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Roosevelt Glenn

Other Indiana DNA Exonerations
At about 1:30 a.m. on December 7, 1989, a 27-year-old woman driving home from a friend’s house was waiting at a red light in Hammond, Indiana, when her car was rear-ended by another vehicle. When she got out of her car to check the damage, a man she later identified as 37-year-old Darryl Pinkins grabbed her.

The woman told police that Pinkins attempted to push her back into her car and grabbed her purse containing a handgun and $20. Two other men then approached and dragged her back to their car and shoved her into the back seat. The woman said there were five men in the car and she was ordered not to look at anyone or she would be killed.

The woman said she was driven to Gary, Indiana and ultimately all five men raped her after covering her face with a green one-piece worker’s coverall. After two hours, the men ordered her to put her clothes back on and drove her back to her car where they released her, still wearing the coverall over her head.

Police examined those green coveralls and determined that they were issued by Luria Brothers Company, a scrap management firm for Bethlehem Steel Co. A Luria Brothers manager told police that three employees—Pinkins, William Durden and 27-year-old Roosevelt Glenn were each issued two pairs of green coveralls on May 30, 1989 and that each had been issued two new pairs on December 11, 1989—four days after the assault.

Police believed the condition of the recovered coveralls was consistent with the job that Glenn performed for Luria Brothers. Durden, Glenn and Pinkins all worked the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift on December 6, 1989. Four days later they asked for new coveralls, saying that Glenn’s car had been stolen and their coveralls were in the car, although records would later show that Glenn had not reported his car stolen.

Pinkins, Durden and Glenn told police that they left work in Durden’s car, but it broke down. An Indiana state trooper later confirmed that he saw Durden’s car on the side of the interstate and three men walking on an exit ramp who refused his offer of a ride.

Glenn told police he called his girlfriend at about 11:45 p.m. and she picked them up. After taking her home, they used her car to go to a Gary liquor store and cashed their checks. Pinkins told police that at about 12:30 a.m., they purchased two quarts of oil and returned to Durden’s car to find that the passenger window had been shattered and that all their work clothes, including their green coveralls, had been stolen.

The assault was one of a series of what police were calling “bump and rob” incidents in the Lake County area, although this was the first resulting in a rape. As police began comparing reports of these crimes, they discovered that on the night of December 5-6—24 hours prior to the abduction and rape of M.W.—Jill Martin, a flight attendant driving from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to her parents’ home in Valparaiso was rear-ended at a stoplight near Merrillville, Indiana. Martin said that as three men approached, a truck approached the scene and all three men returned to their vehicle and drove away.

Using the description of the car from Martin and M.W., police determined that a full-sized 1973 Pontiac car was involved, and that only nine people owned such cars in Lake and nearby Porter counties at that time. None of the vehicles had been reported stolen and the only owner who drove to a steel mill was Gary Daniels. M.W. and Martin identified Daniels’ car as the one involved in both incidents, and police determined that Daniels worked for a contractor that provided cleaning services for Luria Brothers.

In January 1990, police charged five men in connection with the assault on M.W.—Pinkins, Glenn, Durden, Daniels, and another co-worker, Barry Jackson. After the charges were filed, DNA tests were performed by Cellmark Diagnostics on multiple stains containing biological material from M.W.’s sweater and jacket identified three separate DNA profiles, one of which belonged to M.W. When all of the defendants were excluded from the two remaining DNA profiles, the prosecution decided to proceed with the case based on blood-typing of the stains—a much less exacting identification process than DNA testing, even though DNA testing was still in its comparatively primitive stages. As a result, the prosecution dismissed the charges against Daniels, Barnett, and Jackson because their blood types excluded them. The prosecution continued against Durden, Pinkins and Glenn because the blood-typing tests did not exclude them.

Durden went to trial in Lake County Circuit Court in February 1991. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict and the judge declared a mistrial.

Pinkins went to trial in April 1991 on charges of rape, deviate sexual conduct and robbery. M.W. identified Pinkins as one of the men who raped her. A police crime lab analyst testified that the blood-typing tests could not exclude Pinkins, Glenn or Durden.

The prosecution also called Reginald West, who testified that he met Pinkins when he was in jail on drug charges and that Pinkins admitted to raping M.W. West testified that he had received leniency from the prosecution on his drug charges in exchange for his testimony.

Pinkins testified in his own behalf and denied involvement in the crime.

On May 3, 1991, the jury convicted Pinkins of rape, deviate sexual conduct and robbery. He was sentenced to 65 years in prison.

Glenn went to trial in February 1992 and a mistrial was declared after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Not long after, the prosecution dismissed the charges against Durden. Glenn went to trial again and on March 18, 1993, he was convicted of rape, but acquitted of deviate sexual conduct and robbery. The evidence against him included testimony that a hair found on M.W.’s sweater was consistent with his hair, as well as testimony from two jail inmates who claimed that Glenn admitted to them that he committed the crime. Glenn was sentenced to 36 years in prison.

In 2006, the wrongful conviction clinic at Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law and Indiana law professor Frances Watson began re-investigating the cases of Glenn and Pinkins. DNA tests on the hair from M.W.’s sweater excluded Glenn as the source.

In 2015, Dr. Greg Hampikian, a DNA expert and director of the Idaho Innocence Project, reanalyzed the results of the DNA testing in the case using TrueAllelle, a DNA analysis software program that was developed by the firm Cybergenetics to analyze DNA mixtures. This analysis identified four separate DNA profiles in the biological evidence, none of which belonged to Glenn or to Pinkins.

The results of the analysis were presented to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, and on April 22, 2016, the prosecution filed a motion to vacate Pinkins’ convictions and dismissed the charges. Pinkins was then released.

Pinkins’ exoneration was the first in the nation based on a statistical analysis using TrueAllelle, a computer program that analyzes existing DNA test results on mixed biological samples from multiple donors to determine probabilities that particular individuals contributed DNA to the mixtures.

The team of lawyers representing Pinkins and Glenn also sought the exoneration of Glenn, who was released on parole on November 24, 2009. On January 30, 2017, Lake County Circuit Court Judge T. Edward Page vacated Glenn’s conviction and at the request of the prosecution, the case was dismissed.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 2/18/2017
Most Serious Crime:Sexual Assault
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1989
Sentence:36 years
Age at the date of crime:27
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID, Perjury or False Accusation
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:Yes*