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Anthony Jakes

Other Cook County Exonerations with Official Misconduct
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On May 17, 1991, 16-year-old Jerrod Irving was shot twice in the head during an apparent robbery attempt by a rival gang member at his residence in the 900 block of west 54th Street on the South Side of Chicago.

The crime was still unsolved on September 15, 1991, when 48-year-old Rafael Garcia was fatally shot during an attempted robbery about a mile away on 51st Street near the corner of Racine Avenue.

On September 16—the next 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 of Garcia, 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. In it, he admitted that he had acted as a lookout while another man—18-year-old Arnold Day —shot Garcia during an attempted holdup.

Jakes was charged with felony murder and attempted armed robbery.

Despite that statement, police did not arrest Day until February 4, 1992. Police said that he also confessed—not only to the murder of Garcia, but to the murder of Irving.

The Garcia murder case was prosecuted first. Jakes and Day filed motions to suppress their confessions, claiming they falsely confessed after Detective Kill and Detective Kenneth Boudreau physically abused them.

The detectives testified that after they took Jakes into the station, he was searched and they found a package of drugs in 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 if 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. 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. Both detectives 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. His 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 the interrogation of a juvenile, was actually summoned to speak to Jakes.

Jakes said he gave his statement only because Kill threatened to “give me more of what I just had.” The defense 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 the day he confessed testified for the prosecution that his examination showed an older injury to Jakes’s back, but no fresh injuries.

The motion to suppress the confession was denied. The judge ruled that 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.” However, because the defense had failed to prove his injuries were suffered while at the police station, the judge found that the confession was voluntary.

Jakes 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 Day’s and Jakes’s confessions and testimony from 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, 1993, Day was acquitted by his jury. Jakes was convicted of felony murder and attempted armed robbery. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Prior to Day’s trial on charges of murder and attempted robbery of Irving, his defense attorney filed a motion seeking to bar use of his confession. Day testified that when he was arrested, Officer Judd Evans kicked him in the head and threatened to “blow my brains out.”

Day testified that he was handcuffed and taken to the police station at 51st Street and Wentworth Avenue, where he was put into an interrogation room. There, he said, he was punched, kicked, and slammed against the wall repeatedly during interrogations by Detectives Boudreau, William Foley, and John Halloran. At one point, Foley threatened to throw him out a second floor window.

Day testified that he confessed based on details fed to him by the detectives.

Boudreau testified and denied that Day was mistreated or was fed details of the crime. The judge denied the motion to suppress the confession. In June 1994, Day went to trial for the murder and attempted armed robbery of Irving, who was found shot twice in the head in the hallway of a building.

During opening statements to the jury, the prosecution said that Ralph Watson would testify that Day had admitted to him that he committed the murder. However, Watson was ultimately not called to testify because he had recanted his statement implicating Day.

Watson told the prosecution that he was in Cook County Jail facing armed robbery charges when Boudreau arranged for him to be brought to the police station. Watson said Boudreau threatened to charge him with more crimes unless he implicated Day. Watson refused to testify because he said Day had never admitted anything to him.

A defense motion for mistrial based on the prosecution’s reference to Watson’s statement was denied.

A police evidence technician testified that two shell casings and an expended bullet were found near Irving’s body.

The primary evidence against Day was his confession. Detective Boudreau testified that Day initially denied committing the crime, but after being shown the statement from Watson, he admitted his involvement. Boudreau said Day admitted he shot Irving with a TEC-9 after Irving resisted a robbery attempt. He said he was accompanied by another man named “Nate.” According to the confession, Day and Nate were members of the Blackstones street gang, and they went to a house where members of an opposing gang lived. The confession said that as they approached the house, they heard gunshots. Day fired back and killed Irving.

Day’s attorney tried to present evidence that about a month after the shooting, police recovered a gun from a man that was linked by ballistics testing to the shell casings recovered near Irving’s body. The man had not been charged in Irving’s murder. The judge declined to allow the evidence even though the gun that was matched to the murder was a Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistol. It was not a Tec-9, which Day’s confession said he used to shoot Irving.

Day testified and denied involvement in the crime. He said that Foley had choked and struck him, shoved him against a wall, and threatened to throw him out the window.

The prosecution called Officer Evans and Detective Foley in rebuttal. They denied mistreating Day in any way.

On June 23, 1994, the jury convicted Day of first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

The Illinois Appellate Court upheld the convictions in 1996. A post-conviction motion for a new trial was filed in 1997, but it was dismissed and an appeal was unsuccessful.

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 because 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. 

Boudreau and Kill both worked under the command of Lt. Jon Burge, who in 2010 was convicted in federal court of perjury  for denying torture allegations during questioning in federal lawsuits brought by other torture victims. He was sentenced to 4½ years in prison. 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. 

As part of the re-examination of the torture allegations, the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission was established in 2009 to investigate claims of police torture. Defendants with credible claims could qualify for awards of up to $100,000 as well as other benefits.

Jakes appealed the dismissal of his post-conviction petition and was now represented by lawyers at The Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago Law School. 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 that the prosecution had about both detectives. 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. Day also had filed a claim with the Torture Commission.

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.

In 2017, the Torture Commission found that Day’s allegations of torture during interrogation were credible.

“Although Detectives Boudreau and Foley have denied that the incidents Day described ever occurred… there is pattern and practice evidence suggesting that both officers may have engaged in abusive conduct during police interrogations,” the Commission concluded. “Moreover, given that a jury acquitted Day of the murder of Raphael Garcia, despite a signed confession to that crime, it is reasonable to conclude that the jury did not credit testimony by the officers contradicting Day’s alleged mistreatment.”

The Commission noted that for two decades Day had consistently maintained his innocence and that he was physically beaten.

Subsequently, attorney Steven Greenberg filed a petition for post-conviction relief for Day. The petition cited nearly 50 cases, primarily murders and other violent crimes, in which Boudreau, Foley, Kill, Halloran, and other detectives working with them were accused of beating and torturing defendants during interrogations, and similarly physically abusing witnesses to falsely implicate defendants.

The petition also cited a sworn statement from Krona Taylor, who lived in the building where Irving was murdered. Taylor said police, including Boudreau, interrogated her for 16 hours after she said she saw two people come toward the building and then heard gunshots. Ultimately, she gave police a number of names, including Day’s, who she had seen in the neighborhood. She told police that the two people who approached the building were a male and a female. Her description of the male did not fit the description of Day.

In the statement, Taylor said that Day, whom she knew, was not the male. Day’s defense attorney did not interview Taylor prior to Day’s trial, according to the petition.

Greenberg noted that the gun that police said was linked by ballistics to the shooting was a Smith & Wesson—not a TEC-9, which was the gun that Boudreau said Day confessed he used to shoot Irving.

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

On December 17, 2018, Milan asked that Day’s convictions in the Irving murder case be vacated. The motion was granted. Milan then dismissed the case and Day was released.

In 2019, Jakes filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Chicago seeking damages for his wrongful conviction. Jakes obtained a certificate of innocence and in July 2019, he was awarded $230,810 in state compensation.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 5/16/2018
Last Updated: 9/10/2019
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 reported crime:15
Contributing Factors:False Confession, Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct, Inadequate Legal Defense
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No