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July 21, 2011
As a reminder, below are “talking points” with regard to Rodney’s case. Please let me know if you are in need of clarification and clarity on any point. Even while I was working in Congress, I had a difficult time summarizing large amounts of information into single, short pointsJ. I’ve tried to leave out names of the individuals involved, but the names can be found in the attached articles/links. Per usual, please continue to share information about Rodney’s case. Imagine being in your 15th year in prison for crimes you did not commit. Imagine not being about to spend time with your aging parents. Justice needs to prevail, no one wins when the wrong person is convicted (except for the prosecutors. Some care only about the conviction, not about the injustice of a wrongful conviction)
1) There was a confession. An individual confessed to being one of the two people who committed the crimes—and he exonerated Rodney. The Assistant District Attorney knew about his confession well before trial and even gave the person immunity. The person who confessed did not know Rodney and had a record, he had no reason to confess simply to cover for Rodney as the Assistant District Attorney said. Here is a link to the confession: http://freerodneystanberry.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/20100914155256.256155350.pdf
2) The victim indicated 7 days after the crime that she didn’t know who shot her. The Detective placed photos in front of her and said who could have been at your house. The photos were supplied by Rodney within 24 hours of the crimes in his efforts to assist police. Once she said Rodney could have been at her house, prosecutors set their sights on Rodney, even interviewing his girlfriend at work because at some point she said it was Rodney and his girlfriend. The theory from the prosecutors became a murder for hire. Rodney supplied photos because he invited two of his friends from New York to come to Mobile to experience Mardi Gras. When Rodney discovered that one of the individuals, along with the person who confessed, engaged in these crimes, HE went to the police to show them photos of the individuals, gave them the number of a detective in New York who can apprehend the individuals (as they had gotten on a bus and headed back to New York after the crimes took place. Rodney did not find out about this until he left work! In his effort to do all that he could to apprehend HIS friends from New York, he ended up getting arrested, convicted, and serving three 20 year sentences (running concurrently). His has now completed 14 full years and is on his 15th year as of March 25, 2011.
3) Witnesses in front of the victim’s home identified the person who confessed as being at the house when the victim was shot AND identified his car.
4) The person who confessed offered details of the victim’s house that only someone who’d been inside the house could provide.
5) Evidence that could have further exonerated Rodney (mask and gloves) were “lost” while in police custody. No fingerprints taken of weapons and of the house.
6) Eyewitnesses and paperwork place Rodney at work when these crimes were said to occur. Contrary to victim’s testimony that she saw Rodney’s truck in her driveway that morning, witnesses place his truck at work. In addition, a neighbor testified in court that the person who confessed is the person he saw and he described the car he was driving. A witness that the defense brought to court testified that he saw what he thought was Rodney’s brown bronco in the medium, when it was actually a brown vehicle owned by a mechanic who was working on a car- as court testimony indicates.
7) The Assistant District Attorney successfully entered a motion in Limine in which his said: 1) he questions the testimony of Terrell Moore, not admitting that the confession was taken while he was present, 2) he questioned the existence of the two individuals from New York (one of whom was the shooter) saying “ And then there are two people from New York supposedly, a Rene or Rennie Whitecloud and an Angel Melendez. I’m not vouching that any of these people exist or did exist, because there are serious questions about that as well” (p. 6 of trial transcripts).
This is significant because 1) the Assistant DA had in his possession a statement from Rene Whitecloud that was not mentioned at trial and 2) The Assistant District Attorney visited Rene before the trial! It wasn’t until Rodney’s Rule 32 that he admitted that he went to New York (Riker’s Island) but said that he just happened to go up there while on vacation to see if he actually existed. The fact that he stated at the start of the trial on record that he, in that moment, doesn’t think Rene and Angel existed should be grounds for reopening the case. The District Attorney, John Tyson, Jr. told me (Artemesia Stanberry) in a letter that Buzz Jordan (the Assistant DA) had indeed gone to New York to further pursue the investigation of the case. If this is true, Jordan openly misled the court- the Court granted him his motion based on this! The Motion in Limine allowed for evidence (or mentioning of evidence) to not to be introduced at trial.
No one else was tried for shooting the victim. The person who confessed, as well as witnesses, said that two people entered the home, one of these people was the shooter and Rodney was not tried for shooting the victim. The local paper stated that Rene Whitecloud would be brought to Mobile for trial. 1) That never happened (nor, as the person who confessed testified, was he the shooter) and 2) it is further admission that the very person that Jordan said did not exist in pursuing the case again Rodney, did exist (and he wasn’t the shooter). See this link: http://www.freerodneystanberry.com/the_shooter-_what_they_want_to_wish_away
8) Rodney gave the original detective information about a Det. in New York to apprehend the two people who were returning- one of whom actually entered the victim’s home and shot her. He even called the Det. In New York, but Prichard police said that the didn’t need to get them involved, that they can handle things—famous last words. If they had utilized Rodney’s contact and apprehended these two individuals, Rodney never would have gone through this ordeal.
9) The prosecutor convicted Rodney almost exclusive on eyewitness testimony. 3/4th’s of the convictions that have been overturned via use of DNA technology have been based on eyewitness identification. The ADA had no evidence to convict Rodney, there were no masks, gloves, fingerprints, his coworkers- including his supervisor- confirmed his whereabouts. The Assistant District Attorney in selecting the jury said
10) The prosecutor had a theory that drove him, rather than evidence and facts.
Mobile District Attorney Ashley Rich should reopen Rodney’s case. She can be reached at (251) 574-5000, (251) 574-8400 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.