Black Man Wrongly Imprisoned for 23 yrs for Double Murder Set Free but No Compensation from Kansas

From [HERE] The Kansas City Star details the 23-year struggle Rosie McIntyre endured to clear her son Lamonte, who was exonerated on Friday.  Lamonte McIntyre was just 17 when he was arrested for the murders of Donie Quinn and Donald Ewing.  His mother knew all along that he was innocent.  She told the Star, “It tore me apart.  I knew my son.  There was never (any) doubt  . . . I knew he was innocent.  No one believed it.  No one cared.  It was like I was all along with the situation.”

According to the Star, Rosie McIntyre kept a notebook with detailed notes about her more than two-decade struggle to get help for Lamonte. Over the years, she contacted countless legal organizations, innocence organizations and journalists.  Early on, dressed as a man (for safety) and armed with a tape recorder, she even conducted her own investigation, canvassing the street where the murders occurred and asking about the crime.  This took a toll on her emotionally.

Her pleas were finally answered by Centurion Ministries which agreed to take on Lamont’s case.  With the help of Kansas City lawyer Cheryl Pilate and the Midwest Innocence Project, the lawyers conducted an investigation that revealed that even the victim’s family members believed that police had arrested the wrong person.

On Friday afternoon, just two days into what was expected to be a week-long hearing to consider McIntyre’s exoneration, Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree Sr. flabbergasted the courtroom when he said the county would no longer contest the facts of McIntyre’s innocence.

McIntyre, arrested at age 17, had spent the past 23 years behind bars as part of two life sentences on two counts of murder. He is now 41.

The 17-year-old McIntyre was arrested on April 15, 1994, in Kansas City, Kan.

In a four-day trial — held when he was 18 and thus trying him as an adult — he was given two life terms for the double murders of two individuals, Doniel Quinn, 21, and Donald Ewing, 34. The men had been sitting in a powder blue Cadillac on Hutchings Street when a killer with a shotgun blasted them inside.

McIntyre not only has resolutely maintained his innocence but also has consistently maintained that he never knew either Quinn or Ewing, who many believe were murdered by someone else as part of a drug-related killing.

The case against McIntyre, chronicled in 2016 by The Star, included no gun, no motive, no physical evidence whatsoever that tied him to the crime, and no evidence that he knew either victim. Nor was there evidence that the Kansas City, Kan., police at the time had searched for such evidence.

Instead, within hours of the crime — and based on the vague account of one witness who said the killer looked somewhat like a young man she knew with the name Lamonte — Lamonte McIntyre was arrested, despite alibis from family members who swore he had spent the day at home.

The only other witness against him was a woman in the neighborhood, a relative of the victims, who later recanted her testimony and said that she lied in identifying McIntyre because she was coerced by the then lead detective in the case, Roger Golubski. Golubski, who retired as a captain from the police force in 2010, has previously denied the allegation.

In their motion for exoneration, McIntyre’s counsel, led by Kansas City attorney Cheryl Pilate, raised serious allegations of misconduct on the part of Golubski and of then-Wyandotte County assistant prosecutor Terra Morehead, who is now a prosecutor in the U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas. Pilate also raised questions of bias in the original trial because of a past and undisclosed romantic relationship between Morehead and the Wyandotte County District judge presiding over McIntyre’s case, J. Dexter Burdette.

Morehead has never provided a statement regarding the allegations. Burdette, who has also never given a statement, had been scheduled to testify on Friday — but the McIntyre case ended before he took the stand.

In a press release, Dupree said that in vacating the case against McIntyre it was “not endorsing, certifying, agreeing, nor stipulating that any of those individuals or entities committed any wrongdoing.”

The statement began, however, “As prosecutors, our job … is to pursue justice, not simply convictions.”

In the case of the State of Kansas v. Lamonte McIntyre, “my office is requesting the Court find that manifest injustice exists.”

McIntyre’s family, friends and supporters were jubilant in the wake of the prosecution’s concession.

“I thank everybody who never gave up on my son,” Rosie McIntyre said outside the courtroom. “He (the judge) said, ‘You’re free.’ I almost hit the floor,” she said. “I want him to feel the sunlight.” [MORE]