Walter Cage

A victim of the Illinois Injustice System




RE: 97CR-5371                                                                                                               County of Cook
Walter Cage                                                                                                                     State of Illinois
K67565                                                                                                                           Sentence: 60 years
                                                                                                                                        Murder and attempted murder

I am 25 years old and have been incarcerated for the last 6 years. I was convicted along with Kafele Parker who is a co-defendant in this crime that I was accused of, but did not commit. I did not know what happened, and neither did I know that a crime had been committed. I am petitioning you for help. I am asking you to review my case, #97CR- 5351. The following is a brief synopsis of what happened.

From January 19 to 22, 1997(three days), Kafele, Katina Johnson (his girl friend), and I were altogether at my girl friend's house, Dorothy McDowell who lived on Flournoy and Spaulding. On the morning of January 22, approximately 11:00 a.m., Kafele, Katrina, and I had left Dorothy's house and walked all the way to Bethany hospital. We arrived there at 12:00 p.m. (I knew it was 12:00 noon because the soap opera, "All My Children" had just come on TV as we entered the hospital).
 
While Katina was waiting to see the doctor, Kafele's mother paged us to warn us not to come home but to go to his uncle's home. She stated that she had heard gunfire and she did not want us to be hit. We took his mother advice. We left Bethany Hospital between 1:00 and 1:15 p.m. We went back to Dorothy's house. We watched a movie and fell asleep.

At 4:00 p.m., Kafele and I went over to his aunt and uncle's house on Wilcox and Kildare. Kafele's mother Ms. Ruthie Parker and his sister Angie Parker were there and had explained what had transpired that afternoon.

On January 26, 1997, approximately 9:30 p.m., Kafele, Booney, Charles, and I were walking down Kildare Street to Prestige (a convenient store). Two plain-clothes detectives approached us. The officers got out of the car and told us to put our hands on the hood of the car. We obeyed them and gave them our full names, and they stated that they had a warrant for Kafele Parker. They told the two other young men and I that we were free to go.

I went back to Kafele's aunt and uncle home and explained what had happened to him. I left their home at 11:00 p.m. to go to my girl friend's home.

I returned to my girl friend's home on 13th and Spaulding. I talked to her for a while and then fell asleep while she and her aunt went to a party.

At 3:30 a.m., Kentwana Murray woke me up. We argued. I told her that I was concerned about Kafele and I needed to know had he been released. I paged him. Be returned my call about 15 to 20 minutes later. He asked me to come down to Kedzie and Harrison Police station for him as his witness. He explained that he was about to be charged with murder. I got dressed and was about to go to police station and the doorbell rang. It was detectives. A detective grabbed me and said he was taking me in for questioning.

At the police station, where I was taken, I sat in a room alone and the officers questioned me. I did not respond because I did not understand what they were talking about. One officer who told me he was charging me with a crime and threatened me. Be tried to make me sign statements implementing Kafele and I in this crime. I refused to sign papers and asked to call my family so I could have an attorney present. My rights to a phone call and an attorney were violated.

I started to cry and told them that they were wrong for arresting an innocent person. I was placed in a line-up without my consent neither was my attorney present. Everyone in the line up was shorter and darker than me. I was told to stand in the middle. I was booked and processed. On the elevator, the officer stated that they needed someone to take the weight for now, and that I would beat the case. I was sent to Cook County Jail where I was held 13 months until I was convicted.
While in Cook Count Jail, I informed my attorney of my witnesses that could verify my whereabouts on the day in question. My attorney advised me to take a bench trial. He said it would be better than choosing a jury trial. I did not know anything about the criminal justice system, so I took his advice.

February17th was the first day of the trial. The state called Antonio Mims, a known gang member and drug dealer, to the stand to testify. Now, at this time, he was in jail on a sexual assault and parole violation. Antonio stated that he had been shot while fleeing from the crossfire.  While running westbound on Madison Street, he turned around in the middle of the block, and saw Kafele and me getting out of the car and shooting. He further states that one of us was wearing a hood and the other one was wearing a mask He claims that one of us jumped out of the front, passenger side of the car and one jumped out of the back passenger side. During cross-examination, he twisted his testimony as evidence.

Kevin McCaster was in custody as well. He also lied under oath. He stated that he knew me. I have never met this person before. He was caught in many lies but the judge allowed his testimony to stand.

March 24, 1998, the next trial date, the state called Quentin McCaster and he also lied. Like his brother, he also is a known gang member with a criminal background. He claimed that while walking northbound on Kildare Street to Madison, he saw Kafele and me jump out of a car and open fire. He claims to have seen all this from across the street. Be also stated that one of us had on a mask and the other one had on a hood. The judge allowed his testimony to stand as well.

The State called the arresting officer. He didn't mention my name at all throughout his testimony. Many of the things he said had been coerced. He had experienced many trials and was a professional at taking the stand and lying.

My attorney only called one of my witnesses to the stand. He refused to call the other witnesses that I had and he only cross examined the State witnesses a few times. Wyhatt Hayes was the one witness he called. He was also locked up for Violation of parole. While on the stand, he testified to the court that neither Kafale nor I jumped out of the car. He also told the judge that the police had him and some of his friends, questioned earlier. Be further stated that he was affiliated with the same gang as the State witnesses and they knew each other personally. He said he was standing near the Victim at the time of the incident because be was also a target. He stated-that he was not threatened or coerced by any gang members, neither had he made any promises. The judge threw his testimony out because he was locked up at the time. The judge made the comment that the young man may have been threatened.

March 24, 1998, I was found guilty of First Degree murder and attempted murder of Booker T. Flowers.

April 17, 1998, I went back to court with a private attorney who presented more witnesses and affidavits to prove my innocence. Nevertheless, the judge did not grant me a new trial.

April 17, 1998, Kafele and I were sentenced to 45 years for murder and 15 years for attempted murder. Neither I nor Kafele are guilty. We are innocent of this crime. I have been through the Direct Appeal and denied in spite of all the newly discovered evidence. I have also been through the process of post conviction and was denied on the Appellate Court. It is now in the process of going to the Supreme Court. This is my last chance. If it doesn't work this time, my Appellate process is over.
At present, I am petitioning help groups, pro-bono attorney, and Universities for help in aiding the innocent and wrongfully convicted.

I am asking you to review my case. Prior to this incident, I was a law- abiding citizen with no criminal history. I was gainfully employed and living a productive life. When crimes like this occur, it is sad. However, innocent people should not suffer due to lack of inefficient investigation.

Sincerely,

Walter Cage  #K67565
P.O. Box 99
Pontiac, IL 61764


My transcript, brief, and any other documents are available upon request by contacting me or e-mailing Lee Gaylord . We also have alibi witnesses and previous lawyers involved in the case that can be contacted.

Thank you very much for your time and for reading and believing my testimony. Thank you also for accepting me as a client. Your help is much appreciated. God Bless You.

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