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Giant Ricks had had three run ins with the law and had been wrongfully convicted twice the first when he was four foot 11 and mistaken for a robber. That was six feet tall. While on parole from Jubi, Kiante worked with a youth group mentoring troubled teens, one of whom was illiterate weed dealer named Cartwell Walker. One of Cartel's customers was the manager of a red center who handled the business his bank deposits. The pair had crafted a scheme in which the customer would settle in twenty five hundred dead by handing over the Rent-A-Center deposit bag to cartel and then claiming that he had been robbed.


On June twenty eight thousand four, Kiet Ricks was on his way to Six Flags with his children's mother, a friend and Catell. But before getting on the road, the group made a stop near the Rent-A-Center, where, unbeknownst to the others, Catell met up with his customer to follow through with their lot, taking a bit too long. The other three almost left without him, but Catell caught up with them, making a big scene in the process when the police arrived to investigate the stage robbery.


A concerned passer by who saw cartel screaming and running after the car gave the police the license plate number, even though Kiante had none of the money and wasn't involved in any way. One offhand remark in the interrogation room said a racist cop on a mission to pin the entire crazy scenario on him falsified evidence made the misdemeanor a felony and put the money in his possession. A statement was coerced, prepared and signed by the illiterate cartel. And even when Cartel tried to recant and the alleged victim came forward about the stage robbery plot, both were silenced.


Deontay Ricks was sentenced to 20 years in prison. This is wrongful conviction with Jason Pflaum. In the 1980s, neo-Nazis showed up in Chicago clubs to recruit teenagers to their ideology of hate and things got serious.


They're not going to be able to recruit for their racist army. We've got to do something about this.


It's not just these skinheads. This is part of something much, much bigger with a long history.


How the white supremacist movement won over young people then and what that tells us about today. Subscribe to motive from WBC, Chicago, wherever you get your podcasts. Welcome back to Wrongful Conviction with Jason Farm, that's me. I'm your host, and today we're going to share a story. It's the story of Kiante Rex. But before I even introduce Qiantang, let me just run a few numbers by you. So Kiante was wrongfully arrested three times, wrongfully convicted twice, and on one occasion he was shot twice and then made into a suspect.


He spent five years wrongfully incarcerated as a child from 14 to 19 and then was sent back to prison as an adult where he served almost 13 years. And the problem is he never did anything. I mean, Kiante, I'm glad you're here, but I'm sorry you have to be here after everything you went through. Thank you. And as you will soon see, Kiante has maintained an incredible attitude, even a sense of humor through all of this and quietly.


Let's go back to the beginning of his OK with you. And first of all, this is back at Buffalo, right? Yes, sir.


I grew up in Buffalo, New York. The third incident transpired in the year.


And Amherst is a suburb of Buffalo where you lived with your daughter and her mother, Marina, during the time of your second wrongful conviction. But let's go back to your first wrongful conviction as a minor. You were 14 years old, 14. How old are you now? I'm thirty eight. So this is twenty four years ago. You're 14 years old, four feet eleven. What's crazy about this original case was this was related to a situation your cousin had had some involvement in a scuffle that was forty dollars that was owed and recovered.


The alleged victim claims he was robbed and stabbed. But now we know that never even happened. The victim described his assailants, two assailants as six feet and five eleven. And you were four eleven. So how did you first get involved?


Well, I was actually with my cousin on his street outside, and the police pulled up and handcuffed us and put us in the police car and then drove us to a hospital. And some guys came out and they looked in a police car and they said, yeah, that's them. And I mean, that was the beginning of that right there.


The only way the police could sort of rope you into this was why bring you in as in like a show up inside of a squad car. Right. Which is, of course, going to bias anybody. But and I guess you might look taller sitting on the seat in the squad car, but this is obviously madness. And then you go all the way to trial on this crazy thing, even though we're talking about an imaginary crime and two imaginary suspects who were a foot taller than you are and you're 14 years old, you're a child.


Yes. And I was sentenced as an adult when I went to trial. But this is the thing, though. The things that we just spoke about, it actually came out in trial. The public defender that did mentioned that the guy gave the description of five eleven and six foot and I was only four foot eleven. And he also mentioned that the guy did not get stabbed and had a superficial wound that required a Band-Aid, even though the jury was constantly told that this guy got stabbed and I was synthesized in the throat.


To three and a third to 10 years in a juvenile maximum security facility, is it true that your lawyer was drunk at trial? Yes. And how did that come out? Well, I see he was slurred also.


He was he was drunk. He wasn't a little drunk. He was like he was OK. That's great. I mean, I'm sorry. I just have to be sarcastic because I've I don't laugh. I'm going to cry. And this is not of course, that's what I do, is this is not the first time we've heard this, though, that a lawyer was drunk at trial. So the lawyer was drunk at trial. He claimed that he appealed the charge.


But we know that never even happened.


I mean, this is this is disgusting. And you lived through this. And I can't even imagine. And you're a child, a 14 years old. They call it a teenager. That's a child. So 14 years old. You go to prison, right? Do they call it juvie? But your sentence is an adult. And what is that like?


Well, I just say that I mean, you had to you had to man up. I mean, it was a serious environment. I mean, all of the other kids that was in these juvenile Max's, a majority had, you know, like eight to life and stuff like that. And, you know, you're away from family. You can't be around your loved ones.


And I mean, at 14, a lot of kids have trouble adjusting to summer camp that was put in the jungle when I had to survive in it. So, you know, we took advantage of, you know, and I'm not I'm not a weak person. So, I mean, it was a lot of fighting and there was a lot of stress. It was depression. It was all kind of stuff, you know, that comes with the problems of being incarcerated, period.


And then as a kid, it was like, you know, I needed to be home. I needed to be around family and loved ones and, you know, being deprived of that love. And, you know, I made it through it. I just have a different attitude. I want you I just want to say that that even though I was victimized, I don't live like a victim because I know that you live with them. I just love every day if you allow your thoughts to stay there.


So that's why my attitude is more passive of saying, like, you know, I did what I had to do when I went through what I went through.


I did what I had to do and I went through what I went through. I think everybody can use to hear that. So thank you for sharing that. So that you're paroled at 19, you're out free, still under control of the system because you're on parole. But you started a family life is starting to look up, but then tragedy struck again. Right. And this goes back to when you were you were actually on your way to the hospital when this incident happened, right?


Yes. My daughter was born the day before. I can stay in the hospital because I was on parole. So she wanted me to come to the hospital. The next day, I was actually at my cousin's house. I left out of the house. And soon as I closed the passenger door, two guns went off. I was shot twice. It collapsed. Both my lungs, my ribs broke, and I ended up in critical condition. And you were taken to the same hospital that your daughter was at?


No, I was rushed to Erie County Medical Center and a security officer testified actually at the parole preliminary hearing that the car pulled up. The driver said the passenger was shot him and three nurses ran up to the car. They said I was slumped in the seat. They pulled me out of the car seat how many times I was shot. Then they put me on a stretcher, pushed me into the hospital. Then later on, they assumed that somebody was breaking into the car and they ran over to the car and they seen a gun in the car that was in the seat that allegedly I was sitting right.


I remember reading they found a gun in a car and tried to pin it on you. And then nine months of more legal struggles in your life hanging in the balance again. Of course, charges in that case were dismissed, but your troubles weren't even over yet. Now we get to curtail Walker. Can you tell us about Catal and who he was to you?


Well, Kurzer was a troubled youth. He had a lot of mental abilities. You know, he had a similar situation, like his mom was on drugs and stuff like that. And I was actually working for a youth organization that was run by this older gentleman named Fred Elamine likes to help the troubled youth, you know, to prevent them from making bad decisions and stuff like that. So Cartwell was one of them that was basically, you know, participating in the programs.


So you were sort of keeping an eye on Catal, is that right? Like trying to keep him out of trouble even though he was selling weed? And by the way, a lot of people selling we now I mean, it's like the people are getting rich off of weed legally. So that's a whole nother story. But OK, so you were trying to sort of be almost like a big brother to him, right?


Yeah, I was. I mean, I was a big brother to a lot of the kids because a lot of them, you know, grew up as being to the streets, doing a lot of things they would be doing. So, yes, he was one of the kids.


And now we fast forward to June twenty two thousand four and correct me if I'm wrong, but the way I understand it, you and your children's mother, Marina. And this is an important part of the story, because Maureen is white and we know that there's a cop who gets involved in this and people are saying it's because he didn't like the fact that you were a black guy dating a white girl or having kids with her nonetheless. Yes. Officer Brown, the prior problems with.


And you were celebrating your birthday, right? Yes, right. So June 20, 2004, you and the marina celebrating your birthday, going to Six Flags and Darian Lake and her car, your Francene is driving. And Catell was along for the ride. Yes. And so Tina had an errand to run before you went to pick up your daughter for this all day trip. Right. And the errand happened to be right near a Rent-A-Center. Unbeknownst to you, one of Cartel's customers owed him twenty five dollars for weed, right?


Yes. The manager of the Rent-A-Center store, his job was to fill out the receipts and stuff like that and to put the stuff into the bank deposit bags. Then additionally, take the deposit bags to the empty bank that was located in the same plaza. But instead of him doing that, he established a plan where he would take her to the money that he owed him. So the manager put the money that he owed Cartwell in the back car to meet him and then gave curtailed the back.


And then later on, faith, as it if curtailed, had actually robbed because he had to have a way to cover up what he did. Right.


Because sooner or later they would have noticed the 20 bavarois missing, obviously. So they staged this fake robbery. Again, it's like something out of a bad movie. But OK, so back to the car. Before picking up your daughter and heading to Six Flags, Tina stopped to run an errand near the Rent-A-Center.


Tina went to the store. I was asleep in the back seat and Curtail told her, Listen, I'll be right back and hopped out of the car and left so no one in the car knew what he was doing. When Tina came out of the store, Cartwell was not back and we was about to leave him. So she put off her tail, came running to scream, Stop the car. So Tina pulled over, Curto came, hopped in a car and Tina sat there for a while.


I think one of them thought that they had misplaced her keys or something. So they sat there for a while. And that's when the guy, Edward Dupre, who just happened to be walking down the street, said that he thought some criminal happened when he seen the way that Curtailed, ran and screamed to stop the car. And when the car remained idle, that he walked directly by the car, wrote the license plate number now and got a good look in the car and said that he seen the two female and Carter worker.


But I was in the car, but he didn't see me in the car because I was sleeping in the back seat. So that's how that happened.


And did you have any idea of all the insanity that was taking place?


I did not, because you have to understand is Susan, I got a pregnant girlfriend in the car. I'm on parole. I'm working. Of course, I would never have been around something like that. So I did not know what curtail Walker had did. And this was another thing that, you know, that came out in the transcripts. If the individuals even if you have stupid criminals, OK, it's no way in the world that a car of criminals is going to sit less than a street away from where a fake robbery transpired.


It defies all logic and common sense. You're not going to sit around and wait to get in trouble and get arrested or whatever it is. So the manager calls nine one one and then things go downhill from there.


The guy, Edward de Prieto, was walking through when he said that he wrote the license plate number. Now, when the police pulled up to the crime scene, he gave the police the license plate number. That's when the APB got put out for Marina's car.


And then here comes this officer who becomes your tormentor. But it starts with him spotting the car.


So we got off the interstate and Officer Brown was shooting radar. He began to follow Marina's car. We put in our driveway and pheasant run. At this time, I was living in Amherst and I had prior problems with Officer Brown. Officer Brown performs a felony stop after he calls for backup. It was a lot of Amherst police that was immediately there. Officer Brown comes to me, throw me on the ground, handcuff me with my hands behind my back, search me, find absolutely nothing on me because I did not have anything placed me in the police car.


The other officers, you know, check, search, everybody else. A walker said that he did not have handcuffs on. Walker actually took the bank deposit bags in hate in his boxer briefs, which makes sense that the officers are not checking your area, you know, so they didn't find any of the stolen items that car had on him. They also put Marino, who, as you said, was pregnant on the ground. And the cops need her on the neck, right on the pavement.


They had their knee on her back and then her mother ran outside. With my when my daughter in her hand went up in a police officer's aimed a gun at her mother and told her to back up and shoot, her mother was screaming, she's pregnant. She's pregnant. Officer Brown then Marina to sign a waiver, and he went in search of her car when he searched our car, he found the two purses that belonged to Marina and Tina that was in the front seat of Mr.


Brown, then took money out of both of those purses. Then he came back. He transported me in a patrol car, one of seven, because these numbers are very, very important. In my reference to the fabrication of evidence, he transported me in his patrol car, which was Amherst's patrol car, one to seven to the crime scene. He brought me out of the car. The fake victim manager came out and said, no, that's not him.


He got her to walk her out of Amherst patrol car, one or five. He didn't identify him as well. He then went and searched the patrol car that Cartwell Walker was in. Patrol car, one of five found two thousand dollars that curtail Walker had took out of his pants. Now, based upon the testimony, Carter Walker said that he made two thousand dollars at the back of a patrol car, one to five, and he had eighty eight dollars in his pocket.


Officer Brown then made Cartwell Walker kick off his shoes and he recovered deposit bags, audit slips and receipts that belong to the Rent-A-Center. So after Thomas Brown recovered the checks, the deposit bags and the money for Carter Walker, he then got back at the police car that I was transported me to Buffalo police headquarters. And based upon the transcripts of Officer Thomas Brown, stay Buffalo police headquarters for about two hours while the Buffalo police officers conducted the investigation. So Officer Brown then asked me that I have any information about the criminals in Amherst and that if I gave them information, then I wouldn't have to worry about a parole violation.


And I told him, yes, I have information. You should take your handcuffs out and arrest yourself. Officer Brown became very angry and he started saying, you know, you nigger this, that and the third, I'll make sure you never get out of jail. And I started a third and, you know, he went above and beyond after that. I'll say that now they brought Catell into it. Right. And so they interrogate Catell, who couldn't read or write and under physical duress and under pressure of a twenty five year sentence.


And he was under age. They got him to sign a statement that again, he couldn't have understood because he couldn't read and say that you had planned the robbery. And he just was a sort of went along with it and gave you the money. Right.


Cartwell Walker, on the day of the incident, the officers basically slapped him around and did all of the stuff to him. Right. So the officer that prepared the report, Detective Mark Joseph Lorber. First of all, I will say that he got caught up in some racist stuff. I actually have the New York Times article. He got caught up in some racial text messages and stuff and killed a black guy and said that the guy aimed a gun at him in the gun guy found on the roof.


So this is not a good police officer, let me put it like that. Even though he was able to beat these charges, OK, now he's the one that was in the room with curtail that prepared the statement cartel could not read. So, you know, they threatened him and told his grandmother, listen, if you do not sign this statement that he's going to get twenty five years in jail, he needs to sign a statement. So the statement still stated that it wasn't a robbery.


This is the thing. They just added my name and their cartel still let them know. Like, listen, you know, the guy gave him the money. So the very next day when we got out on bail, I was informed that my name was in a statement. And I was I was very upset. I was very upset. So the families all had a meeting. His family's grandmother, the mother, father, everybody had a meeting.


And that's when cartel told them, like, listen, this is the truth. You know, the guy owe her money and that, you know, basically I had no knowledge of it, nothing to do with it. And neither did the girls. So the grandmother takes cartel to Buffalo police station the very next day and tells the officers, listen, Cartwell Walker wants to confess. My grandson wants to confess to tell you exactly what happened, because he just told us exactly what happened.


The officers refused to take the confession and document it in a police report is say cartel Walker came in here the next day to the major crimes unit, told us that the first statement was false and that he wanted to recant the involvement of Rick's. And we told him to leave and have a nice day. And the officers wouldn't even take the confession from him. And I actually have the police reports to prove every single thing that I'm saying. Now they start fudging more of the evidence, right, because in order to charge you with a felony, they had to have over three thousand dollars that was stolen.


Right. And yes, they've got all these disparate amounts of money. They've got the money that they actually stole from the girls purses was fourteen hundred. Then they've got the two thousand. Catell hid in the back of a squad car, one to five, which you never were in then. They've got eighty eight dollars from Cartel's wallet. If you add all of this up, it's three thousand four hundred eighty eight dollars. So they needed to get to a number over three thousand dollars where they could charge you with a felony, which we know Officer Brown very much wanted to charge you with a felony.


But how did they manage to end up framing you for this one?


Well, the Buffalo police officers, Officer Brown, write notes of everything that transpired, why he was with me and my lawyer ended up obtaining a copy of those notes. So those notes did not say anything that the police reports that Officer Brown prepared later ended up saying after Officer Brown went back to Amherst police station, Officer Brown prepared a statement that's called a seven, 10, 30 statement and stated that I made verbal statements to him saying that Curtail Walker gave me the stolen money that I had stolen the money in my shoe, and that I basically took the money out of my shoe when my hands cuffed behind my back and hid it inside of the police car.


All right, so we got to believe that you're some sort of magician, Houdini, David Blaine, somebody where you could, while you're in handcuffs, magically remove the money from your sock or shoe and stick it in the other car that you never even were in. That's got to be magic. That's incredible. I mean, that's really what you have to believe if you're going to believe their story on top of all the other lies in nonsense and then all of us are.


Brown stated that I made verbal statements to him saying if he got rid of the money, then I would tell him about the criminals in Amherst because it's going to break my parole. Now, that seems crazy because I never was charged with possession of stolen property initially until Officer Brown testified at the grand jury, the district attorney actually added the possession of stolen property charge from the Buffalo booking report shows that absolutely nothing was taken from me. It says no items was recovered from the defendant.


I actually have copies of every single one of these police reports. I had one hundred fourteen dollars. That was my personal money. They put it with my property and I gave it back to me the next day. Now, Officer Brown did this is this is how they pulled this off. When he came to the grand jury, he testified somewhat truthfully. He still lied and said that he recovered the whole thirty four hundred from Cartwell Walker when in reality he only recovered two thousand dollars that curtail Walker had hid in the back seat of a police car in eighty eight dollars that Curtis Walker had in his pocket, and they added the 14 from the women.


So change it from a misdemeanor to a felony. OK, so at the Huntlee map hearing it was a pretrial hearing where the prosecution had to establish if they had probable cause or not to arrest me. So at the Huntley map hearing only the arrest officer could come and testify. And Officer Brown comes to this hearing and he testifies under oath that he placed me under arrest at the crime scene after he recovered the stolen money from the police car that I was in.


Then he charged me himself for possession of stolen property, that he read me my rights after he charged me with possession of stolen property. And then I waive my right to self incrimination. And that's when I made a verbal statement, OK? And the judge decided that Officer Brown was believable so that he can admit the physical evidence.


Probably the truest thing you ever said is that he should have arrested himself. He would have been doing us all a favor. But OK, so just to keep track. All right. So Officer Brown has now changed the details from his initial notes to Buffalo P.D. to his seven, 10, 30, then to his grand jury testimony and then to the Huntley map hearing.


And all the while, the judge, the D.A. and everyone else is finding ways to find him believable. Right now, we move on to the trial, OK?


Now, during trial, Officer Brown had a complete 360. OK, Officer Brown testified that he was not the arresting officer. He was not the assisting officer. He was not present when I was placed under arrest. He did not know if I was placed under arrest. And the thing is also Brown also testified that he was the only officer that was with me from the initial time in Amherst. We put the car over and took me into custody at the crime scene in Buffalo police station for two hours.


Why? The Buffalo officers conducted the investigation right then and there. The judge, the district attorney and everyone was made aware of the fact that Officer Brown falsified everything at the Huntley map here at. And they just ignored it.


So the victim didn't testify at trial, Quartel Walker didn't testify at trial, and it could go on the record, so he went on the run when I went to trial.


So let's talk about Michael D'Amico. Michael D'Amico was my trial attorney. He played an important role in me, actually ended up in jail with me getting out of jail. He didn't cause certain witnesses that I requested that he called. You know, he said that the reason why he didn't call them was because without a victim and without an eyewitness, he didn't even figure that you're not able to go anywhere with the case because based upon the law, those charges were supposed to be dismissed.


But, you know, with the witnesses, they subpoenaed every single person they subpoena the fake victim who was in custody on a material witness warrant who actually provide an affidavit later on stating that he told the district attorney that I didn't have anything to do with it, that he wasn't right, but they didn't allow him to testify because the district attorney threatened him and told him, you better not come to court to say that Casey is innocent or you're going to get twenty five years.


OK, Marina and Tina was subpoenaed. The district attorney told them that, you know, he dropped charges on them and they told him that they knew the victim and that he never got robbed in that Schilling never robbed him and that we never had no knowledge of what they did, what the district attorney told them, the same thing. You have to come back with a different story. You better not come and testify that he did not allow them to testify neither.


OK, this is crazy.


The two managers was the only other two, the two managers of the RNC, which is the place where the fake robbery occurred who weren't even there. Both testified, one testified that he was present that day and that the alleged victim had left with the bank deposit and came back out of breath claiming to have been robbed. Also, that he was unsure whether it was one hundred or one hundred thousand dollars that was lost. The other manager testified to establish the value at thirty four eighty eight.


So somebody obviously fed him that information. So then during cross-examination, it came out that the second manager that established the one to establish the value hadn't even started working at that location until almost a year after the freaking incident. So he didn't even know the alleged robbery victim, but he was an assistant manager at a different location. He wasn't there. Like this is I can't with this shit. And like, as you just said, you know, one was to establish the value of the money, which is important because, you know, the element of possession of stolen property has to be of value.


He testified that the money took in in the money claimed to be recovered, matched to the penny, which was a complete lie because based upon the bank audit slips, it was not the same amount of money. And he testified during cross-examination that he did not work at the store until a year after the incident when Michael Jackson. Did you did you ever hear that you're your own manager actually stole the money? He said, I just heard there was an investigation and he was let go shortly after the incident.


So they definitely knew that he was not robbed?


No, it was a fake robbery. And I don't even know sometimes why we have perjury laws when people like this just lie out well on the stand and just get away with it and just move on with their lives. And this is this is some really bald faced lie and going on here and a lot of it from a lot of different people. OK, so you ultimately get convicted in June two thousand five of robbery and criminal possession of stolen property.


And because of your prior wrongful conviction, your sentence was enhanced to 20 years. So. I mean, how did you deal with that and what was that moment like, man? It was it was terrible, man, because I had a baby on the way, man. And I thought, you know, I'm a real family man. And I had two babies born in a year and like a year and like five months. So I just sat there and just watched my family, like, the whole courtroom went crazy because everybody knew that I was innocent.


And the day that I got sentenced to 20 years, Cartwell Walker pleads guilty to the robbery charge.


So there's a crazy piece of the story that could have turned into a real problem. In a devious move, they stuck you in the bullpen with Courtauld. Walker, who was underage at the time, should never have even been in the same place as you. And or my mind goes is a bad place. They were trying to get you to do something, hoping that I would kill a kid.


I just got fresh 20 year sentence, you know what I'm saying? No one is going to be in their right mind with a 20 year old, especially for a crime that they didn't commit and that you put this person in there that got me in there, you know, hoping that I would do something to him. But I said, no, I'm not going to do that. I know that he told them the right stuff.


So you go to prison. Can you just give us some insight into what that experience was like? Yeah, it was real, was critical. It was critical. And and I wanted to a great state of depression and then. I prayed, I prayed, and it was like I just said, listen, I got to obtain my freedom, I don't got time to stand in here and be stressing about anything else. And that's what happened. I mean, my my child's mother got married in, like, six months.


So I wasn't it was like the after thing after thing. You don't have said it. It was just like I just looked in the mirror and I said, man up. And I said I said, the only way you're going to get your life back if you fight for it. So that's why I went to the law library and I started learning the law. Yeah. You know, it took a long time, but, you know, thanks to God, I was able to get out of there and give most of that time back.


So there you are. You're studying the law. You're praying. You're doing everything you possibly can. You're finding strength in a place where I think almost anybody else would have just collapsed. But you found this other gear. I have so much respect for you. But anyway, you filed this motion after processing motion, our listeners. So that means that when the person himself or herself files their own legal briefs, but nothing was working until a friend of your uncle came to visit you, and that's when the ball started rolling back in the right direction, right?


Oh, yes. I had about twelve motions that I filed in the state courts. And I figured, you know, no victim, no eyewitness with all of this evidence, these judges is going to do what they supposed to do, you know what I'm saying? And not one of them even probably review those motions. So then my uncle had brought one of his friends to see me. That was Karl, the driver. And my uncle told him that I wasn't supposed to be in jail.


And and he came to see me and he said, listen, if the stuff that you say is true, then I'm going to be to help you get out of jail. He was connected to attorney Robert Goldstein. So basically me mean Karl prepared the motion. You know, they conducted an investigation. That's when they was able to speak to my trial lawyer, Michael D'Amico, and they was able to speak to the fake victim and everyone else. And that's when, you know, the fake victim provided an affidavit to let them know that he wasn't robbed and basically that he had told the district attorney when he was incarcerated on a material witness warrant and that what the district attorney told him basically to leave the state.


When I spoke to Michael D'Amico and then Michael D'Amico provided an affidavit stating that the victim did confess to him prior to my trial, told him that he was not a victim in the case, that he never was robbed, that he owed curtail Walker money, and that basically he used the money to satisfy a drug debt. And then D'Amico said that this is in this affidavit. He said that he couldn't take the statement because it will be a conflict of interest, because the prosecution's office will state that he tried to coerce them to give an affidavit that could exonerate me being that I was his client.


So he referred him to another attorney named Daniel Grasso, who's who's now, I think, a judge in Blaisdel. But he also provided an affidavit to say, yes, you know, the Michaele's client came, but he never retained me. So, you know, and that's what happened. So I had all those affidavits. The judge granted me a hearing at the 440 hearing with Judge Burns. We had about eight affidavits of the affidavit from the victim, attorney Mike D'Amico, attorney Daniel Grasso, Cartwell Walker, Marena.


And we had an affidavit from a Bruce Barnett affidavit from a Diane Barnett. And then we had my affidavit or and it never was anything that was against me. But the fabrications of Officer Brown.


District Attorney John Flynn said there was no robbery here. The victim was in on it. It was grand larceny. The fact of the matter is that he was serving time for a crime he did not do. And then Judge Burns said, in this court's view, the new evidence is sufficient to establish that, quote, No juror acting reasonably would have voted to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt with regard to the robbery charge. Not got this amazing statement from the D.A. and the judge.


And ultimately, I know you were released on February 3rd. Twenty seventeen after serving 12 years and ten months and probably some other days, too. But how did you end up getting released?


How did that work? Well, listen to this. Pretty interesting, too. OK, well, the judge issues in order for my immediate release because they dismissed a robbery charge which held twenty years in the possession of stolen property charge. And I think it was two and a third to seven years. So the maximum amount of time that I could have done a the possession of stolen property charge was seven years being another twelve years and ten months. He issued an order from our media release.


What was that day like, man? It was like finally, you know, I couldn't believe it, you know, because, I mean, you look at the average people in jail and a lot of them that's innocent is still not coming home.


You know, I got a lot of friends, like I got like 30 guys that I look out for us. Do you not do much as I can because I'm not in the best position right now. But a lot of people are coming home. So I just felt fortunate enough to be able to obtain my freedom. I want to recommend a new podcast to you, it's called Abuse of Power, and it's hosted by criminal defense and civil rights attorney David Rudolf and Sonia Phifer, a passionate and experienced, I'm going to say legendary husband and wife team.


David and Sonya are also longtime friends and legal associates of our hosts here at Wrongful Conviction podcast. Each episode of Abuse of Power identifies and discusses the various ways in which law enforcement and the US criminal legal system victimized the very people they're supposed to be protecting here from exonerated the currently incarcerated criminal experts and other lawyers, including our wrongful conviction junk science host Josh Duban. It's one of my favorites. So check out Abuse of Power with David Rudolf and Sonia Phifer available now wherever you get your podcasts.


So you come out February 3rd, it's probably minus 30 degrees outside of Buffalo on February 3rd, but nonetheless, it must have felt pretty warm.


I was to think about the weather, say that I could pull up. And meanwhile, now I'm hearing that you could well, you got married a couple of years ago, so congratulations on that. Thank you. And I hear now you're doing some amazing things with a couple of my favorite people. Honorees named Marty Tankleff and Jeffrey Deskovic. Both have been on the show before.


Well, I mean, I met Marty when I was with Keyon. Chalaby was one to who was also an attorney. And Steve Metcalf, I know who is connected with Jeffrey Deskovic. I was telling you that assisted him with the prison reform movement. Him and Bill Bosnich in Pennsylvania was at Temple University. But all of the honorees and I mean, that's a few I have a lot of different attorneys that, you know, have been connected to and, you know, sending him cases and me and Carl Stillman doing a lot of work together.


He's definitely my friend who helped me get out of prison. So, yeah, that's awesome.


And Kincaide has also been on the show. He's an incredible guy. And then you're doing amazing work with all these great people. But you're also still fighting your own wrongful conviction for the possession of stolen property charge.


Yes. Now, this is where it gets really, really interesting. Cartwell Walker testified that he had twenty five hundred in his pants. He put five hundred in the sock and he hit it two thousand in the police car. In the transcripts, Judge Burns had the stenographer to add that he carto a question. And personally, how much money did you have and curtails it three or four thousand dollars. That never was said. I really couldn't understand why Judge Burns fabricated the transcripts because what he had three or four thousand dollars.


It does not matter because I did not have any of the money. You understand what I'm saying? Which it does not make sense at all. So after they fabricated the transcripts, a motion was put in to settle the transcripts. And it was eight affidavits inside of that motion as well from all of the people that was present during that hearing to say no. Cartwell Walker never said that they denied that motion. So now it goes to the twenty nineteen here and we file another 440.


We had the evidence, the police reports and stuff like that. So the lawyers presented the motion and the judge granted a hearing. Judge Christopher Burns grants the hearing. He gives a specific order. It says the hearing specifically revolves around the amount of money that was obtained from defendant Rik's during the time of his arrest. OK, because, you know, we got all of the proof saying, listen, they've recovered this money from Kurzer Walker from the women purses.


You know, we have the police reports to prove this witness affidavits, the fourteen hundred dollars that Officer Brown recovered from the woman's purse because he was the only officer in Amherst that searched the car. So it's not like other officers could have recovered it. None of the Buffalo police officers was in Amherst. When we went to Buffalo, police station Officer Brown gave the fourteen hundred dollars to another officer named Joe Encino. This was the officer that was with Marina and Tina, and she created a police report that stated that fourteen hundred dollars of the stolen money recovered was recovered from the women's purses.


The prosecutor withheld this police report, so the defense never even knew that. Fourteen hundred dollars of the thirty four hundred dollars actually belonged to the person of the women. So this was a police report that I was able to obtain during a FOIA request. Also, when I mention patrol car one oh five, after the officers recovered the stolen money hidden in the backseat of the police car, they took a picture. I was able to obtain a copy of the Amherst police report, which shows that the only picture that they took of the money was from a patrol car, one oh five, not patrol car one or seven where I was at.


So we go to the hearing. Two things had to be established, the time of arrest and what was obtained from me during that time based upon a judge's order. So we established that I was placed under arrest by Officer Remotely and Officer Johnson Leveton. We established that they never charged with possession of stolen property. We established that the booking report proved that no stolen money was ever recover from me. And we also had a hotel worker to come testify to all of the other facts that we just spoke about.


And we had Marina to testify that the officers did take the money out of her purse. All of that was established. D.A. Flynn, he had just came in office in twenty seventeen. OK, so for the twenty nineteen hearing, Robert Goldstein at. My request had a meeting with D.A. Flynt and D.A. Henry, he showed D.A. Flynn everything D.A. Flynn told him he didn't care about it and then told Thomas Brown everything that attorney Goldstein has said to him in the letter.


We actually prepared a letter that mentioned all of the perjuries and stuff like that. Officer Brown's testimony changed at every single court appearance. So when we had the twenty nineteen hearing, Officer Thomas Brown now comes and testifies that he never searched Cartwell Walker. He never recovered the deposit bags. He never recovered the checks. He never recovered the money. This is what he testifies to in the record. And this is why I'm pushing him right now to get charges pressed on him for his perjury right here.


He knew that we had proof to prove that he fabricated that evidence in reference to that money. When I was able to obtain that police report that mentioned that he basically gave that money to that officer. So now he knew that we had sufficient evidence and he said that he never recovered nothing. He said, listen, I seen the money and I pointed out to the Buffalo police and they are the ones who recovered it. This is where it gets crazy, though, because the Buffalo booking report shows that absolutely nothing was taken from me.


That means that none of the prosecution witnesses ever recovered any stolen money, any stolen tax or anything. I ended up finding a police report. It was like God woke me up at six o'clock in the morning and told me, look through all my papers. And I got thousands of papers and I found a Amherst police report where Officer Thomas Brown badge number, a signature that said that he overturned the checks, the deposit bags in the thirty four hundred dollars of money combined to the Buffalo police.


So now I said, OK, I want charges pressed on Officer Brown for the perjury's that he committed in the twenty nineteen heren. I don't feel that anyone else should be held at any different standard. You know, it was perjury is clear perjury. We have, we have sufficient evidence to prove it. So we filed a reargument motion. Judge Burns completely ignores it, ignores it, and then on top of ignoring it, say the officer Brown was believable is so do the Herrity.


They say, oh, all the other witnesses, you know, basically wasn't believable. But Officer Brown was what Judge Barnes did admit in order that there was a Brady violation, meaning that the officers did withhold the fourteen hundred dollars that was taken from the woman's purse. And that marina was believable when she testified that they actually took the money, but he did not. Dismissing that charge is based upon the Brady violation when he knew the amount of money was a central element to a possession of stolen property charge.


And now I have attorney Steven Metcalf. We have an appeal in. We have all of the perjury's and stuff that's being mentioned. Again, going back to the appellate division.


There is still a possibility that the perjury charges can be brought, right? Oh, yes. It's well within the statute of limitation. And then the perjury just was committed in twenty nineteen. So as the recently I just had meetings with citizens action was about 30 other organizations that was going to assist me in bringing the truth to D.A. Flynn and the mayor of Buffalo so that these charges can be brought against this racist police officer, Thomas Brown. Is there anything that anyone can do to help you?


I was going to say what I mean. Me, my team, our audience is so many smart, capable people out there that our listeners that are there wanting to get involved. I know they're going to hear your voice. I'm going to say I can't let this stand. There's got to be something. Is there something to even if it's something as simple as writing a letter or making a phone call, but maybe there's more. I don't know.


You tell me I need all of the assistance that I can get. I mean, you see how complicated this is. It is bigger than me. I'm still new to this world. So it's like I'm just figuring it out. However, anybody that's willing to assist me, I'll provide all of the paperwork to show that I have sufficient evidence to support every allegation that I'm making. Yeah, I just need the people just to be with me, to support me, prove my innocence.


Right. So what we're going to do, for starters, is we're going to start a petition. There'll be a link in the bio so people can sign up. People can follow you as well on Instagram and social media.


If you can give us those handles, my Facebook, my Instagram, my YouTube and my SoundCloud is all under Kyoto. Rick's in the correct spelling is while in our.


Yes, let's follow him and keep in the know about developments in the case by following Kiante and checking the link in our bio. And now Kiante. What can I say man. I knew I was going to be in for a whirlwind when we did this interview, but I wasn't even prepared for all these twists and turns. It's an extraordinary story and it's an amazing life that you're living now and more power to you. I wish you all the success and blessings in the world, you and your family, and now we.


I have a thing called closing arguments, and this is the part of the show where I first of all, thank you again, Kiante, for being here. Thank you. And now it's up to you to share whatever thoughts you want about anything with our audience.


Well, this is something that I want to put in the atmosphere, because I feel that a lot of times we focus more on the problems than we focus on the solutions. And I know that this is bigger than me. So I suggest that we create something like a motion review committee. OK, the average six honorees, I think they said, was doing about a minimum of 12 years. Oh, I don't know if that was just PR, but what I feel was that it's not just the police that's killing people in the streets.


They're killing people in court. It's the district attorney's and it's the judges, too. It's a demonic system. And what we need to do is not just focus on prosecutors or police. We need to focus on these judges as well. Because if you see, you know, in my case, an evidence that I have, like the judges, both of them played a major part, including the appellate judges who, you know, it's my right to confront my accusers.


So, I mean, how do you uphold a conviction without a victim and without eyewitness? It makes no sense based upon the United States Constitution. So what I feel is that we need to create some committees, even if we had to contract with the lawyers. I know the lawyers are under attorney client privilege, but I feel that when they're putting motions in that these motions should be filed to the committees. And when the judges ignore the Constitution or procedural violations, then I think that the committee should come together to file complaints with the Judicial Conduct Committee to get them judges out of office, because, I mean, that will help the people get out of prison.


That's not supposed to be there. It'll also prevent people from actually going to prison. And when you hold the head of the body accountable, the head of the body holds the rest of the body accountable. The district attorney is not the most important person or the strongest person inside of that courtroom, I believe is the judge, because the judge has to say so. And even though they are able to withhold evidence and different things of that nature. But it's ultimately up to the judge, you know, and a lot of times the judges see the truth.


I mean, one of their famous statements is get it on appeal. And a lot of people don't really pay attention to what that means. What that means is I know that is constitutional and procedural violations of your case, but I'm not going to give you the relief that I know I'm supposed to be given to you. Let another judge give it to you because I'm not doing it. And that's not right. It's not just the individual as a single judge or a single district attorney or a single police officer.


It's the whole system. And the only way for that system to come down is if we all get involved in and then we stop turning our face to the police prosecutor and judicial misconduct is transpiring on a constant basis. So that's basically all I want to say. I sincerely thank you for allowing me to be able to come on here, to be able to tell my story. I've dedicated my life to doing what I'm doing. I also work with the youth group at my church.


I have a customized shirt business. I'm on the verge of starting a young man empowerment academy because my wife has the Young Woman Empowerment Academy. She has like two sisters in Buffalo. Want Piss, many about to start a chapter of Virginia. We're deeply invested in community in helping people. But like I said, the power is at numbers and the power is with the people. So we all have to come together and just figure this out because nobody is not the color thing.


I mean, years have more to blacks and Hispanics. What's happened to everybody? You know what I mean? This system, it happens to everybody. That's happened more so to the lower class, the people who can't afford, you know, attorneys at different things of that nature. So I just say that, you know, I think you're right. It's all about coming together. And however, I'm able to be of assistance to help a people that has their freedom in their life taken that I'm up for it so anyone can contact me.


I want to assist however I can. And that's all I want to say. Thank you for allowing me to come on your show.


Don't forget to give us a fantastic review wherever you get your podcast. It really helps. And, you know, I'm a proud donor to the Innocence Project and I really hope you'll join me in supporting this very important cause. And in so doing, helping to prevent future wrongful convictions. It's easy. Go to Innocence Project Dog to learn how to donate and get involved. I want to thank our amazing producers, engineers and editors, Connor Hall and Kevin Amortise.


The music in the show is my three time Oscar nominated composer, DJ Ralph. Be sure to follow us on Instagram at wrongful conviction and on Facebook at Wrongful Conviction podcast. Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production of Lava for Good Podcasts in association with Signal Company No. One, Northparkes. For NPR ex.