Chicago

Defense allowed to review investigative file after allegations police did not disclose evidence in slaying of off-duty cop – Chicago Tribune

Defense attorneys for a person convicted of killing off-duty Chicago police Officer Clifton Lewis have been granted permission Tuesday to view inside investigative recordsdata of the Chicago Police Department on the matter.

Cook County prosecutors stated in courtroom Tuesday they did not object to the protection’s effort to examine the recordsdata, and Associate Judge James Linn signed off on the request. As for the protection’s allegations about police withholding key info, prosecutors stated, they’d reply at a later listening to.

In a submitting final week, attorneys for Alexander Villa accused police of obscuring and manipulating evidence that might have supported Villa’s protection. Villa was one of three males accused in Lewis’s 2011 homicide. He was convicted by a Cook County jury in 2019, however has not but been sentenced.

In courtroom Tuesday, Linn indicated he was keen to transfer the case ahead, urging attorneys to stay “optimistic” {that a} movement for a brand new trial may nonetheless be argued later this month.

“This is killing me, I’m working nonstop on this case,” Jennifer Blagg, one of Villa’s attorneys, informed Linn. “I keep finding things. I keep finding things.”

“I’m not sure what you’re finding is as fascinating as …” Linn stated from the bench, trailing off.

In response, Blagg pulled out a decade-old map created by the FBI exhibiting that the alleged getaway driver’s telephone was not on the location of the capturing on the time of the capturing.

“Never given to the prosecution, never given to the defense,” she stated. “… I think that’s pretty earthshattering.”

Other particulars allegedly withheld included info that might have proven what Villa was texting his girlfriend on the time of the capturing.

Lewis’ slaying made headlines throughout the town in 2011. Graphic safety video exhibits two masked gunmen cost into the M & M Quick Foods in the 1200 block of North Austin Boulevard and fatally shoot Lewis, who took cover behind the counter and returned fireplace. The officer, described as a “gentle giant,” had simply gotten engaged a number of days earlier than he was killed.

Three males have been finally charged with Lewis’ homicide. Villa and Tyrone Clay have been the 2 shooters, prosecutors allege. Edgardo Colon was charged with being the getaway driver.

A Cook County jury convicted Villa in a late-night verdict in 2019. Prosecutors argued that surveillance video of the capturing, whereas not significantly sharp, confirmed the massive tattoo on Villa’s neck. They additionally relied on witnesses who stated they overheard Villa admit to the capturing, although they did not come ahead till lengthy after the killing.

Colon was convicted of homicide in 2017, solely to have the case overturned on enchantment. His constitutional rights have been violated when police continued questioning him after he indicated he wished a lawyer, the appellate courtroom discovered. Colon is free on bail awaiting a second trial, at which prosecutors will not give you the option to use his videotaped confession towards him.

Clay has been in jail for greater than a decade awaiting trial. Several years have been spent in authorized wrangling over whether or not Clay’s videotaped statements might be proven to jurors. His attorneys argued that Clay’s “limited intelligence and verbal comprehension” made him unable to competently waive his Miranda rights. Cook County Judge Erica Reddick finally agreed and threw out the statements.

Prosecutors appealed that call; the state appellate courtroom ultimately dominated that the confession ought to not go earlier than a jury.

Clay is slated for a listening to this week to decide whether or not he ought to be launched on bond awaiting trial.

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