Michael Thompson - Was an innocent man executed on 3/13/03

Dear Lee,

I was Michael's closest and dearest friend.  And I will be happy to share any and all information I have that points to his innocence.  I'm not sure where to start.  Like most cases, it is very complicated.  And unless one of the other two confess, proving his innocence will not be possible.  

I have personally investigated parts of his case and have all his legal documents.  I don't want to go into too much detail so I will give you a brief idea of some of the issues and you can let me know what else you need.  ????  I hope.  <smile>  

Michael was arrested after his live-in girlfriend turned him in.  She took the police to the body and gave a completely ridiculous story about her innocence.  She was 35.  Michael was 25 with NO felony history.  He had several driving misdemeanors, but ZERO felony history.  She had been convicted twice of armed robbery in Indiana and spent 8 years in prison.  THAT was never allowed at his trial.  

He refused to talk for over 24 hours.  They eventually brought in a new detective who knew Michael, told him they could place Shirley Franklin (the girlfriend) at the well and that she would be put in the electric chair beside him if he did not confess. (Michael did not know she had turned him in.)  He asked to see her and she was immediately brought in in handcuffs, crying and begging him to save her life.  He immediately confessed.  The tape recorder was proven to be turned on and off many times during his confession.  

His confession, Shirley's testimony at trial, and HIS own testimony at trial (he was trying to take her with him and his attorneys allowed it)were the evidence against him.  

An eyewitness at the store where Mrs. Gray was robbed and kidnapped described a man that was NOT Michael Thompson.  He was never called to testify at trial.  The first detective on the scene at the store told ME and others, it was NOT Michael in the store that night.  He was never called to testify.  

I have spoken to the victim's daughter since Michael was killed and she told me that the D.A. told them during Michael's trial that there were 3 people involved, but they could not get the other two.  They would take what they could get.  

One friend of Michael's told his family (but would not testify) that he saw Michael passed out in Rickey Pope's truck the night of this crime.  

I don't know if this is the type of information you need or not.  I will be happy to answer any questions you have.  Michael is dead.  This can't help him, but if it helps someone else or changes one heart...it is worth it.  

God Bless You!

MaryAnn Gardner


Will You Hear Me Now?  The last thing Michael wrote.

Was an Innocent person executed?

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