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Kiko Grimes

Other Nevada exonerations
Shortly before 9 p.m. on April 5, 2013, Las Vegas police officers saw two men—later identified as Cevin Crowley and Lawrence Long—engaging in what appeared to be a drug transaction on a pedestrian bridge near Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall on Las Vegas Boulevard in Las Vegas, Nevada. The officers also saw two other men, 20-year-old Kiko Grimes and Tyree Ogsbury-Jones, standing nearby, possibly acting as lookouts.

The officers said Crowley and Long got into an elevator and went to the ground level. The officers watched through the glass panels on the elevator as Crowley leaned over a baggie that Lawrence was holding. Crowley, “in a quick motion,” threw his head back, the officers later reported.

The officers then entered the elevator. Lawrence attempted to toss the baggie out of the doors, but was unsuccessful. The bag, containing a white powder, was confiscated and Lawrence and Crowley were arrested. Crowley still had white powder in and around his nostrils.

The officers then arrested Grimes and Ogsbury-Jones. The officers confiscated marijuana from Crowley, who was carrying $8,350 in cash. The bag that Lawrence attempted to discard was field tested and was positive for cocaine. Three baggies confiscated from Grimes also field-tested positive for cocaine, as did a single baggie confiscated from Ogsbury-Jones.

All were charged with possession of narcotics. On May 20, 2013, Grimes pled guilty in Clark County District Court to a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to eight months in jail.

In October 2016, ProPublica, an independent nonprofit investigative news organization, published an article titled, “Unreliable and Unchallenged.” The article detailed how in 2014 the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department had documented how field tests had produced false positive test results. At times, the results were wrong and at other times, officers misinterpreted negative results as positive findings.

However, the department continued to use the unreliable form of testing, the report said.

Following the publication of the article, the newly formed Conviction Integrity Unit at the Clark County District Attorney’s Office began reviewing cases cited in the 2014 report as having erroneous field test findings based on subsequent laboratory tests that were negative for the presence of controlled substances.

A total of five cases, including Grimes’s case, were identified in which defendants had pled guilty to the charges even though the laboratory tests were negative. None of Grimes’s co-defendants were in that group.

On March 6, 2017, the prosecution filed a motion to vacate Grimes’s conviction and then dismissed the case. The other four cases also were vacated and dismissed.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 6/30/2020
Last Updated: 6/30/2020
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2013
Sentence:8 months
Age at the date of reported crime:20
Contributing Factors:False or Misleading Forensic Evidence
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No