Governor Grants Clemency to Kevin Keith OH DR, Commuted to Life

Started by Jeff1857, January 23, 2009, 09:07:14 PM

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January 23, 2009, 09:07:14 PM Last Edit: September 02, 2010, 07:35:00 PM by Jeff1857
Sixth Circuit refuses to authorize the filing of a successor petition by Ohio death row inmate. 

On January 13, 2009, the Sixth Circuit (Boggs and Gibbons; Clay dissenting) issued an order denying Kevin Keith's motion for authorization to file a successor habeas petition. Keith v. Bobby, ___ F.3d ___, 2009 WL 65570 (6th Cir. Jan. 13, 2009). Keith alleged that newly discovered evidence established Brady and Napue violations. The panel majority conceded that the new information presented by Keith was "relevant" but concluded that it did not go to the ultimate question of guilt. The first bit of new evidence could imply that a prosecution witness had a motive to kill the victims. The second piece of new information could undermine the testimony of a police officer about being told by a nurse that a surviving victim had identified Keith as the shooter, which was used to corroborate the surviving victim's in-court eyewitness account. Looking to this evidence, the panel majority observed: "Even taken without reference to the rest of the record, it is a stretch to say that the fact that another person had a motive and that an eyewitness's original identification may have occurred during a police interview and not independent of it could constitute clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable fact finder could have returned a guilty verdict." Acknowledging case law describing the prima facie showing required of a petitioner as "lenient," the panel majority noted that in those cases the petitioners' new evidence "went to the heart of a guilt determination or directly contradicted the government's case-in-chief." Here, in contrast, the new evidence failed to contradict any of the evidence that directly proved Keith's guilt, including: eyewitness testimony of the surviving victim; a partial imprint of the license plate made from the snowbank where the getaway car crashed that matched the license plate of a car Keith was known to have access to; eyewitness identification of Keith as the man driving the getaway car when it crashed; a spent bullet cartridge casing matching the ones recovered from the scene of the murders that was found where Keith later picked up his girlfriend; and testimony that Keith had been indicted as a result of the drug raid precipitated by the victims' relative.

Judge Clay dissented, stating: "Considering, as we are required to do, Keith's substantial new evidence together with the lack of physical evidence against Keith, and the weakness of the eyewitness testimony presented at trial, we can and should conclude that the new evidence warrants further exploration."



COLUMBUS - An organization devoted to freeing innocent inmates has gone to bat for a condemned Ohio killer, a rare move for a group better known for using DNA evidence to challenge convictions in non-death penalty cases.

The Ohio Innocence Project says Kevin Keith did not kill three people, including a 7-year-old girl, and wound three others in a 1994 shooting in Bucyrus.

"This case gave me grave concerns," project director Mark Godsey said. "I felt we should weigh in."

The group, which has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to consider Keith's claim of innocence, generally steers clear of death penalty cases because inmates already have attorneys making their case. In this one, Keith's public defenders say there is another suspect and that a police detective lied about a witness' statement.

Police and prosecutors allege Keith opened fire on the group in retaliation for a drug arrest that he blamed on a snitch related to the victims.

Keith, 45, has exhausted his regular state and federal appeals, losing his innocence argument in lower courts. He has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to consider his claim he didn't do it.

"This appeal is an attempt to repackage previously rejected claims," said Clifford Murphy, an assistant Crawford County prosecutor. "There is overwhelming guilt in this case."

Innocence claims by Ohio death row inmates are relatively rare. Ohio public defenders have filed only a handful of similar claims in the past five years. The state has 172 men and one woman on death row.

The shooting happened Feb. 13, 1994, at an apartment in Bucyrus, about 65 miles north of Columbus.

Prosecutors say Keith entered the apartment and sprayed it with gunfire, killing Marichell Chatman, 24; her 4-year-old daughter, Marchae; and the child's aunt, Linda Chatman, 39. Marichell Chatman was the brother of an undercover police informant whose efforts led to a four-count indictment against Keith for selling drugs, according to prosecutors.

Three others were shot that night but survived: Richard Warren, who would testify against Keith at trial; Quanita Reeves, 7; and her brother Quinton Reeves, 4.

Keith's public defenders say they uncovered evidence that bolsters a theory first presented at Keith's trial: that there was another suspect.

That person was a suspect in a series of pharmacy robberies around the time of the killings. He testified at trial that he told surviving family members that the shootings might have been in retaliation over the informant.

Keith's attorneys found additional information in the files of an Ohio Pharmacy Board investigator who had been looking into the pharmacy robberies. In those files, the other suspect said before the shootings that he had been paid $15,000 to "cripple" the informant.

Prosecutors say the claims aren't any different than what came up at trial.

Keith's attorneys also say a detective perjured himself in describing how a survivor identified Keith.

Capt. John Stanley of the Bucyrus Police Department read a transcript at trial of a nurse's call to police saying that Richard Warren, who survived the shooting, had woken up and identified the shooter as someone named "Kevin."

Keith's attorneys say the nurse Stanley identified, Amy Gimmets, never worked at the hospital. They say Warren's real nurse, named Amy Whisman, never told Stanley the name of the alleged shooter.

"Stanley created the fictitious Nurse Gimmets, and he lied about the conversation he had with Warren's real nurse," Rachel Troutman, Keith's public defender, said in a court filing.

Prosecutors dismiss the discrepancy as irrelevant, saying Warren testified at trial that Keith shot him.

Stanley, now retired, declined to comment.

heidi salazar

Supreme Court Denies Appeal Of Death Row Inmate

The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a death row inmate convicted of the 1994 brutal murders of 2 women and a 4-year-old child and the attempted murder of a man and 2 other children.

The court denied 45-year-old Kevin Keith's claim that he did not commit the crime. Keith was sentenced to death for the attack in an apartment in Bucyrus.

Keith's attorneys say there is new evidence that proves there was another suspect and a police detective lied about a witness statement. Keith's defense team believes Bruce Milton, who was at the scene of the crime, may have pulled the trigger. One of the victims, Juanita Keith, previously identified Milton as the shooter.

The defense team also contends the local police may have protected Milton because they claim to have evidence that the police used him as an informant in the past. Prosecutors say Keith committed the crime in retaliation for a drug arrest.

Keith has exhausted his regular state and federal appeals and prosecutors have asked the supreme court to set an execution date for Keith.

(source: North Central Ohio News)

heidi salazar

Convicted triple killer has date with death

BUCYRUS -- Kevin Keith will be executed Sept. 15, the Ohio Supreme Court announced Tuesday.

The 46-year-old Crestline man was convicted in May 1994 of a triple murder at Bucyrus Estates on Feb. 13, 1994.

"He was found guilty and has gone through numerous appeals, in which all have been denied," Bucyrus City Council member Ken Emerson said

"There is no new evidence so, hopefully, this will bring it to an end."

Bucyrus police and Crawford County prosecutors say Keith opened fire on a group in retaliation for a drug arrest he blamed on an informant related to the shooting victims.

Three Bucyrus residents were killed in the shooting: Marichell Chatman, 24; her daughter Marchae, 4; and Chatman's aunt, Linda Chatman, 39. Marichell Chatman's boyfriend, Rick Warren, and cousins Quanita Reeves, 7, and Quentin Reeves, 4, were wounded.

The Ohio Supreme Court denied Keith's last appeal March 11, 2009.

Keith has long denied he was the shooter. Keith's public defender, Rachel Troutman, claimed there is another suspect and that a Bucyrus police captain lied about a witness statement.

The Ohio Innocence Project took up Keith's case in June. The organization says it is devoted to freeing innocent inmates, but rarely gets involved with those convicted in death penalty cases.

Bucyrus police Chief Ken Teets, a patrolman at the time of the shooting who was on the scene in a peripheral role, said the accusations of police misconduct are not true. He was unavailable for comment Tuesday night.

Assistant Crawford County Prosecutor Clifford Murphy also denied Keith's claims.

"There is overwhelming guilt in this case," Murphy said previously.

At trial, Warren was a key witness, saying Linda Chatman referred to her killer by his first name.

Prosecutors also used the partial imprint of a car license plate left in a snowbank at the scene to link Keith to the crime. The vehicle's license plate matched that of a car owned by his girlfriend's grandfather.

Keith, who claims he had four alibi witnesses that show he was in Mansfield at the time of the shooting, is in the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown.

The rulings put the state on pace to execute a record number of inmates, with executions now scheduled monthly through September.


Ohio is really stacking them up, it's a shame they only do one a month.

Granny B

" Closure? Closure is a misused word in the English language.  There is no such thing as closure for the family of a murder victim.  There will never be any closure for the death of our loved ones until we are dead ourselves.  The families have a lifetime sentence of anguish and sadness." 
Susan Levy

heidi salazar

Kevin Keith's attorneys fight for his life

BUCYRUS -- Kevin Keith's attorneys are hard at work to overturn his death sentence before it can be carried out Sept. 15.

Amy Borror, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Public Defender's Office, said Keith's attorney, Rachel Troutman, has a case pending in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

"His attorneys are working on, but have not yet filed, a petition in the U.S. Supreme Court," Borror said. "After those cases, they will file for executive clemency, which every death row inmate gets before execution."

Keith, 46, formerly of Crestline, was convicted in 1994 of a triple murder at Bucyrus Estates on Feb. 13, 1994.

Bucyrus police and Crawford County prosecutors say Keith opened fire on a group in retaliation for a drug arrest he blamed on an informant related to the victims. Mari-chell Chatman, 24; her 4-year-old daughter Marchae; and Marichell's aunt, Linda Chatman, 39, were killed. Marichell's boyfriend, Rick Warren, and cousins Quanita Reeves, 7, and Quentin Reeves, 4, were wounded.

Warren was the key eyewitness in the trial that resulted in Keith's death sentence.

Keith's appeal was denied by the Ohio Supreme Court on March 11, 2009, and his execution date was set Tuesday.

Bucyrus Police Chief Ken Teets was a patrolman when the crime occurred, and said he believes the right man is on death row.

"There was no conspiracy or cover-up," Teets said. "Kevin is the one who committed the crime. I would think his execution will bring closure, although I do not see it happening on the scheduled date in September. His attorneys will find a way to postpone it."

The Ohio Innocence Project took on Keith's case last summer.

"Kevin Keith deserves a new trial, not an execution date," said Mark Godsey of the Ohio Innocence Project. "New evidence in the case, which has never been reviewed in full on its merits, raises concerns that the eyewitness identification used to convict Mr. Keith was unreliable and that he may be innocent.

"Faulty eyewitness identification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in more than 75 percent of convictions overturned by DNA testing. It would be an irreversible and tragic error to execute Mr. Keith without allowing for careful review of this new evidence of innocence."

Mike Tromely grew up with Keith in Crestline, and has followed the case closely for 16 years.

"He was always a really nice guy, a friend to everyone and would do anything for anybody," Tromely said. "There is no way that I believe he is guilty. He could never commit this type of crime, and there are many people who think he is innocent."

Tromely has his own theory as to why Keith's appeals continue to be denied in Ohio.

"I think Ohio doesn't want this to fall back in their lap," Tromely said. "They have the wrong man sitting in prison for half his life. It is horrible to see that the (Ohio) Supreme Court won't overturn this decision. Until they get the right person for this crime, everyone should be looked at."

A partial license plate imprint in a snow bank at the scene was part of the evidence used against Keith.

"I do not believe that there was a license plate imprint in the snow. The way a license plate is made, that would be almost impossible," Tromely said.


Rachel Troutman's actually not too shabby.  She must be getting quite pissed off with Ohio executing all of her clients.

I have no idea why I thought posting this would be a good idea.
JT's Ridiculous Quote of the Century:
"I'm disgusted with the State for even putting me in this position."
-- Reginald Blanton, Texas death row.  As of October 27, 2009, Reggie's position has been in a coffin.

heidi salazar

The national Innocence Network and a group of eyewitness testimony experts filed papers Monday asking the court to review the evidence against death row inmate Kevin Keith. The network, which has filed only four similar requests in the past two years, says it considers the evidence in Keith's case compelling.

The friend of the court brief filed by the Innocence Network is here; the brief filed by memory experts, here.  Both files are in Adobe .pdf format.  You can also view the the Petition for Writ of Certiorari seeking Supreme Court review of the case.  It was filed last month.

Full article here


You can read the evidence from the crime taken from the United States Court of Appeals above.


Attorney: Keith case could get review

BY DAN CLUTTER Telegraph-Forum April 7, 2010

COLUMBUS -- David Mills, one of the attorneys who worked on a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Ohio death row inmate Kevin Keith, said there is a chance the court will review the case.

Keith, 46, formerly of Crestline, is scheduled to die Sept. 15 for a triple murder that occurred at Bucyrus Estates on Feb. 13, 1994.

"A lot of times in the capital context, with a lot of cases where it's not as much about guilt or innocence, often turn on whether the death penalty is properly imposed in a particular case," Mills said. "It seems to me that, when you have a case of an innocence claim, the Supreme Court is, at the least, going to give that a close look.

"In the few cases where there is a real innocence claim, I don't think the Supreme Court is comfortable with the idea of an innocent man getting executed, to say the least."

Mills, a Cleveland attorney who specializes in appellate cases, along with Keith's attorney, Rachel Troutman of the Ohio Public Defender's Office, filed a brief with the high court March 2.

Several briefs in the case were filed Monday. Among the names listed on the briefs are David Loftis and Nina Morrison of the Innocence Project, Vernon Broderick, Aaron Y. Huang and Adam Banks of Weil, Gotshal and Manges of New York; and Daniel S. Medwed, professor of law at the University of Utah.

Keith has exhausted his regular state and federal appeals, and the Ohio Supreme Court denied his appeal March 11, 2009.

Troutman said that a response from the state is due May 5, then Keith's lawyers will have a chance to respond before the court decides whether to hear the case.

"While they don't have to take any cases, I think it's fair to say this will get a second look if they think there is potential," Troutman said.

The attorneys said they are seeking a new trial for Keith.

"We kind of keep whatever options are open on the table," Mills said. "No jury has ever considered all the evidence. Basically, the position is that is what should happen."

"That's all the U.S. Supreme Court can do is order a new trial," Troutman said. "They can't wipe the conviction clean and exonerate him."

Mills said that, while there is precedence for the court hearing death penalty cases, most of those cases involved DNA evidence, which does not exist in the Keith case.

"Usually DNA evidence is involved," Mills said. "There are at least 250 cases that have been overturned when DNA is involved. Now, there's no DNA for us to evaluate. But about 75 percent of the cases that were overturned used partial or faulty DNA evidence. It's the primary evidence that has convicted people."

Mills said the main reason for optimism in this case is the fact that the Ohio Supreme Court analyzed the facts that were placed into evidence in the original trial and failed to look at new evidence uncovered during the last two years.

"The Ohio courts, who last rejected Kevin's claims, did an entirely improper analysis," Mills said. "When you bring a new claim of new evidence that was withheld, that affects the outcome, courts are supposed to look at whether the new evidence would impact the outcome. They're not supposed to simply look at the earlier evidence presented at trial and see if it's sufficient to hold up the original verdict.

"These are sort of well-established principles in the Supreme Court that it's not how you're supposed to analyze the question."

Troutman said the new evidence is reason enough to provide Keith with another trial.

"Just because there may have been sufficient evidence to point to one person, to assess whether the trial has been fair you have to look at the new evidence to see if it's actually material," Troutman said.

"It's especially egregious in this case where the evidence actually contradicts the evidence that was presented at trial."

Bucyrus police and the Crawford County prosecutor's office have steadfastly maintained the evidence speaks for itself and that Keith was the man who committed the crimes in 1994.

Prosecutors say Keith opened fire on a group in retaliation for a drug arrest he blamed on an informant related to the victims.

Police Capt. John Beal, who was a patrolman at the time of the killings and was one of the first officers on the scene, said on July 1, 2009, "in my heart and in my head I know the right man was convicted."



Attorney: Keith case could get review

Police Capt. John Beal, who was a patrolman at the time of the killings and was one of the first officers on the scene, said on July 1, 2009, "in my heart and in my head I know the right man was convicted."

Not to be a noodge, but "knowing  in my heart and in my head I know the right man was convicted", does not cut it, Mr.Keith
may be guilty, and he may not. However, he is entitled to the full measure of our "current" legal system, and if there is a "shadow of a doubt", and  not some lawyer doublespeak, he deserves his shot,  that being said. I think Mr.Keith may get a stay .........

People that think they know it all, annoy the hell out us who actually do ...


This bastard has a blog... >:( >:(

No comment... 8) but...GO OHIO :( :(



Condemned Ohio killer of 3 requests new trial

The Associated Press   1:48 PM Tuesday, May 11, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An Ohio man sentenced to die in September for fatally shooting three people says new evidence strengthens his claim of innocence and his call for a new trial.

Death row inmate Kevin Keith says in a court filing Tuesday that police logs fail to show a phone call prosecutors say a hospital nurse made about a possible suspect.

Prosecutors used that call to police in Bucyrus (byoo-SY'-ruhs) in northern Ohio to establish that a surviving victim identified Keith as the killer.

Keith's attorneys also say new evidence refutes a woman's testimony that she found a shell casing near where Keith picked his girlfriend up after the shooting.

A message was left with the county prosecutor's office in Bucyrus. Courts have so far rejected Keith's innocence claims.


May 11, 2010 05:45 PM EDT

Copyright 2010, The Associated Press.



Faith in Lord Jesus - Honor - Courage

Interesting .............. considering thou shalt not kill commandment

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