Two African American men shot and killed Lloyd Wickliffe and wounded Alvin Thompson on January 11, 1982, in an attempted armed robbery of a McDonald’s restaurant on the far south side of Chicago where the victims were security guards.
The next month, Alton Logan and Edgar Hope, Jr. were arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder based on identifications by the surviving guard — who was right about Hope, but wrong about Logan.
The week after Hope and Logan were charged, Andrew Wilson was arrested and charged with the unrelated murders of Chicago police officers William Fahey and Richard O’Brien. Hope then confided to his lawyer, Marc Miller, that he had committed the McDonald’s crime with Wilson — not Logan. When Miller told Wilson’s public defenders, Dale Coventry and Jamie Kunz, what Hope had said, they confronted Wilson. He told them that, indeed, he and Hope had committed the McDonald’s crime.
As obvious as it was to Coventry and Kunz that Logan was innocent, they were ethically bound not to reveal, during Wilson’s lifetime, what he had told them in confidence. They did, however, prepare a notarized affidavit describing Wilson’s confession to them, which they kept in a locked box. There it would remain for a quarter of a century — until Wilson died of natural causes in prison on November 19, 2007. At that point Coventry and Kunz opened the box and broke their long silence.
Five months later Logan was released on bail – but prosecutors threatened to retry him. Finally charges against Logan were dismissed on September 4, 2008, more than 26 years after he was arrested for a murder he did not commit. He subsequently received a certificate of innocence.
In January 2013, the City of Chicago agreed to pay Logan $10.25 million to settle a federal wrongful conviction lawsuit.
— Center on Wrongful Convictions