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Roxanne Granberry

Other Federal Exonerations with Perjury or False Accusation
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On December 9, 2015, federal agents raided the Maryland home of William and Roxanne Granberry, and accused them of operating a multi-state drug conspiracy that reaped an estimated $3.5 million from the sale of illegally obtained Oxycodone, a highly addictive painkiller.

A federal grand jury in Virginia indicted the couple and others in February 2016 on charges of conspiracy to obtain and distribute Oxycodone. The indictment alleged that William Granberry forged prescriptions, which drug runners then took to pharmacies in Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Federal prosecutors said that from 2008 until the ring was broken up in December 2015, more than 130,000 Oxycodone pills were bought and resold.

William Granberry pled guilty and was ultimately sentenced to 10 years in prison.

In June 2016, Roxanne Granberry, 33, went to trial in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Nikko Moses, William’s brother, testified that he had worked for William Granberry since 2009. He testified that he took over the drug ring from William in 2010—although he had first said that happened in March and later changed it to June or July 2010—after Roxanne demanded that William stop dealing drugs or move out of their home.

Moses said that William called him to his house and told him “[t]hat everything was going to be transferred to me [Moses], or it was going in the trash can. He [William] was not allowed to do anything with the business at that point.” Moses testified that he then spoke with Roxanne, who “pretty much just gave me a brief rundown that my brother was not allowed to do anything. He was not allowed to touch anything, sign anything or do anything related to the business at all, and all actions were to be reported to her.”

Moses told the jury that despite Roxanne’s demands that William stop his drug dealing, she personally took over the drug enterprise. Moses said he was told to handle the meetings and sales of pills. Roxanne was paid $1,850 per week—which was delivered every Sunday to the Granberry home. Moses said Roxanne introduced him to a buyer named Jimmy Sites, who was at the time their biggest customer.

However, much of Moses’s trial testimony directly contradicted his pre-trial statements and testimony before the grand jury. For example, he never told the grand jury that he paid Roxanne directly, and when he had mentioned it in a pre-trial interview to federal agents, he said he made the payments on Fridays, not on Sundays.

Moses’s testimony was also contradicted by other witnesses, including Sites. Sites testified that Roxanne did not introduce him to Moses and that she had nothing to do with establishing his relationship with Moses.

Andre Granberry, another brother of William’s, testified that he and his wife, Jennifer Granberry, were involved in William’s drug operation since 2012. Based on everything he personally knew and observed, he did not believe that Roxanne was involved in William’s drug enterprise. However, Andre did tell the jury that on one occasion, he was with William in his car when William called someone on his cell phone. The phone call was aired on the speaker in the car. William did not identify the woman he called by name, and the screen in the car displayed the word “private” instead of the cell number that William called. But Andre assumed that the woman on the phone was Roxanne based on his personal familiarity with Roxanne’s voice.

Andre testified that William said to the woman, “Babe, Dre (Andre) wants a hundred more dollars per bottle.” Andre said he then overheard the woman say, “Give it to him.” Andre also testified that in a later conversation with William, he raised the subject of William needing to get permission from Roxanne. William said, “It is what it is. She controls everything.”

Andre admitted that he had not mentioned either of these events in his first pre-trial interview with federal agents, but did so during a subsequent interview. Andre also admitted that the statements he claimed William and Roxanne made went “against everything that [he] had seen and known.”

Sheila Coleman testified that in 2015, she needed money and contacted Roxanne through a Facebook message, falsely claiming that she had been arrested and needed help. Coleman said Roxanne told her she would tell William and within ten to fifteen minutes, William called her and arranged to give her money. The defense noted that federal agents, however, could not find any evidence of this Facebook contact with Roxanne. Coleman also testified that after her bond hearing on December 9, 2015, she asked Roxanne for a ride home from the courthouse. During the ride home, Roxanne said William “needed to get out of” the drug business and that she had told William “about keeping money in the house like that.”

Coleman admitted she had not mentioned this conversation to law enforcement in any of her interviews, including those that occurred after she agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with the prosecution. The prosecution conceded that Coleman made the statement for the first time just a week and a half prior to the trial.

Jennifer Granberry, Andre’s wife, was also extensively involved in the drug operation over the years. She testified, on the one hand, consistently with her pre-trial statements that she never saw Roxanne give or receive money, pills, or prescriptions in connection with William’s operation. But she also told the jury that she and William went to Georgia in 2011 to obtain drugs and that Roxanne came along.

Jennifer testified that during the trip, Roxanne said at one point that “she was not going to be able to take off again for this crap.” She also said that Roxanne brought a patient file on the trip, which would have been used to get the Oxycodone at the pharmacies they planned to visit. Jennifer also admitted that during multiple meetings with agents before trial, she had said repeatedly that she had “no independent knowledge that Roxanne knew about this conspiracy.”

The prosecution called a swimming pool contractor who said that Roxanne gave him $26,000 in cash as partial payment for installation of a pool. A review of bank records, tax returns, and other financial documents from 2009-2014, according to the prosecution’s analysis, showed that the amount deposited collectively into their separate accounts exceeded any legitimate sources of income. It also showed that William and Roxanne’s lifestyle, much of it funded with cash, also exceeded their reported income. The defense, however, pointed out that the income that could not be traced to a legitimate source appeared to have been deposited into William’s account. The deposits into the separate account of Roxanne, who had a full-time job, did not exceed her legitimate sources of income.

Moses’s grandmother testified for the defense that Moses was a compulsive, accomplished liar. Dmitri Walls-White, another member of the drug conspiracy, testified that during his extensive involvement with William’s drug business, he never saw Roxanne involved and never conducted any drug transactions with William at their home.

Paul Pinkard, Roxanne’s father, testified that he traveled to Roxanne and William’s home in March 2010. At Roxanne’s insistence, they burned fraudulent prescription paper stored at the house because she was so upset about what William was doing.

On June 13, 2016, the jury convicted Roxanne of conspiracy to distribute drugs. While awaiting sentencing, she hired new lawyers who filed a motion for a new trial in October 2016.

The motion said that the lawyers had found a letter Roxanne wrote in August 2011 in which said she could no longer live with William because of his extramarital affairs and his illegal activities. That letter was evidence that she wanted nothing to do with the drug ring, but had not been presented at the trial.

In addition, the motion said that cell tower records for William’s cell phone showed that he was nowhere near Georgia when Jennifer Granberry claimed that she, Roxanne, and William drove there to buy Oxycodone.

The motion further said that a thorough investigation would have revealed that the vehicle in which Andre Granberry said he heard Roxanne approve a pay raise for his drug selling had a system that mutes all conversations when “private” is on the screen. The voice of the person called would not be played through the speaker, the motion said, suggesting that Andre’s testimony was false.

In February 2017, U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga granted the motion for a new trial and vacated Roxanne’s conviction. The judge said that witnesses who testified about Roxanne’s involvement in the conspiracy had “provided before trial unqualified statements exonerating the defendant. The inculpatory recovered memories occurred only after multiple interviews with law enforcement, and in some cases, only after a witness had already been incarcerated, and the benefits of a reduced sentence were more fully appreciated.”

In addition, the judge noted that some of the details, “once they were remembered, varied significantly over time. Some testimony, including some of the most directly incriminating, such as that from Moses, was flatly contradicted by other witnesses….Other than thoroughly impeached testimony, there was little to no other evidence concerning (Roxanne’s) knowing and voluntary participation in the conspiracy or any intent to further the goals and objectives of the conspiracy.”

“In fact, there was unrefuted testimony that (Roxanne) repeatedly took steps to both stop her husband’s illegal activities and also to distance herself from those activities, including physically separating from him,” the judge declared.

On May 18, 2017, the prosecution dismissed the case.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 6/26/2017
State:Fed-VA
County:(Eastern)
Most Serious Crime:Conspiracy
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2015
Convicted:2016
Exonerated:2017
Sentence:Not sentenced
Race:Caucasian
Sex:Female
Age at the date of crime:33
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Inadequate Legal Defense
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No