sickness that could have only derived from the kind of blood thirst mob mentally that permeated the New York media at the height of the “Central Park Jogger” case. Since the crime involved a brutal rape and attack of a white woman by an alleged group of savage black youth, even wealthy business tycoon Donald Trump couldn’t contain his personal outrage at the time. In fact, Trump took out full page ads in all of the major New York newspapers calling for the death penalty to be reinstated in the state. “BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY. BRING BACK OUR POLICE,” the ads read. Trump’s public and personal posture fueled outrage within the white American public, and made the alleged confessions appear even more damning and believable.

Although years later when the real perpetrator emerged and confessed, we learned the true extent of the facts in the case. It was a complete shame what prosecutors and the police did to those boys, and the emotionally charged film left many viewers readily admitting that the series brought them to tears. The anger within the black community mostly stem from how these youths lives were snatched away from them at such a young age, when prosecutors and officials may knowingly have aggressively prosecuted them for crimes they may have known they didn’t commit. Also, the constant denial by officials despite glaring elements of the case to the contrary, is simply a common practice by law enforcement around the country, in what appears to be a national public policy by police agencies regarding people of color within the criminal justice system, so much so that it seemed to be a prelude to so many other highly publicized cases with black defendants.

Just six years later the “mob mentality” would rear its ugly head once again during the O.J. Simpson case. Known as the trial of the century, Simpson’s murder trial for the killing of his ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman was also heavily publicized within the media, and just like in the “Central Park 5” defendant’s case Simpson was crucified in the media long before the case even went to trial. The circumstances of the cases did differ in terms of the actual crime and criminal charges, and Simpson had an alleged history of domestic violence that may have helped elevate the public’s belief in his culpability in the killings. Yet, both cases involving violence toward at least one white female in each case seem to trump (no pun intended) the presumption of innocence for all defendants in the subject criminal cases.

Let us also not forget that just 7 years prior to the “Central Park” case, the American public had a wake up call and an extremely harsh look at the policing culture in our nation that unfolded before the entire country, when an amateur video surfaced showing the brutal police beating of motorist Rodney King. Despite the clear and convincing evidence of police brutality, Los Angeles police along with the news media, painted a haunting image of King’s criminal history. Its a tactic widely utilized today to some how justify the brutality against criminal suspects of color, in an effort to overshadow the wrong doing and often criminal conduct of the police, and aid in soliciting these cultural police practices to the American public that the defendants deserved it because they are bad people.

Like the “central Park 5” and O.J. Simpson cases, the Rodney King beating in 1992 was a highly publicized incident as well, but the irony of it is, even with video footage of a seemingly docile and non-combative Rodney King being pummeled by police, King was made to be the villain in a case where the officers involved in the beating were initially acquitted of any wrong doing. The media and a bold, apathetic, and sick white American public sided with police, while claiming King was a big violent dude, and even though he lay subdued on the ground under vicious attack by police batons, he was still some how a legitimate threat to a volume of police officers at the scene.

Moreover, as the number of police shootings of unarmed black people continues to rise in a national epidemic, its clear to many within the black community, violence and criminal persecution that once openly plagued blacks, when in an instance and for no other provocation other than mere suspicion or false allegations of a crime against society’s code of conduct for blacks, that while its not as overt like during slavery or the time of Jim Crow, its more organized, sophisticated, and still has the approval and backing of the white American public. When you look deeply in to the annals of history in the American criminal justice system where black people are concerned, you’ll discover a consistent pattern of unfairness in comparison to their white counterparts when similarly situated when facing criminal prosecution.

What is it that has caused such an unbalanced scale of justice in the United States along the lines of race? Some say its white fear, white supremacy, and white privilege. No matter what the cause actually is, there is a plethora of cases historically, that sheds light on the treatment of black people who find themselves embroiled with the law. The “Central Park 5” case is indicative of how our children are not immune from white American injustice.

The People’s Champion

I’m Crime Blogger David Adams

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied: Statements & Documents Show That Murder and Conspiracy Charges Against James Evans Stem From Contempt Of Cop Style Justice Part VI

(Many of the facts contained in this article were derived from and are supported by the Appellate Brief of Larry Greer)

As in any criminal case, whether the process involves felony or misdemeanor crimes, the burden of proof always falls upon the prosecutor and the police officials who brought the criminal case before the courts. The law is suppose to deem all defendants innocent until proven guilty. I believe our justice system has proven countless times over, that the supposed perception of innocence perhaps, leaves much to be desired by those who find themselves standing before the courts in judgement with their lives in the balance.

Long before the gavel lands upon the courts final disposition of criminal cases, the people will have spoken in a trial where by the defendants were afforded a jury of their peers, and the entire process should have been an impartial adjudication governed by the laws of the respective jurisdiction for which the defendants have been tried. Those of us who hail from marginalized communities know all to well that such a process hasn’t exactly ever been fair to poor and indigenous people (of all races) within this country, who also know that the word of a police officer holds far more weight than any credible eyewitness a defendant could ever produce.

It wasn’t until the early 1990’s that the American public began to see the disparity and unfairness of policing in this country, when the shameful Rodney King beating case was unveiled for all to see, which depicted a culture of police violence that had long permeated our nation without scrutiny from the American public. Despite the emergence of surveillance footage of the incident being captured by a citizen, which clearly showed indisputable police brutality and excessive force, many of the officers involved were initially and shockingly acquitted of any wrong doing in the case.

Other high profile cases of police violence (excessive force), corruption, and police involved shootings of unarmed black men that have made national headlines, has placed bright lights and a microscope on police agencies around the country, which was born out of public fear, distrust, and the lack of transparency by police agencies when civilians come in contact with police officials. Also, depending upon the demographic of the communities that certain police agencies serve, the cops can do no wrong and often times a prosecutor in many of these jurisdictions can indict, prosecute, and convict a ham sandwich because the allegiance to the police is just that strong within certain sub-cultural settings in modern society.

“They harassed me so much that when ever they showed up at the door, I just started to asking them if they had a warrant, and when they said they didn’t, I just politely closed the door,” the source said.

Now in the instance case (People of Illinois vs. James Evans) over 20 years later, a mountain of information has been uncovered, with witnesses who are no longer afraid of alleged corrupt cops and the county prosecutor’s office, are now speaking up and helping formulate a classic horror story of injustice and showing exactly how ruthless, moralless, and lawless policing allegedly operated in some counties in the United States, such as Madison County Illinois during the early 1990’s.

Latosha White-Hamilton who was an alleged former co-defendant of James Evans, told TPC during a telephone interview that police officials and a prosecutor allegedly attempted to pressure her into making false statements that would implicate herself and Evans in a murder for hire conspiracy. White’s comments regarding police intimidation and coercion was not the first person who told TPC that former Alton Detective Bradley Wells, prosecutor Keith Jensen, and others used the same tactics to hold their personal criminal troubles against them, in an effort to pressure them into making false statements against James Evans.

One alleged defendant in the conspiracy to commit murder indictment, who understandably, doesn’t want to be mentioned on record, told a story which details how Detective Wells and former Detective John Lakin allegedly and repeatedly appeared at their residence harassing them to make false statements on record about Evans and a $10,000.00 murder for hire conspiracy they wanted them to falsely implicate Evans in. The story they (Wells and Lakin) allegedly wanted told was a complete fabrication, the source said. “They harassed me so much that when ever they showed up at the door, I just started asking them if they had a warrant, and when they said they didn’t, I just politely closed the door,” the source said. Then one day they in fact showed up at their residence with an actual arrest warrant which charged them with conspiracy to commit murder anyway. The source gave other statements also regarding the case, but those comments won’t be mentioned on record in fear that the information might compromise the sources identity which TPC has agreed not to disclose.

White and the unnamed source’s comments are not just intriguing because it relates to serious cases of violence and murder, its just that their individual perspectives contain similar details on how police and the county prosecutor’s office went about attempting to obtain damning statements against James Evans, and more importantly though, the comments made by them are not the only people who are now saying nearly the exact same thing. During the phone interview with White, she also pointed TPC in the direction of Mr. Larry Greer’s case, which prosecutors alleged was in fact connected to the Evans cases, and TPC has obtained a copy of Greer’s Appellate Briefing which petitions the courts to overturn his conviction in a murder case for which he received a 40 year sentence. Depending on who you believe, the brief outlines a disturbing tale where by Greer changes the comments he made to police so many times, that its disturbing and highly suspect the authorities even used his testimony during the Evans trial.

Also, when you read the Greer Appellate Brief you learn that Greer’s interaction with authorities were suspicious at the very least. It describes how Greer (an alleged known “crackhead”) gives a story pertaining to the murder of Brian Warr (an alleged co-defendant of James Evans in the Nekemar Pearson slaying) on September 12, 1998, and when the cops didn’t belief his version they initially charged him with obstructing justice, arrested him, and placed him in the county jail on those charges). Greer summonses the authorities back to the jail where he changes his statement, and implies that Evans might be involved buy saying that Warr and Evans were having problems, but didn’t identify Warr’s shooter even though he was seated right next to Warr in the vehicle when the shooting occurred. Then on October 7, 1998 Greer was arrested on a substance charge. He asked to speak to a detective Adams to whom he gave a third statement regarding the Warr killing.

During the interview with Adams Greer identifies a man name Robert Fletcher (a Crip Gang member) as the person who shot and killed Brian Warr, and admitted that he had not been truthful in his previous statements to police because he was “scared.” Following that interview with Adams, Larry Greer was released from custody. On October 29, 1998 Greer testified during Robert Fletcher’s indictment hearing while again identifying Fletcher as the person who shot and killed Warr. Greer went on to testify that Warr had a gun with a laser sight on it. The gun didn’t work but Warr (according to Greer) had been pointing it at Fletcher. Greer would later admit that he made up the story about the gun and the laser sight at Fletcher’s request in exchange for Fletcher posting his bond.

Greer wouldn’t speak to police officials pertaining to the Warr killing again until March 31, 1999 (detectives Simmons and Wells conducted the interview) after Greer allegedly received a threatening note from Fletcher. Greer, Simmons, and Wells would speak the very next day (April 1, 1999). Greer testified before the Grand Jury again later that same day, telling the same story about having lied about the gun and laser, but then stated that in 1996 Fletcher believed that James Evans had arranged to have Nekemar Pearson (Fletcher’s best friend) killed. Greer then proceeds to tell a story about Evans and Warr dealing drugs together, as Evans, Warr, Fletcher, and Greer go back and forth regarding who actually killed Pearson (Greer’s account). This is where the story becomes confusing. Fletcher allegedly tells Greer that he was offered $3000 dollars by Evans to kill Warr (a very interesting fact is, that while Greer’s alleged stories indicate that Evans and Warr sold drugs together, there was never a motive established regarding why Evans wanted Warr killed, and more importantly, it seemed to be a conflict of interest for Evans to want to hire a Crip gang member to kill any one, when the Crips were supposed to have allegedly had a hit out on Evans for the killing of Fletcher’s friend Nekemar Pearson) then there was the story that Evans gave Greer $5,000 and 4 1/2 ounces of crack cocaine to be used to pay Fletcher for the hit on Warr. The state would even produce a witness later (Jody Wesley, who was a convicted felon, who served time in federal prison, and was facing state charges at the time) who didn’t know Fletcher or Warr, but alleged that they both spoke to him at length at the county jail about the murder for hire plot on Warr. Wesley also alleged that Greer said that he was paid $1500 dollars to set up his best friend to be murdered, and that Fletcher was the person who carried it out. The brief highlights rambling details that go on and on, and really doesn’t make a lot of sense when you try to understand all of the moving parts. I won’t spoil the rest of the intricate details contained in the Larry Greer Appellate Brief, which makes good reading for a cop drama television show, except this is about the lives of real life people who allegedly went to prisoner based on very shady information allegedly fabricated and cooked up by police authorities.

Its also important to note that while Greer was simply seated in a car with Warr when he was allegedly killed by Robert Fletcher, the cops and the prosecutor’s office kept him under constant scrutiny over the Warr killing, eventually began pressuring him to falsely implicate James Evans, and it was like a cat and mouse game between Greer and the authorities. When ever he told the cops something they wanted to hear he was rewarded with his freedom, and when ever he refused, or didn’t give information that satisfactory supported the the version they wanted conveyed, he was punished with criminal charges (fact), but you’ll have to read his Appellate Brief to discover how that all played out in an extremely sickening diatribe of varying allegations contained in the Greer Appellate Brief.. (read the Larry Greer Appellate Brief in the link below)

Larry Greer Appellate Brief

“That’s their version. What they made up and wanted me to say when they held my freedom over my head, you know, and money and different things like that.”

–Larry Greer

Larry Greer would deny receiving $5000 dollars and 4 1/2 ounces of crack cocaine from James Evans. That story was created by detective Simmons and prosecutor Jensen (also corroborating allegations regarding the authorities attempting to pressure potential witnesses who were facing criminal charges of their own, into making false statements to implicate James Evans in crimes that were alleged by Ms. White and others). To highlight the irregularity and potential criminal actions taken by police authorities, when Greer testified during the Grand Jury and was released, he was paid the $1500 dollars that was used to post his bond on the obstruction of justice charges (essentially paying him for his testimony). Also, court documents based on testimony given, Greer had also been given $100 dollars in early October by a Captain Spaul and detective Bradley Wells (a gesture that was problematic and some say was done to help him feed his drug habit, and make him willing to go along with future false statements).

Larry Greer was once again arrested for a look alike substance charge from October of 1998 to February of 1999. Greer would again speak to detectives Simmons and Wells in March. At that time Detective Simmons instructed him to change his story to “this murder for hire plot that Jason Simmons orchestrated.”

Court documents indicate that Greer Stated: “He (Simmons) told me he wanted me to say that Raven (James Evans) paid me and Fletcher to have it done (Warr killing), and it ain’t what –nothing like that, and then he said, well, there’s going to be a lot of people in the near future that’s going to get on the band wagon and go along with this story. You might as well get on. I said I’m not innocent. I said this statement that I gave to the Alton Police was the true statement. It’s really what happened. He didn’t want the truth. He said innocent people go to jail all the time. That’s what he told me.”

Greer testified that he was arrested again in of June 1999 for unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. While in custody on that charge Greer says he had a meeting with prosecutor Kieth Jensen during the first week of July at the Madison County jail. According to Greer Jensen attempted to persuade Greer into adopting the $10,000 dollar murder for hire plot, and when Greer told Jensen he would not go along with such a story the meeting abruptly ended. Greer remained in the county jail for over six months on the pistol charge. Crumbling under pressure, Greer sent word that he was prepared to admit his involvement in the Warr murder. “Yeah, I wrote a letter. They broke me down. They broke me,” Greer allegedly stated. He also allegedly said “okay I’m ready to do it y’all way.” Then another meeting was arranged, and Greer was promised that he would not be charged with murder.”

“We just want you to go along with this story because, you know, we want to get Raven (James Evans) — we’re trying to get Raven convicted on this,and we need you. The only way we’re going to get Raven tied in for this murder is we need you.”

— Prosecutor Keith Jensen, as alleged in court documents by Larry Greer

Then on January 18, 2000, Greer communicated to another detective (Golike) that the statement he made previously to authorities regarding the conversations he had with Fletcher prior to the Warr murder, and what happened on the night of the murder was not true. According to court documents once again, Greer admitted to authorities that he had not been truthful in previous statements, but while his recantations were continuously changing, they also suddenly began to remain on a consistent theme (the attempted coercion of testimony and false statements pressure from police and the prosecutor’s office). Court documents also demonstrate that Greer testified:

“No, it was — it was Keith Jensen and Jason Simmons’ story put together. Every time that — every time I gave them a story, they let me go. They wanted me to — then I’d get locked up again. They say, well, you want — you want to go, just give us a little bit more. Give — just make yourself a little bit more involved.We’re not going to charge you, but they would always say we’ve got enough evidence to charge you with murder right now, but we’re not. He’d say we are not going to charge you with murder. We just want this. We want this $10,000 dollar murder for hire story.”

–Larry Greer

On the very next day that Greer refused to testify to the story related to the $10,000 dollar murder for hire plot, at the trial of Robert Fletcher, that the state had allegedly pressured him to do, Greer was subsequently charged with murder in the killing of Brian Warr.

“My attorney Batemen then stated that Larry Greer had already signed up for the deal and told me to think about it. I replied that Larry was a ‘crackhead’ and would do and say anything to obtain drugs to get free to smoke some more, and that I was not going to lie for the state, and I wanted nothing to do with being a ‘lying snitch’. “

–Robert Fletcher

Something had change inside Larry Greer though. Some people who know him say they believe he grew a conscious after learning that the state wanted Evans eligible for the death penalty. Greer had been willing to change his story for the authorities it seems, on multiple occasions, and even implicating himself in a murder that the state never proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he was involved in. The state of course produced rebuttal witnesses denying that they ever tried to solicit the murder for hire plot to Greer, and if it wasn’t for the fact that a volume of other people had already said essentially what Greer stated about being pressured and coercion of testimony, he might simple have been dismissed as a basic “crackhead” as described by Robert Fletcher. Despite all of Greer’s recantations about crimes to the police, he still appears credible in a notarized affidavit composed on September 28, 2012, when you juxtapose the affidavit to his testimony contained in the Appellate brief, and when he admits that he couldn’t lie for the state anymore when considering the state was trying to make Evans eligible for the death penalty. (read the affidavit of Larry Greer in the link below)

Larry Greer Affidavit

There are those who will highlight Larry Greer’s consistent story retractions as a viable means to discredit his allegations against law enforcement officials ( most likely, those within sub-cultural groups who have traditionally supported police as a cultural practice), but his claims are an echoing perspective that has consistently dogged authorities involved in these serious crimes, and the list of people who say that they were coerced into telling untruths against people that officials wanted prosecuted (like James Evans), is continuously growing. The state even allegedly solicited the murder for hire plot to Robert Fletcher, according to Fletcher’s own affidavit, which was composed on June 3, 2002. In the document Fletcher claims that he was offered leniency for an actual murder, that all indications suggest he did commit, if he would just testify to James Evans being the mastermind to all of the murders surrounding the related cases. (read the affidavit of Robert Fletcher in the link below)

Robert Fletcher Affidavit

Why such visceral hatred for Evans though? To add true and proper discernment to even began rationalizing what court documents obviously depict, nothing short of a potential witch hunt by law enforcement for one man, the premise for the alleged malicious pursuit of James Evans must be resolved. Prior to his arrest, indictment and subsequent convictions, Evans had no previous history of violent crime (one drug charge that was eventual dismissed). His reputation of allegedly being a “drug dealer” that I have mentioned from the onset of shedding light on this story, might be the source of the alleged pursual coveting of one man, that is completely obsessive, even for an alleged despised drug dealer, as the crime of drug solicitation is entirely different from a murder case.

The stories surrounding Bradley Wells having a picture of James Evan’s family on his desk in his office might also shed some light on perhaps, a deep perverse sickness, obsession of capturing an unjustly targeted suspect, or a contempt of cop mindset, which some studies related to policing indicate, is typically developed by some police who deem recidivist (re[p]eat criminal defendants) as a measure of disrespect, ultimately resulting in the defendant being arrested or charged with hyper policing tactics, to get them off the street once and for all regardless if sufficient evidence exist to prove criminal activity, and by any means necessary. Whether its “contempt of cop,” corruption, or that they just simply didn’t like Evans, it isn’t the type of policing conducive for any community, any society, any civilization, and it certainly isn’t justice when law enforcement can function in this manner to maliciously send citizens to prison for decades for crimes in which they haven’t committed.

Could any of this that’s now being revealed through court documents possibly be true? Then again of course, there is still the issue of the three (3) court orders, that still hasn’t produced those tapes.

To Be Continued In A Series…

The Peop;e’s Champion

I’m Crime Blogger David Adams


Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied: The Emergence Of Witnesses And Case Files Illuminates How James Evans Never Received A Fair Trial Under The U.S. Constitution Part V

The American criminal justice system is suppose to be a vehicle in which the law governs our democracy to insure the regulation of actions by citizens within our society at large. Often times the process fails to achieve impartiality (especially when young black men become embroiled in the criminal justice system) as the law was meant to exhibit in the legitimate pursuit, attack, or ridicule of those whose actions are alleged to have infringed upon, or broken established rules created for specific aspects of the law in general. Therefore, the court system serves under an umbrella of the law where criminal cases are heard, tried, and given final disposition at an beyond a reasonable doubt standard. The case of James Evans has failed miserably to achieve adjudication of the law based on such a standard.

“If found to be true, this would not only be grounds for, at the very least a new trial for Evans, but potentially criminal consequences (for prosecutorial misconduct such as subordination of perjury) for authorities involved in the Evans prosecution. Such a discovery would also establish that prosecutors, whether intentionally or not, introduced manufactured evidence against Evans, which would be a direct violation of his right to a fair and impartial trial under the U.S. Constitution.”

Now that the list of independent eyes viewing the Evans case outside of Madison County Illinois (site of original trial) has began to grow, more scrutiny has been placed on the Evans trial and conviction as a whole, while many questionable actions allegedly taken by police officials and the state attorney’s office that prosecuted the Evans case are starting to raise eyebrows, the abnormality and inordinate delay of Mr. Evans’ post conviction appellate process serves as a reminder, if not an exacerbation of the fundamental claims of many who see the lack of impartiality by the courts in the Evans case as an established policy to deny Evans due process under the law.

The appellate ruling of Mr. Evans’ convictions establishes a higher court’s affirmation of Madison County Illinois decision of guilt, based on the evidence presented at trial where a jury of Mr. Evans’ peers in fact found him guilty of 1st degree murder, and three counts of conspiracy to commit murder. Now Evans has been pursuing his appeals to the next level, but his claims have been stalled by the court in Madison County, where by the state prosecutor’s office has failed to turn over crucial items of discovery in which Evans is rightfully entitled to under the law, and the state has failed to turn over the requested materials despite three (3) separate court orders instructing the state to do so. Not just that though, it has been well established through case law, that post conviction processes in Illinois should take just over a year and a half to be completed, but Mr. Evans has been fighting the Madison County Courts for nearly eleven years now to obtain discovery necessary to support his claims within his eventual post conviction petitions. (see the complete James Evans Appellate Rulings below)

James Evans Murder Conviction Appellate Ruling

James Evans Conspiracy Conviction Appellate Ruling

The discovery that Mr. Evans seeks is in the form of audio tapes that were played before the jury during the trial and were believed to be a crucial aspect of the case which has led to Evans’ convictions (Evans has always made his claim known, that the tapes played during trial were recordings of multiple conversations that were edited to appear as just one). If found to be true, this would not only be grounds for, at the very least a new trial for Evans, but potentially criminal consequences (for prosecutorial misconduct such as subordination of perjury) for authorities involved in the Evans prosecution. Such a discovery would also establish that prosecutors, whether intentionally or not, introduced manufactured evidence against Evans, which would be a direct violation of his right to a fair and impartial trial under the U.S. Constitution. Some experts familiar with Illinois state law have conveyed to TPC, that such inaction by the courts regarding “these type of appellate issues, while they are highly irregular, seem to be the norm down in Madison County.” The state’s failure to turn over the tapes and the court’s failure to sanction state officials who have repeatedly disobeyed a court order, in many regards is what has caused a rally behind Mr. Evans by a growing support base who see him as being a political prisoner of Madison County Illinois. What’s on those tapes that has caused such an inordinate delay by state officials to obey three separate court orders to turn over the requested tapes? (view Evans’ petition for discovery related to the audio tapes below)

Evans’ Petition For Discovery (surrounding audio tapes related to his trial)

Also, suppression of highly exculpatory evidence by the state during the trial (in the form of a police affidavit, where the officer establishes that he in fact saw the murder victim in the Evans case, alive ten days after when he was allegedly abducted and subsequently killed by Evans and co-defendants), and ineffective counsel by the late Charles Shaw (former Defense counsel who some say was literal asleep at the wheel during court proceedings) who failed to impeach testimony during the trial, of those who claim that the victim Nekemar Pearson was last seen with Evans on the day he disappeared (although Shaw had evidence in his possession that disputed such allegations, where a witness name Lakiesha Steele told authorities that Pearson had in fact been chased and fired upon with guns by members of the family of Willie Nicholes on the day he disappeared, and that Pearson held up at her home to escape his alleged assailants). Pearson was in fact on house arrest for the murder of Willie Nicholes, and the date of his alleged disappearance was the one year anniversary of the Nicholes slaying. All of this evidence clearly lay out in documents of the case discovery as a matter of record. Yet, state authorities call the Evans conviction a solid case of justice, despite the fact that many who testified against him were either paid for their testimonies, given leniency, or granted immunity for their own personal criminal strife (fact). Some of these problematic issues of the Evans conviction are so rudimentary to established case law where Evans is similarly situated, that his case entirely appears to be a blatant violation of not just laws governing the state of Illinois, but some admit could be direct violation of federal statute, and more than likely the primary premise for the abnormality or inordinate delay of his appellate process by the Madison County courts.

In further discourse regarding the subject audio tapes, Mr. Evans’ claims are supported by an alleged co-defendant of his conspiracy to commit murder cases. In a recent interview with Ms. Latosha White-Hamilton, she conveyed that she was charged along side Mr. Evans for conspiring to kill Brian Warr, his father Lester Warr, and Clifton Wheeler (Brian Warr and Clifton Wheeler were also supposedly co-defendants of Mr. Evans’ in the murder case of Nekemar Pearson). Her alleged involvement in the murder conspiracies are related to her selling a firearm to a man name Tommy Rounds (Mr. Evans’ first cousin), who she says Detective Bradley Wells and state prosecutor Kieth Jensen attempted to pressure her into falsely stating that Evans had directed her to sell Rounds a gun, for the purpose of killing Lester Warr, and others who were alleged to have been targets of the murder conspiracy. White said the allegations were completely fabricated, and one of the reasons that she refused to falsely testify to the false allegations against Evans, because she learned that Rounds (an alleged known career confidential police informant) was wearing a wire for police authorities at the time she made the gun sale. White stated that she was never concerned about the murder conspiracy charge due to the entire story being a fabrication by an alleged corrupt detective name Brad Wells, but admitted that she was guilty of selling Rounds a firearm for which she legally had no license to do. White was so contrite with her involvement in the selling of a weapon, that she says she had even prepared to go to prison for her actions related to the firearm.

During the interview White went on to describe how she had no knowledge of the murder case for which Evans was convicted of killing Nekemar Pearson, because when she first met Mr. Evans, Pearson had already gone missing. “There were already posters around town seeking information about his disappearance when I met James,” she stated. She told TPC that she refused to tell a lie in court against Evans because despite pressure from Wells and the prosecutor’s office, she knew that their wasn’t anything on the wire recording (if they had a good connection) warn by police CI Tommy Rounds that could implicate her in any conspiracy to commit murder on anyone. White says she was embroiled in the case for over five (5) years until she finally plead out for the felony conviction of selling a firearm without a state license, a charge she willingly admitted she was guilty of.

“There was something F***** Up about those tapes. Wells and them did something to those tapes, that’s exactly why I never worried about the conspiracy charges. I kept telling my attorney to listen to the tapes, because I knew they were lying about the conspiracy charges.”

— Latosha White-Hamilton

However, when I discussed the allegations that Wells alleged regarding the gun sale being a directive given to her by Evans, she said that Evans did contact her regarding Rounds, but it was for a request to give Rounds money because he had just got out of prison. White went on to say that she simply thought Rounds needed monies to get back home to where he was from, but when she met Rounds (unsuspectingly by her) he was wearing a wire for police officials, and he asked her if she could help him get a gun. White said that her late ex who had been killed in a shooting involving the St Louis police, had a gun that was contained inside a shoe box that had been stored in a closet at her home. White alleges that she didn’t want the gun in her house and was willing to sell the weapon to Rounds, which she in fact did. White said that the audio tape that was probably produced from the wire Rounds wore would reflect what she described to TPC regarding her sale of the firearm to Rounds (she was never worried about conspiracy to commit murder charges because she knew that the tape didn’t record such a transaction, and deemed the murder conspiracy charges as a mere scare tactic by Wells and the state to force her to play ball in their fabricated story of supposed murder conspiracy crimes against James Evans).

The interview of Ms. White also revealed some other interesting parts of the case. White who had just recently spoken to Mr. Evans prior to her interview with TPC, hadn’t done so for over 20 years, as part of her plea agreement and condition of probation was to not have contact with Evans. Her comments regarding the alleged inculpatory tapes against her, Evans, and others were in fact inaudible she recalls, a claim that Evans has also consistently made regarding the tapes. Like Evans, White who states that she had the tapes for years before they were lost during her family’s move to another residence, describes the tapes as having a fuzzy sound during certain parts of the recordings (white noise), which made them inaudible and not understandable to an objective listener of the tapes. “There was something F***** Up about those tapes. Wells and them did something to those tapes, that’s exactly why I never worried about the conspiracy charges. I kept telling my attorney to listen to the tapes, because I knew they were lying about the conspiracy charges,” White told TPC during the interview.

At times during the interview White also voiced her anger, at the top of her voice at times, regarding the allegations of conspiring to kill Lester Warr. “Why on earth would we conspire to kill Lester? Why would we do that, and for what reason, White conveyed. It is a shame of what Wells and the state did to James,” she said. Her comments also supported claims outlined in testimony documents regarding Mr. Larry Greer who was convicted for involvement in the murder of Brian Warr. White says that Greer was simply sitting in a vehicle with Warr when a man name Robert Fletcher, a known Crip gang member and personal friend of Nekemar Pearson, shot and killed Brian Warr for his alleged involvement in the Pearson slaying. White explains that Greer drove Warr to the hospital and was subsequently charged and convicted in the Warr killing. She says that despite Greer’s efforts in a failed attempt to save Warr’s life by driving him to the hospital after he was shot, Wells initially charged him with obstruction of justice, then solicited him to make false statements against Evans pertaining to the Pearson murder. She says Greer played ball, testifying against Evans at his trial, but then Wells and state officials reneged on Greer’s immunity promise, and pursued charges against Larry Greer surrounding the Warr killing which resulted in a conviction and a 40 year sentence. White conveyed that anybody in Alton around that time who were connected to James Evans, that ran into criminal trouble, were pressured into making false statements against James. “Everyone who did were given deals on their charges, and like me, those who didn’t, were punished with aggressive prosecution that resulted in convictions and in some instances, lengthy prison sentences. Because of Brad Wells I have that felony gun charge over my head to this day because I wouldn’t lie against James Evans. I’m sorry, that’s something I just couldn’t do,” White said.

“true justice can only be served in the form of Bradley Wells being indicted for the crimes that he allegedly committed while he was a detective for the Madison County Sheriff Department.”

— A source on conditions of anonymity

Along side the comments made by Latosha White-Hamilton during her interview with The People’s Champion Blog, are comments made by others who spoke on conditions of anonymity out of so much fear of retaliation from police authorities and Crip gang members for what they know, that I am not even authorized to publish their comments regarding the case. I can only say that their comments are aligned with what has already be revealed regarding the coercion of false statements and testimony under duress while being pressured by Detective Wells and others.

Some of what people said under anonymity was very forthright and critical of the Alton Community for their belief in Evans’ guilt as outlined in local media. They argue that Evans was convicted long before his trial had ever began. Also, the Crip gang was harshly criticized for the violence within the community, and “for all of the tough guy, macho, gang banging persona that many of the wannabe thugs attempted to display around Alton, when those white cops like Brad Wells got whole of their a**es, they turned into little bitches. Its one thing to tell police what you know in an effort to save your self from a lengthy prison sentence, while you might be considered a snitch, people might understand why you did it. Crumbling under pressure for petty shoplifting theft charges, or allowing yourself to be pressured into making up some stuff to send a person to jail for sh*t you know he didn’t commit, is not even snitching. That’s being a bitch plain an simple,” the source told TPC. Others have also said that they hope the truth finally emerges about what happened to Nekemar Pearson, and that “true justice can only be served in the form of Bradley Wells being indicted for the crimes that he allegedly committed while he was a detective for the Madison County Sheriff Department.”

To Be Continued As Part Of A Series …

The People’s Champion

I’m Crime Blogger David Adams

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied: How Madison County Illinois Can Make An Innocent Man A Murderer Part IV

In the first few articles related to the James Evans wrongful conviction for murder case, I highlighted some critical points, made some strong accusations against law enforcement officials, and even provided actual documents from the case file to demonstrate just how flawed and problematic the James Evans case was. Given what we know about some police agency’s criminal tactics in modern American policing, it should come as no surprise that these kinds of heinous acts of corruption and crimes allegedly committed by cops and the Madison County prosecutor’s office are finally being brought to the surface.

After all, there are a plethora of convicts around the entire American criminal justice system seeking post conviction relief for some of the very same claims that are being made in the Evans case. Police misconduct which include intimidation of witnesses, coercion of testimony, the subordination of perjury, and suppression of exculpatory evidence by the Madison County prosecutor’s office are just a few of the problematic elements of Evans’ case that can be proven if anyone cared to just look at his case file.

“Most of the people they brought into court, one after another to testify against James Evans, were in shackles and handcuffs from correctional facilities.”

It should be reiterated that Evans’ trial and subsequent conviction for Murder and solicitation of murder were predicated on a mountain of lies allegedly fabricated by Detective Bradley Wells, John Lakin and County Prosecutor Kieth Jensen, who allegedly collaborated to concoct a fake story of a retaliatory murder, solicitation of murder, then subverted the facts, and concealed the truth to send an innocent man to prison (sound familiar?). The police officials allegedly used a cast of extremely shady characters in a completely circumstantial case, to obtain a conviction. Evans could even have received the death penalty in these cases.

As one person who was there during the trial stated, “most of the people they brought into court, one after another to testify against James Evans, were in shackles and handcuffs from correctional facilities.” This just seems incredulous that these characters who all had lengthy criminal histories, were deemed credible, without forensics, incriminating ballistics, a weapon, and other damning evidence usually present in a capitol murder case (fact). Essentially the state had nothing by way of physical evidence linking Evans to the crime, except testimony from known criminals who are believed to have testified for plea deals in exchange for leniency related to their own criminal strife.

Not just that though, but the state hid some extremely pertinent information from the Evans’ jury that would have been fruitful to his defense. Its well established now that an Alton Police Detective (Cooley) wrote an affidavit declaring that the victim (Nekemar Pearson) was seen alive by him 10 days after Evans and others were supposed to have abducted him and murdered him. They concealed other crucial facts also. The man who Evans was convicted for soliciting his murder (Brian Warr), allegedly confessed to Detective Brad Wells that Evans, Clifton Wheeler, and himself killed Pearson and discarded his body in a wooded area in Godfrey Illinois. Yet, Warr was suffering from mental illness. In fact Warr had recently signed himself out of a health facility where he was being treated for mental health related illness, around the time he gave his confession implicating Evans, Wheeler, and himself in the subject murder.

“Brian Warr had lost his mind and the state knew he was sick, but they used his false testimony to convict me. He was also supposed to have confessed on video recording, but it was never played during my trial.”

   — James Evans

Evans’ claim that the state knew about Warr’s mental health issues has tremendous credibility, especially when you consider the testimony of police Detective Bradley Wells, who admitted to allegedly extracting a confession from Warr. After Warr confessed to being involved in the Pearson murder, he was allowed to leave the police station and go home (some say Wells released him so he could be killed by Crip gang members, in retaliation for Pearson’s killing). Warr’s alleged mental instability was problematic for police authorities if you follow the logic of this case. Warr was subsequently gunned down the very night that news broke that he and Evans had allegedly murdered Pearson. In reality it appears that a mentally ill Brian Warr was allegedly manipulated by Brad Wells for his supposed confession and involvement in the Pearson murder, and then fed him to the wolfs on the streets (crip gang members) to have him exposed of, and making certain no one ever discovered that he was in fact sick.

More importantly, Warr’s admission not only places him at the scene of the abduction and subsequent murder of Pearson, but he along with Clifton Wheeler (by Warr’s alleged account) allegedly acted in harmony with Evans during this capital murder. Notwithstanding that the alleged events that Warr and Wheeler both describe, as testified to by Det. Brad Wells during James Evans’ indictment hearing, don’t match the actual facts that the state presented at trial. In fact, what Wells testified to during the indictment regarding what he alleges was told by Warr and Wheeler, was so far removed from the established facts indicated in the autopsy report raise serious credibility issues with their account (that’s of course if you even believe the testimony of Bradley Wells). After all, Wells told the Grand Jury that Warr’s alleged eyewitness account indicated that Evans shot Pearson twice in the chest before he began walking back to the car. However, the autopsy clearly demonstrates that a projectile was retrieved from the “right lateral aspect of the vertebra” (rib area) in Pearson’s remains, and that another projectile was extracted from “the right vertebral column between the 11th and 12th intervertebral disc.

These technical details are extremely alarming when you consider Wells’ indictment testimony juxtapose to other elements contained in the autopsy findings. I mean its not rocket science, its literally in the report where the medical examiner even states, “the chest and abdominal skin were still in tact”. Now, either Wells clearly hadn’t seen the autopsy report himself prior to his indictment testimony, or he perjured himself during the Grand Jury indictment hearing. If Wells in fact read the autopsy report himself, then there is no way possible as a matter of science, at the very least, can he realistically accept Brian Warr’s alleged confession to have any merit whatsoever.

Transcripts from the actual trial indicated that after the alleged crime scene had been processed by police, casings were discovered in the field in Godfrey, and two projectiles were discovered at the coroner’s office at the Madison County morgue. These facts don’t align with the alleged statements that Brian Warr supposedly made to Brad Wells. During the Evans indictment hearing, Wells testified before the Grand Jury that Warr admitted to being an eyewitness to the Pearson killing, that Evans allegedly shot him twice in the chest, and as he turned to walk away he heard an additional 6 more gunshots. That’s a total of 8 gunshots according to the information that Wells told the Grand Jury to help obtain an indictment of James Evans (where are the other 5 bullets?). I mean was he shooting in the air? Why weren’t more projectiles recovered at the scene? You really have to call BS when you see it, because for all intent and purposes, the autopsy clearly demonstrates that Pearson was shot in the lower abdominal area of the body. Its easy to conclude that Wells probably didn’t believe Warr’s story, that’s more than likely why he let him go, and as he should have expected, based on the climate of gang activity during the time, Brian Warr was killed within 48 hours after Wells publicized that he was involved in the Pearson murder.

Its unfortunate that these kinds of inconsistencies occur during serious court cases involving violent crimes. There is always a rush to judgement and it seems that the Grand Jury is often told a volume of information that often times during the actual trial, is either proven to be false or contradictory. That’s exactly what happened in this case. Also, the Grand Jury was also misled when the state attorney asked Wells under oath if Pearson had ever been seen alive again by anyone after the date of his alleged abduction and subsequent murder, and Wells responded in the negative by stating “no”. That was untruthful because the Cooley report which indicates that an Alton police detective had seen Pearson walking down the street in Alton ten days after he was suppose to have been murdered, entirely dismantles the abduction and murder story that Wells testified to before the Grand Jury during the indictment proceedings. (Read a portion of Brad Well’s indictment testimony below that was given before a Grand Jury which resulted in James Evans being indicted for the murder of Nekemar Pearson, and the actual autopsy report of Pearson that was presented during the actual trial).

Detective Bradley Wells Grand Jury Testimony

Official Autopsy Summary of Nekemar Pearson


There are so many moving parts to the James Evans conviction that its too many to  met out here in a blog post, and even if I meticulous spelled it all out for the public to see, it would serve no justice, because James Evans’  battle ground should be in a court of law. That’s exactly why I am informing the public about this horrible wrongful conviction. For over 20 years now Mr. Evans has been fighting the Madison County criminal justice system, a system that has denied him his right to post conviction appeal. Its one thing to say that all convicted felons and murderers will always claim or profess their innocence to get out of prison, and in many cases convicts don’t ever get out of prison because the evidence is mounted too high against them.

In other cases state attorneys comply with orders of the appellate process and turn over all records as mandated and ordered by the courts, and many times state prosecutors do so with confidence knowing they prosecuted the case within the letter of the law. In the Evans trial there were audio recordings played for the jury which allegedly has Evans implicating himself in the Pearson murder, and conspiring or soliciting the murder of Brian Warr. Evans has been asking for the tapes since his conviction to have them forensically tested, because he says the tapes were doctored (multiple conversations edited to appear as one). Unfortunately, Evans has spent years trying to get those audio tapes for the purpose of testing. He wrote letters to his lawyers, filed motions to force the state to comply with discovery laws, and all of his efforts fell short to obtain the subject audios which are crucial to his post conviction appellate process. (View below link of James Evans’ petition for release of discovery audio, filed on September 27, 2006)

James Evans Petition For Release Of Audio Discovery

Despite an order entered by the Third Judicial Circuit Court of Madison, County, Illinois, directing the Madison County Prosecutor’s office to turn over the subject tapes to Mr. Evans, which occurred on December 16, 2008, the County prosecutor to this day has yet to comply with this court order with impunity. The County’s failure to comply with the Court’s directive has stalled Mr. Evans’ appellate process which has been at bar in Madison County for over a decade now.  The issue has been unresolved for so long that his case has been taken off of the Court Docket.

“I haven’t had a court date or hearing in 18 months.”

    — James Evans

Evans would eventually have the opportunity to pray his appeal before the Illinois State Supreme Court if his petition fails at the Third Judicial Circuit level, but Evans can’t even get over the basic rudimentary process of obtaining discovery items which he is entitled to per federal law (Brady vs. Maryland). Why is that? How could the Circuit Court of Madison County allow such blatant disregard for the Court and the law, for that matter, and for so long by the county prosecutor’s office? While these kind of stalling tactics by prosecutors who were successful in convicting suspicious cases are not uncommon, its simply another glaring irregularity in a mountain of other problematic elements of the Evans conviction that is beginning, and rightfully so, starting to not only raise eyebrows on the Evans case, but how they conduct business within the Madison County Illinois judicial system as a whole. (View the below links of the 2008 Third Judicial Circuit Court of Madison County Judge’s order for the state prosecutor to turn over all audio tapes to Evans, and a volume of other correspondences related to Evans’ failed attempts to obtain discovery items in his case)

Court Order For Discovery Release In Evans vs. The People of Illinois

Correspondences Related To Obtaining Discovery Audios


Its important to note that anyone, and you don’t have to be an attorney to figure out what’s going on regarding these matters. Common sense and basic reasoning from even a skeptic can easily resolve, that if the Madison County Prosecutor’s office had James Evans dead to right with indisputable incriminating evidence on those audio tapes related to this murder and solicitation of murder case, they would have turned the tapes over in days, a week at the most, within the time frame of receiving the Court’s order to do so. Their failure to turn over discovery materials that were part of the trial record, the obvious suppression of exculpatory evidence, established subordination of perjury, the plea dealings & reduction of sentences in violent crime cases with extremely shady characters who testified against Evans, monetary payouts for coerced testimony, and intimidation of witnesses (all which are alleged to have occurred in this case) combine a compelling story of wrongful conviction in the Evans case.

Now I know that all seems like such a broad, generalized, and speculated pile of dong right? After all, Evans was convicted by a jury of his peers right? Besides what do I know, I’m just a blogger. I can read and comprehend well. That’s why after reading through hundreds of documents related to the Evans conviction, I can convey with confidence that it all doesn’t add up to Evans being the perpetrator of the crimes for which he was tried and subsequently convicted. When I consider all of the information that I have brought to the surface related to his case, the suspicion related to those audio tapes which were suppose to be damning for Evans, is perhaps the most compelling aspect of the record that points to prosecutorial misconduct and potentially other crimes allegedly committed within the Madison County Sheriff’s office related to the James Evans case.

For instance, a Madison County Sheriff report indicates that Det. Bradley Wells had made copies of 19 tapes related to the Evans case and turned them over to the state prosecutor’s office as required by discovery laws. (View the document in the below link)

List Of Discovery Tapes Allegedly Turned Over To County Prosecutor

“This is a list of all audio recordings allegedly submitted for discovery. Only two of them I have ever heard, due to them being played in trial. I have never heard any of the others and they were not played at time of my trial (99-CF-634).”

   — James Evans

Now due to the bizarre circumstances which are unexplained pertaining to Madison County’s failure to turn over the subject tapes to Mr. Evans per a Court Order issued on December 16, 2008, the Court issued a second order regarding the exact same discovery tapes related to the Evans case on June 14, 2011 (five years later). Only problem though, is the tape list contained in the new order was now a total of only 15, minus 4 from the original list of 19 tapes in total. Also, the tapes are now titled differently in the second court order compared to the original list (Why is that?). Compare the two list of tapes and you do the math. (View the below link for the list of discovery tapes listed in second court order for tapes to be turned over to Evans)

List Of Tapes In Second Court Order


“This transcript is what is alleged to be on the tapes in question. Much of the transcripts are completely fictitious. Words/phrases included in the transcripts that were never uttered.”

“Sections were removed or drowned out by white noise (static).”

   — James Evans

Audio Transcripts Allegedly From Tapes At Issue In Evans Case


If the provided transcripts of the subject audio tapes at issue were considered even slightly by the jury to convict Mr. Evans, then you would really have to question the competence of those seated in the jury (all white citizens from rural Illinois). A good portion of these supposedly damning and alleged inculpatory tapes against Evans were rendered “not understandable” by who ever interpreted what was suppose to be on those tapes (or was that done for some other reason?) The transcripts do not follow logical discourse in a conversation, and a lot of the words don’t make sense for a reader when attempting to follow the conversation in its transcribed form. At least now we know why the Madison County Prosecutor’s Office has never turned those tapes over to Mr. Evans in over ten years, despite two court orders directing them to do so. #justicedelayedisjusticedenied #freejamesevansnow


To Be Continued (in a series)…


The People’s Champion

I’m Crime Blogger David Adams


Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied: The James Evans Frame Up And The Suborn Of Perjury By A State Prosecutor (Part III Of A Series)

By the time most people become aware of many of these alarming allegations against law enforcement officials in Illinois, damage control will more than likely have been well under way, while those who have been accused tap into their respective political networks to put out the flames of some very disturbing crimes that they are now openly and publicly being accused of. Some people have already said they know about this story and believe I may have received the wrong information pertaining to the Nekemar Pearson murder and subsequent conviction of Mr. James Evans for this capitol crime over twenty years ago in the town of Alton Illinois.

To many I’m sure, the emerging claims (that have now surfaced after all this time, with a voice outside of the political backdrop of Madison County Illinois) will seem too farfetched and highly unbelievable. Just like it was highly unbelievable to Mr. Evans’ family and friends during the 90’s when this case first broke in the media, that he could have even been capable of committing such a heinous crime. Perhaps to those in doubt, its also probably highly unbelievable that former detective Brad Wells allegedly parked his police vehicle outside of James Evans’ mother home on a regular after he had already been convicted and sent to prison, as an alleged scare tactic to discourage her efforts to bank roll her son’s (James) legal expenses for his appeals, and created such a frightening ordeal for her I’m told, that the stress from Wells’ alleged harassment would cause her to have a stroke so severe that she remains incapacitated to this day (Fact).

While Wells and Lakin are alleged to have violated the law along with the rights of many young black men they arrested and eventually had prosecuted, former Madison County Illinois prosecutor Keith Jensen almost certainly must have allegedly quarterbacked many of these criminal acts. As prosecutor it was his task to determine the validity of crimes in which any defendant is charged with, and it was also his duty to establish the credibility of state witnesses that are called before the court to assist in proving beyond a reasonable doubt that criminal defendants are in fact guilty of the crimes for which they are charged and convicted. I believe based on documents that I received and interviews that I have conducted with those who are familiar with this case, Keith Jensen and the men in women of the jury in The People of Illinois vs. James Evans fell short in establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that James Evans in fact killed Nekemar Pearson, and conspired to have alleged co-defendant (in the Pearson murder) Brian Warr murdered as well.

As I have already explained in a previous article related to this case, the entire James Evans indictment was problematic from the gate. Based on testimony from highly questionable and shady characters (individuals with criminal histories and pending criminal charges at the time of their indictment and trial testimonies), the prosecution couldn’t establish as a matter of fact whether Pearson was killed in Evans’ home/backyard or further north in a field in Godfrey Illinois. This was evident by virtue of how testimonies of state witnesses shifted drastically during Evans’ actual trial, from what they had previously told grand jurors during Evans’ indictment hearing.

During the trial of James Evans in the Pearson murder, it was the State’s contention (or Keith Jensen’s for the most part) that Evans killed Pearson for a home invasion robbery at Evans’ home by Pearson and another man name Marcus Hollaway. Its established as a matter of fact in the discovery of the Evans’ trial for the murder of Pearson, that prosecutor Jensen  allegedly was well aware that Hollaway and Pearson were the actual individuals who robbed Evans during the invasion of his home. However, detective Wells who extracted a confession from Hollaway regarding the crime, never pursued criminal charges against him (Holloway), and a fact that created tremendous suspension within the Alton community that Hollaway may had allegedly aided Wells in creating the entire fabricated story of Evans having been responsible for Pearson’s murder. At every step of my investigation into this case, the most prevalent question that persist, is “why wasn’t Hollaway ever indicted for the Evans home invasion robbery (that just doesn’t make any sense).

I mean let’s face it, you mean to tell me you openly confess to the police regarding a serious violent crime like home invasion, armed robbery, and kidnapping, but you get to walkout of the police station and go home the same day with no criminal charges against you? Something just doesn’t past the smell test (even from an outsider’s perspective), James Evans has consistently conveyed that he only learned Hollaway and Pearson were the perpetrators of the robbery that occurred at his home from detective Wells, long after Pearson had gone missing. If this is true, it destroys the state’s entire theory and motive as to why they say Evans killed Pearson in the first place (Reasonable doubt). Its also highly believable that Evans in fact didn’t learn until much later on because sources I’ve spoken to say that Holloway and Pearson were regulars at Evans’ home while playing video games, months after the home invasion had occurred. If there was any validity to Wells’ and Jensen’s alleged theory in Pearson’s killing being in retaliation, why would Evans allow the men responsible (Holloway and Pearson) into his home to socialize on many occasions for months after he had been robbed? Why?

Terrence Cooley’s (now deceased) grand jury testimony corroborates James Evans’ claim that he learned of Nekemar Pearson’s involvement after he had gone missing (read an excerpt from his testimony below):

The Terrence Cooley Grand Jury Testimony

“Terrence Cooley testified before the grand jury in my trial, and after his testimony, Bradley Wells (the lead detective), realizing where he was employed, kept making appearances at his place of employment. Wells told Cooley that he would continue disrupting his job until his employer terminated him. Terrence Cooley would also, later sign an affidavit attesting to Bradley Wells badgering him and suppling him with false information to give under oath. Due to the inordinate delay of post conviction proceedings in my case, Terrence Cooley has passed away and is no longer available to testify and put his affidavit on record.”

  James Evans

Cooley’s admission of Wells having attempted to influence him with false statements is one of the very aspects of this case where the suborn of perjury was initiated. Michael Hooks, Larry Greer, Clifton Wheeler, Judy Huff, Tommie Rounds (jail house snitch) Jody Wesley (jail house snitch), William Jenkins (jail house snitch), Keyanna Simpson, Ms. Mary Berry (James’ mother), and a volume of others who out of fear for their individual safety, I will decline to mention publicly, were either facing criminal charges of their own, jail house informants who more than likely may also have allegedly been under duress during their testimonies, or were allegedly the subject of continued harassment by Wells, who they claim either showed up at their places of employment continuously or followed them around.

“Detective Bradley Wells would burst into my jail cell when no one was around and threaten me and my mother. Wells told me straight to my face that I better tell my mother to back off or she is gonna be in jail next.”

James Evans

The state’s alleged motive for murder during the Evans trial wasn’t the only aspect of the case that doesn’t make sense, the case was prosecuted on pure circumstantial evidence (with no forensics what so ever connecting James Evans to the crime). In fact, there isn’t one shred of discovery that confirms that a dead body was ever in the Evans’ home, as some state witnesses alleged during the indictment proceedings and during the actual murder trial (if its anywhere in the case discovery, I would love to see it). Also, state witnesses testified that three bullets (9 millimeter) were discovered  between the actual alleged crime scene (1 projectile) and during the autopsy (2 projectiles), yet no gun belonging to Evans was ever confirmed to be a ballistic match for the recovered projectiles associated with this case. Instead, the state relied upon the testimony of some very shady witnesses who all collectively were facing pending criminal charges themselves, as the primary foundation to establish Evans’ guilt in the crime..

The demographic dynamics of the jury pool at Mr. Evans’ trial is also a story for another day, considering the setting was a small mid-west town just a stone’s throw from Ferguson, and St Louis Missouri. As I have constantly conveyed, a murder case by an alleged drug dealer in the mid 1990’s in a small western community, unaccustomed to the kind of criminal activity and violence that was happening all over the country, and now suddenly beginning to emerge in the surrounding Madison Illinois County, perhaps made a conviction inevitable for a young black man solely on mere suspicion alone.

Those interested in true justice should preface the details of the case in this manner:

  1. No forensics connected Evans to the murder.
  2. No ballistics were linked to the murder weapon, and no gun was ever linked to Mr. Evans.
  3. The body was too decomposed to make a positive identification (found with no clothing, only a watch).
  4. No scientific evidence was ever presented during trial establishing that the body officials say found in a wooded area in Godfrey Illinois, were the remains of Nekemar Pearson as a matter of forensic pathology or scientific fact (Fact).
  5. The established record in the case (Indictment Testimony and trial testimony) indicates that the solicitation of bribery, coercion of written false statements, and the Subordination of perjury were all elements of this capitol murder case.

The entire story related to how James Evans became a suspect in the murder of Nekemar Pearson, prosecuted, subsequently convicted, and sentenced to over a hundred years in an Illinois state prison is a like a script straight out of the epic film “The Hurricane.” The case is a real life story which contained a cast of suspect characters with extensive criminal histories who aligned with the state for sweet deals of leniency against James Evans, alleged corruption by Madison County police officials, and alleged subordination of perjury (a federal crime) by the state prosecutor’s office, and ineffective counsel for the defendant (Mr. Evans),

The criminal case of James Evans vs. The People of Illinois was born on the foundation of alleged solicitation of bribery for false statements and testimony, allegedly orchestrated by former detective Bradley Wells, John Lakin, and former Madison Illinois County prosecutor Keith Jensen. It was Julius Newton (deceased) who first attempted to advise the state and a grand jury about Brad Wells allegedly offering him money ($1,000) to act as a Confidential Informer, by obtaining information via a hidden wired recording device, but apparently no one took his claims seriously. However, the established record in this case reveals that there was a consistent pattern of known liars in trouble with the law, one criminal defendant who routinely acted as an agent for the state, and all compiled in a bizarre storyline that’s admittedly difficult to follow. (Link to Julius Newton’s Grand Jury Testimony below)

Grand Jury Testimony of Julius Newton

Michael Hooks

While Mr. Hooks was allegedly a self admitted liar and didn’t testify at James Evans’ trial, he was brought into court in handcuffs, wearing a prison uniform, and was scheduled to be released when he testified at the Evans indictment hearing. Hooks had a criminal history and allegedly solicited a bribe from Evans just as Wells had offered him for false testimony.

“Hooks approached me and told me that investigators were offering $1,000.00 dollars to testify falsely and avoid criminal charges. Hooks told me that if I could “top the $1,000.00 dollar offer” that detective Wells allegedly made to him for false testimony in the Nekemar Pearson murder, then he wouldn’t testify to it in court.”

James Evans

Its believed that Hooks was allegedly offered a deal for leniency or early release by prosecutor Keith Jensen, in exchange for the false testimony that detective Wells had solicited a $1,000.00 dollar bribe from him for. Hooks’ grand jury testimony is important because it establishes as a matter of fact, that he only heard gun shots on the day that Pearson was allegedly abducted by Evans, Brian Warr, and another unidentified man (suspected to be Clifton Wheeler). Its also believed to be ground zero from which the entire convoluted story allegedly fabricated by Wells, Lakin, and prosecutor Jensen derived, to have James Evans framed for the murder of Nekemar Pearson. (Click the below link to read an excerpt from Michael Hooks’ Grand Jury testimony)

Michael Hooks Grand Jury Testimony


Demond Spruill

The introduction of well known jail house informer Demond Spruill should have been extremely problematic for the state in Evans vs. The People of Illinois, because he had consistently been used by the state as an informer in a volume of other criminal cases prior to his grand jury and trial testimony in the James Evans case. Spruill’s ability to acquire confessions of criminal suspects was so alarming that Illinois State Supreme Court Justices overturned a murder conviction in Brown vs. The People of Illinois, primarily because Spruill was used by the state to surreptitiously obtain incriminating statements from Brown while at the Madison County Jail, without the presence of his appointed legal counsel, and in violation of the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“Spruill gathered this additional evidence of the defendant’s guilt as an arm of the prosecution, at a time when the defendant was indicted, arraigned, and represented by counsel. Thus, the defendant unwittingly provided the prosecution with recordings of himself saying things that evinced consciousness of guilt on the pending murder charges, while his legal representative slept, totally unaware of the fact that the prosecution had decided to contact his client and have a few words with him. The defendant uttered more than a few self-incriminating words into a State-sponsored microphone attached to a dedicated line at the Granite City police department, at a time when the sixth amendment to the United States Constitution guaranteed counsel’s presence during any communication between State agents and the defendant. See Massiah v. United States, 377 U.S. 201, 12 L. Ed. 2d 246, 84 S. Ct. 1199 (1964); see also Maine v. Moulton, 474 U.S. 159, 88 L. Ed. 2d 481, 106 S. Ct. 477 (1985).”

   Justice Keuhn, Illinois State Appellate Court 5th District


“When Spruill reported to an Alton detective another in a long line of jailhouse confessions, arrangements were made to allow for his release on his own recognizance. Despite his claim that he expected nothing in return for the confession that he could now provide, he did not again run from authorities. However, he did again arm himself with a handgun. While on recognizance bond, awaiting trials for armed robbery, conspiracy to commit home invasion, illegal use of weapons, and aggravated discharge of a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun, Spruill was arrested in St. Louis, Missouri, and charged by federal authorities for being a convicted felon in possession of yet another firearm. Clearly, Spruill had violated the conditions of his bail release. He left the state without permission and committed another crime. However, the State did not initiate any new charges because of the bail violations.”

“In any event, Spruill’s testimony was extremely vulnerable to attack, if left uncorroborated. His unrepentant criminality, juxtaposed with his remarkable ability to escape punishment for his evil ways, could have easily cast doubt upon his credibility. With a character that reflected dishonesty and utter disdain for things moral and law-abiding, anything Spruill said was suspect, particularly in light of his pattern of using jailhouse confessions as a means to his own selfish ends. There was no reason to believe that he did not expect to benefit handsomely from his testimony, when his sundry past performances always wrought substantial benefits in how he got treated.” 

    Justice Brennan, Illinois State Appellate Court 5th District

Read the entire Appellate Court opinion in Brown vs. The People of Illinois here.


Its now clear why the Testimony of Demond Spruill in the James Evans indictment hearing shifted drastically from what he testified to during the actual trial. Spruill probably forgot his script regarding what he allegedly was suppose to say, after allegedly being coached by state authorities on the details regarding Evans’ alleged involvement in the Nekemar Pearson murder case. State prosecutors may have been successful in convincing jurors in the trial of James Evans and others, that Spruill was in fact a credible witness, but its clear that even state Appellate Court Justices were troubled by the manner in which the state (prosecutor Keith Jensen) used Spruill repeatedly as a witness in so many high profiled cases that just happened to be confessions of defendants facing serious crimes.

For example, Spruill testified during the Evans indictment that Evans had confessed to killing Pearson as they drove in a car together in the Alton neighborhood. He claimed then that Evans stated Brian Warr shot Pearson during a fight, and Evans implored him to finish the job, and then they took him into the back of Evans’ home where Warr shot Pearson again killing him. It should also be noted that Spruill’s testimony was in line with what Michael Hooks told the grand jury. While Hooks testified to not seeing the actual shooting, he stated that he simply heard two separate gun shots as he drove off. That’s exactly what Spruill testified to also in the Evans grand jury indictment hearing (two shots at the alleged crime scene).

The Grand Jury Testimony of Demond Spruill

During the actual trial Spruill’s testimony was noticeably different, while he admits that Evans told him Brian Warr shot Pearson, his account of the Evans’ confession shifts, now claiming during the trial that after Warr shot Pearson, Warr, Evans, and another man carried Pearson’s body into the basement of Evans’ home, and the trio later loaded Pearson into a vehicle suspected to belong to Evans’, drove to a wooded area near Godfrey Illinois where, according to Spruill’s new account, Evans claimed that he (not Warr) shot Pearson, killing him and leaving him for dead. That’s a big shift considering he essentially was an agent for the state in the volume of other trials involving serious crimes.

The Evans Trial Testimony of Demond Spruill

The alarming circumstances involving the Madison County prosecutor’s office consistently using Demond Spruill was public knowledge in the media, yet the state continues create inordinate delays in the post conviction relief of a volume of men whose criminal trial were impacted by Spruill’s testimony.


Clifton Wheeler

In the case of Clifton Wheeler lies perhaps the most blatant form of illegality that was committed during the Evans trial. Its clear based on the record that state prosecutor Keith Jensen implored Wheeler to lie under oath (subordination of perjury) during his testimony at the Evans trial, and even lied himself. Wheeler had already been convicted of killing a man name Dwight Riddlespriger and made a plea deal to serve 23 years in prison in exchange for his cooperation in the investigation of others involved in that murder, and for his cooperation in the investigation in the murder of Nekemar Pearson (fact).

“Everyone who gave prosecutorial testimony from the county jail had sentences reduced and charges dropped. They were instructed to lie to the trial jury and say they received no favors for their trial testimony.”

“They told Clifton Wheeler to involve me in a murder and make himself an accomplice. Clifton Wheeler was charged with the murder of Dwight Riddlespriger. He did 12 years for that murder (as a gift from prosecutors).”

    James Evans

Now I know that sounds completely insane that a man would falsely implicate himself in a murder to help prosecutors convict an innocent man but James Evans’ claims are in fact true when you look at the established record of his trial and subsequent appeals. (Read an excerpt from the Wheeler Trial and plea deal below. Use pdf tools to rotate if necessary)

The Court Proceeding of Clifton Wheeler

The Wheeler deal with state prosecutors was handled by Keith Jensen himself. So, if there wasn’t any shady dealings going on related to the Evans trial, then why on earth would Jensen allow one of his star witnesses, a man who says he was involved in the killing of Nekemar Pearson along with James Evans, allow him to lie in open court about not receiving any sentencing deals from the state. We all now know that it was a complete lie, and Wheeler had already cut a deal with Jensen for a 23 year sentence in his own murder case, in exchange for his cooperation in Evans’ murder trial (Nekemar Pearson). Jensen actually leads Wheeler into the lie, perjuring both of them right in open court (subordination of perjury). Regardless of whether the state will ever prosecute Jensen for his illegal actions during the Evans Trial for allegedly murdering Nekemar Pearson, Evans’ constitutional rights to a fair and impartial trial was violated, because Jensen along with the assistance of Clifton Wheeler misled the jury during the trial.

Clifton Wheeler Testimony at the James Evans Trial

“The court, we would ask the court to retain jurisdiction over this matter. And at any time, if any of the other people are sentenced to the penitentiary, we would ask the court to enter an order that Mr. Wheeler not be placed in the same penitentiary as any of the other people that he testifies or cooperates against.”

    Keith Jensen, Former Madison County Prosecutor

Rather than the order of jurisdiction being a measure to insure Clifton Wheeler’s safety in prison while he serves his 23 year plea deal sentence, it is quite possible that the request was made to insure that none of the defendants Wheeler testified against would never actually learn about his plea deal, because after all state prosecutor Jensen showed he was capable of covering up the fact that he used Wheeler to testify against others, while suppressing the plea arrangement he made with a convicted murderer. Jensen may have perjured himself in other trials in similar fashion as he clearly did in the Evans case, that’s an act of alleged misconduct that I’m sure he took extreme care to conceal.

After all, despite the plethora of allegations now surfacing about the Madison County judicial system, we must remember that Jensen also suppressed highly exculpatory evidence that would have been fruitful to the Evans defense during trial, and he would never have known the facts of Nekemar Pearson having been seen alive by a police officer ten days after he allegedly was supposed to have been kidnapped, and subsequently murdered by James Evans if an appellate defender working on a unrelated case hadn’t forwarded the exculpatory document to him years later into his sentence.

Detective Cooley Exculpatory Document

I’ll have more details about this very disturbing case. I’m not done just yet.

To Be Continued….


I’m Crime Blogger David Adams

The People’s Champion






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