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Donald Brock

Other Chicago 'No Crime' Exonerations
In 1986, the People's Gas Light & Coke Company hired a private investigations service to investigate employees suspected of theft. This investigation service included investigator Thomas Sheehan and ex-convict Willie Suggs as an undercover informant.

Donald Brock was one of 31 employees of People's Gas Light & Coke Co. in Chicago who were indicted in January 1988 for stealing gas meters in connection with an alleged scheme to hook up illegal gas service to buildings.

Brock waived a jury trial, electing to be tried before Cook County Circuit Court James M. Bailey, who found him guilty on April 10, 1989 on the basis of Suggs's testimony as well as the testimony of an investigator who said he saw Brock meet with the informant.

Brock’s attorney, William P. Murphy, immediately filed a motion for a new trial.

After six continuances, Murphy’s motion was still pending five months later when Cook County State’s Attorney Cecil A. Partee announced that charges pending against the other 30 Peoples Gas employees were being dropped as a result of “serious doubts” about the veracity of the star witness for the prosecution, Willie Suggs.

In fact, while Sheehan was working undercover to watch Suggs purchase the meters, the transactions were staged. Most of the meters had been stolen by one employee, Nathaniel King. Suggs arranged for friends to pose as gas company employees selling meters and Suggs pocketed most of the money. During a re-investigation, King admitted to the prosecution that he stole the meters and revealed the scam. The investigator's identification of Brook was deemed a mistake.

Judge Bailey granted the motion for a new trial on October 5, 1989, and Partee’s office immediately dismissed the charges.
Rob Warden

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Posting Date:  Before June 2012
Last Updated: 2/26/2022
Most Serious Crime:Theft
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1987
Sentence:Not sentenced
Age at the date of reported crime:
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID, Perjury or False Accusation
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No