Sunday, April 20, 2008

Damned If You Don't . . . (Update)

Last month, I blogged about a murder case in Illinois in which two lawyers for another man kept secret his confession to the murder for 26 years. Friday's Chicago Tribune has an update on the case. Alton Logan, the man convicted of the murder who has always maintained his innocence, has been granted a new trial and released on bond. For the first time in more than a quarter of a century, he is a free man. But it's not clear he'll remain that way:

In testimony Friday, a former employee at the McDonald's restaurant on the South Side where security guard Lloyd Wickliffe was slain identified Wilson from a photo as the gunman.

Gail Hilliard, a CTA bus driver who was an 18-year-old college student working an evening shift the night of the murder, said she was about to make a milkshake for a drive-through customer when she heard a commotion at the counter, turned and saw a shotgun-toting man enter the restaurant.

She first identified the man as Wilson in a 1999 interview with attorney Richard Kling. Hilliard was interviewed by police after the slaying but did not give a statement, said Vincenzo Chimera, a lawyer with the Illinois attorney general's office.

That office, which is prosecuting the case, will make the decision whether to go to trial again.

Additional new evidence came from Joseph Prendergast, 63, a semi-retired teacher who tutored Wilson in prison for several months in 1982 and 1983. Prendergast, who came forward recently after reading a story about the case in the Tribune, testified Friday that Wilson told him at the time that he had shot a shotgun inside a McDonald's.

Also Friday, prosecutors called to the stand Alvin Thompson, 56, a security guard wounded the night of the shooting. He again identified Logan as the gunman.

According to Chimera, Logan has been identified in court testimony 18 times as the gunman. He argued to the judge that Hilliard's identification of Wilson came years after the crime and that Prendergast didn't hear Wilson specifically confess to the 1982 murder.
As I argued in the initial post, it's worth noting in analyzing what the two attorneys for Wilson did by sitting on his confession that it's not as simple as "he said he did it, so the other guy must be wrongly convicted."

No comments: