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Anthony Jakes

Other Cook County Exonerations with Official Misconduct
https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/PublishingImages/Anthony_Jakes%20(1).jpg
At about 11:30 p.m. on September 15, 1991, 48-year-old Rafael Garcia was fatally shot during an attempted robbery on 51st Street near the corner of Racine Avenue on the South Side of Chicago.

The following day, police said, an anonymous caller reported that 15-year-old Anthony Jakes, who lived on 51st Street a few doors down from the shooting, had information about the crime.

Jakes later said that police came into his home without a warrant and took him to a police station, where an officer planted drugs on him in the lockup. Jakes was then put into an interrogation room where, after Detective Michael Kill kicked and beat him, he signed a confession admitting he had acted as a lookout while another man—Arnold Day—shot Garcia during an attempted holdup.

Jakes was charged with felony murder and attempted armed robbery. Day was arrested and, according to police, also confessed—not only to the murder of Garcia, but also to the murder of Jerrod Irving in a separate, unrelated shooting.

Jakes and Day filed motions to suppress their confessions, claiming they falsely confessed after Detective Kill and another detective, Kenneth Boudreau, physically abused them.

Police testified that after they took Jakes into the station, he was searched and they found a package of drugs on his pocket. They charged him with possession of drugs and then Detectives Kill and Boudreau spoke with him. The detectives said Jakes gave them the names of three girls he was with the evening before.

They testified that the girls denied seeing Jakes. In addition, the detectives said a witness, Gus Robinson, who was in custody in an unrelated charge, reported that just before the shooting, Jakes approached him on the street and asked he wanted to be a lookout for a planned robbery.

When confronted with that evidence, they said, Jakes admitted that he was the lookout for Day in the shooting of Garcia, Kill and Boudreau said. Both denied physically harming Jakes.

Jakes testified that Kill knocked him to the floor and kicked him in the chest until he finally agreed to confess. The statement was not given until about 4 a.m.—16 hours after he was taken from his home. It was not until then that a juvenile officer, whose presence was required during an interrogation of a juvenile, was actually summoned to speak to Jakes.

Jakes said he gave his statement to a prosecutor only because Kill threatened to “give me more of what I just had.”

In the confession, Jakes said that after the shooting, he ran home and looked out the second story window to see Garcia’s body on the ground.

The defense also presented photographs that were taken during Jakes’s initial appearance that showed bruises on his body.

In rebuttal, Detective Boudreau testified that other police officers reported that Jakes had been in a fight with neighborhood youths prior to the shooting.

A physician who examined Jakes after he was sent to the juvenile detention center on the day he confessed testified for the prosecution that his examination showed an older injury to Jakes’s back, but no fresh injuries.

The judge refused to bar the confession, ruling that although the search that allegedly turned up drugs was unlawful and that the failure to call a juvenile officer was “an item to be put on the defendant’s side of the ledger,” the defense had failed to prove his injuries were suffered while at the police station. The judge ruled that Jakes’s confession was voluntary.

James and Day went to trial simultaneously but with separate juries in September 1993. Robinson testified that at 6 p.m. on the night of the shooting, he took his 18-month-old to play on the swings at Sherman Park. He was still there at 11:45 p.m., when he received a notification on his pager. He said he drove to Oliver’s Chicken Shack on the corner of Racine Avenue and 51st Street to use a pay phone.

While he was standing at the phone, Robinson said Jakes approached and asked if he would “stand point” and watch for police while “he and Little A (Day) and them was robbing this white guy.” Robinson said he looked through the window of a submarine sandwich shop next door, saw a man at the counter, and told Jakes he “wasn’t with it.” Robinson said he drove away and, after stopping a few blocks away to talk to friends, heard gunshots. Robinson identified a photograph of Garcia as the man he saw at the counter.

The prosecution presented the confessions obtained from Day and Jakes and the testimony of Boudreau and Kill, both of whom denied physically abusing either Day or Jakes.

Day presented evidence that he was elsewhere at the time of the crime. The defense presented no evidence on Jakes’s behalf.

On September 10, Day was acquitted by his jury. Jakes was convicted of felony murder and attempted armed robbery. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Day ultimately would be convicted of the other murder and was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Jakes’s conviction was upheld by the Illinois Appellate Court in 1995 and the Illinois Supreme Court denied him leave to appeal in January 1996. Acting without a lawyer, Jakes filed a post-conviction petition in February 1996 claiming that his trial defense lawyer had failed to investigate the case, that Detective Kill had kicked, beaten, and threatened to kill him, and that police had failed to call a juvenile officer.

The Cook County Public Defender’s office was appointed to represent him on the petition in May 1996. Two months later, in July, the prosecution filed motion to dismiss the petition.

Nearly seven years later, in January 2003, an assistant public defender was finally assigned to handle the petition. In 2004, a supplemental petition was filed, claiming that his trial defense lawyer had failed to call alibi witnesses who could have testified that Jakes was not at the shooting.

The petition also cited the defense lawyer’s failure to determine that it was impossible to see the street where Garcia was shot from the window of Jakes’s home—as his confession stated—because his home faced the alley, not the street. The petition cited this evidence as proof that the confession was false.

The prosecution’s motion to dismiss was granted. Jakes appealed and in 2006, the Illinois Appellate Court remanded the case for an evidentiary hearing to allow the defense to develop evidence supporting Jakes’s claim that his confession was the product of physical abuse.

However, the trial court judge denied a defense motion to require the prosecution to produce evidence of past misconduct by Detectives Kill and Boudreau. As a result, the defense ultimately filed another petition based on information uncovered in its own investigation, as well as information published by the Chicago Tribune in an article detailing false confessions obtained by Boudreau.

The amended petition cited allegations of physical abuse and coerced confessions in 13 cases involving Kill and 16 cases involving Boudreau. The trial court dismissed all the allegations involving Boudreau since Jakes said that only Kill beat him and that Boudreau merely watched. The court also refused to consider all claims against Kill before 1988 as too remote in time to the 1991 confession, and eventually reduced the number of relevant allegations against Kill to just two prior cases. The judge denied relief, finding that two cases were not sufficient to show a pattern of misconduct to support Jakes’s claim.

Jakes, by then represented by lawyers at The Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago Law School, appealed. In 2013, the Illinois Appellate Court again reversed the trial court and remanded the case for further hearings. Jakes was out of prison by then—he was released on parole on June 21, 2012.

The appellate court ruled that Jakes’s lawyers were entitled to any information about both detectives that the prosecution had. The court noted that Kill had testified under oath in a different case that he had gotten confessions in about 90 percent of the murders he investigated, and that he had been accused of physically beating suspects in virtually all of those cases.

The court also said the prosecution was required to produce evidence relating to Boudreau. “The officer’s silent acceptance of the crime committed by a fellow officer can help persuade their victim that no one associated with police will help him and he will face worse beatings if he tells a police officer, an assistant State’s Attorney, or a doctor working for the state about the beatings,” the court said. “Moreover, Boudreau’s testimony both at trial and on the motion to suppress puts his credibility in issue and evidence that he committed perjury in other cases could significantly affect the credibility of his testimony here.”

By that time, the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission had found credible evidence that Kill had physically abused Jakes.

Ultimately, Detective Kill took the witness stand at an evidentiary hearing before Cook County Circuit Court Judge William Hooks in January 2016. By that time, records showed that Kill had been accused of abusing suspects in 19 different cases, including the use of electric shocks. Records showed that Kill had worked for a time under the command of Lt. Jon Burge, who was fired from the Chicago Police Department and later sent to prison for perjury relating the systematic torture of scores of men during interrogations. Officers under Burge’s supervision employed various methods of torturing suspects, including electric shocks, putting guns in their mouths, staging mock executions, and tying a suspect to a radiator.

During questioning by Jakes’s attorney, Russell Ainsworth, Detective Kill defended his use of a racial slur and insulted Jakes, his family, and their home so frequently that Judge Hooks ultimately reprimanded him.

On April 30, 2018, Robert Milan, who had been appointed as a special prosecutor to handle the case, asked that Jakes’s convictions be vacated and then dismissed the case.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 5/16/2018
State:Illinois
County:Cook
Most Serious Crime:Murder
Additional Convictions:Attempt, Violent
Reported Crime Date:1991
Convicted:1993
Exonerated:2018
Sentence:40 years
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:15
Contributing Factors:False Confession, Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct, Inadequate Legal Defense
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No