For more than 16 years, 48 Hours has investigated the case of the 1989 murder of 22-year old Charles "Chip" Flynn because they believed it involved prosecutorial misconduct, which resulted in the conviction of Crosley Green (left) who was later sentenced to death, an absolute travesty of justice not uncommon as I have documented repeatedly.
It all began on April 4, 1989 when Flynn's former girlfriend, Kimberly Hallock called 911 saying she thought her boyfriend had been shot by a a black man with a gun who had hijacked and drove them to a remote Florida citrus grove. Keep in mind, this black guy would've had to steer and shift gears all while he was holding the gun on them. Oh, and after her ex-boyfriend, with his hands tied behind his back, grabbed a gun and shot the assailant, she alone managed to get back into the truck and escape.
Despite a story that kept changing, littered with troubling inconsistencies:
- Crosley didn't match the original description of the assailant;
- ex-girlfriend waiting almost an hour to call for help;
- a truck that was hard to handle because it had a custom gear shift;
- shoe prints that did not match...that tracked in different direction than testimony indicated;
- no gun powder residue on Flynn's hands; no shell casings from Flynn's testified to gunshots;
- no bare footprints or knee prints of either Flynn and Hallock at scene
- witnesses who later said they were coerced into testifying recanted their testimony
- a police dog, despite not having an item of Green's to scent upon, somehow connected him to the crime scene
- no fingerprints or any physical evidence that linked Green to the crime
- ten alibi witnesses who place Green miles away from the murder,
|Crosley Green, top row center, target with a bull's eye...the black spot you focus on.|
“That's a target with a bull's-eye for Crosley Green. ...His picture is smaller and darker than the other pictures," Harrison said of the photo lineup. "Anybody involved in police investigation and prosecution knows this. ...the position that your eyes are normally drawn to are right in the middle."And why was Kim Hallock eliminated as a suspect when it's normal procedure to investigate the last people to see victim alive...everyone closest to the scene? No one knows.
"It's a black spot," Green said of the photo. "That's what you focus on, that black spot." [...]
“When I went to homicide school ... they told us that this spot is the most likely that someone will pick a picture from," Mark Rixey said of the photo lineup.
"And where exactly is Crosley Green in that--"
"That's Crosley Green right in that spot," Green said, pointing to the second of three images in the top row.
"Anything that strikes you about this lineup?" Moriarty asked Christopher White.
"You can't see the guy in the top middle very well at all," he replied. "Crosley Green's photo is the darkest."
"If you don't specifically know who you're looking for, then that's the spot you will pick nine times out of 10," said Rixey.
“That's homicide 101, anybody who is present at the scene of a shooting ... gets their hands tested for gunshot residue," Rixey explained. "That should have been the very first thing that was done. ...That was never done."Moreover, the Brevard County State's Attorney's Office had a history of pressuring, coercing witnesses into lying. In the 1980s, Brevard County put away three men whose convictions have since been overturned.
“They coerced witnesses ... to lie and it's really as though you see -- a deliberate pattern of the state creating evidence to achieve a result that they wanted to achieve and that's what they got," said Jeane Thomas.In 2009, Green received a reduced sentence (life in prison) due to an error in sentencing. In total, Crosley Green has spent almost 26 years incarcerated for a crime he did not commit. Three witnesses recanted their testimony.
“Every witness recanted their story," Moura explained. "And every one of them had reason to be afraid of the police. ...They were squeezed. ...And they were squeezed hard."As it stands now, undeterred by exculpatory evidence withheld by the prosecution, the recantations of four of the prosecution's star witnesses, not to mention, more inconsistencies than a government's official story, the Florida Attorney General's Office is fighting to uphold Crosley Green's conviction. It says Green failed to meet a filing deadline for his appeal.
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