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

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

Cook dinner County prosecutors stated in courtroom Tuesday they didn’t object to the protection’s effort to examine the information, and Affiliate Decide 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 proof that would have supported Villa’s protection. Villa was one in every of three males accused in Lewis’s 2011 homicide. He was convicted by a Cook dinner County jury in 2019, however has not but been sentenced.

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

“This is killing me, I’m working nonstop on this case,” Jennifer Blagg, one in every of Villa’s attorneys, instructed 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 cellphone was not on the location of the taking pictures on the time of the taking pictures.

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

Different particulars allegedly withheld included info that would have proven what Villa was texting his girlfriend on the time of the taking pictures.

Lewis’ slaying made headlines throughout town in 2011. Graphic safety video exhibits two masked gunmen cost into the M & M Fast Meals within the 1200 block of North Austin Boulevard and fatally shoot Lewis, who took cowl behind the counter and returned fireplace. The officer, described as a “gentle giant,” had simply gotten engaged just a few 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 dinner County jury convicted Villa in a late-night verdict in 2019. Prosecutors argued that surveillance video of the taking pictures, whereas not significantly sharp, confirmed the big tattoo on Villa’s neck. In addition they relied on witnesses who stated they overheard Villa admit to the taking pictures, although they didn’t 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 be unable to make use of his videotaped confession in opposition to him.

Clay has been in jail for greater than a decade awaiting trial. A number of 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 dinner County Decide Erica Reddick finally agreed and threw out the statements.

Prosecutors appealed that call; the state appellate courtroom ultimately dominated that the confession mustn’t go earlier than a jury.

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

mcrepeau@chicagotribune.com



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