A victim of the Illinois Injustice System
County of Cook
State of Illinois
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
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
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
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.
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.