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Williams v. Brown

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Richmond Division

September 26, 2016

DANIAL WILLIAMS, Petitioner,
v.
KAREN D. BROWN, Respondent. JOSEPH J. DICK Petitioner,
v.
KAREN D. BROWN, Respondent.

          OPINION

          John A. Gibney, Jr. United States District Judge

         This case involves the conviction of four innocent navy men-the "Norfolk Four"- charged with the rape and murder of Michelle Bosko. A fifth man named Omar Ballard actually committed the offense.

         Two of the four men, Danial Williams and Joseph J. Dick, have filed the petitions for writs of habeas corpus under consideration here. 28 U.S.C. § 2254. Both pled guilty-Williams to capital murder and rape, and Dick to first degree murder and rape. The trial court accepted their pleas, and they were convicted.

         The respondent, on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, [1] has moved to dismiss on two grounds: (1) that the statute of limitations applicable to federal habeas petitions bars the § 2254 petitions and (2) that the petitioners' claims are procedurally defaulted. Ordinarily, the Court would dismiss the petitions as untimely and defaulted. The actual innocence of Williams and Dick, however, allows the Court to address the merits of their claims, notwithstanding the technical roadblocks raised by the Commonwealth. See McQuiggin v. Perkins, 133 S.Ct. 1924, 1928 (2013) ("[A]ctual innocence, if proved, serves as a gateway through which a petitioner may pass whether the impediment is a procedural bar ... [or] expiration of the statute of limitations."). The Court previously concluded that the petitioners had made a sufficient threshold showing of innocence to warrant an evidentiary hearing on their gateway claim of actual innocence. See Dick v. Muse, No. 3:10CV505, 2014 WL 4854689, at *7 (E.D. Va. Sept, 29, 2014); Williams v. Muse, No. 3:09CV769, 2014 WL 2921932, at *13-14 (E.D. Va. June 27, 2014).

         The Court has conducted the evidentiary hearing. For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that Williams and Dick are innocent and, therefore, have satisfied the standard for a gateway claim of actual innocence.[2]

         I. How the Murder Really Happened

         Before going through a detailed analysis of the evidence in this case, the Court will provide a brief outline of how the crime actually occurred, as conclusively demonstrated by the evidence presented to the Court. A more detailed analysis follows in Part VII of this Memorandum Opinion.

         Omar Ballard alone killed Michelle Bosko. For unknown reasons, Bosko allowed Ballard to enter her apartment late at night, while her husband was not at home. Ballard somehow got Bosko into the bedroom, where he raped her and stabbed her in the chest a number of times. Ballard admitted to both the rape and the murder. In his confessions, Ballard accurately described the apartment, the location of the corpse, and the knife used in the crime. Scientific evidence supported Ballard's admission. The police found Ballard's DNA on Bosko. The fatal stab wounds in her chest were of uniform depth and closely bunched together, indicating that a single individual inflicted them.[3] The Norfolk Four, in contrast, left no DNA, fingerprints, or other evidence on the scene, could not accurately describe the location of the crime, and did not coherently explain what happened.

         This evidence-clear and straightforward-makes it hard for the Commonwealth to tie the Norfolk Four to the crime. Undeterred, the Commonwealth offers a bizarre explanation for how Williams and Dick committed the alleged offenses. First, the Commonwealth notes, accurately, that Williams apparently had a crush on Bosko. (Resp't's Post-Hr'g Br. 16.) The State contends that Williams and Dick went to her apartment on the night in question. (Id. at 18.) Then, the Commonwealth says that Williams, Dick, and two other sailors joined Ballard in a united effort to rape and kill Bosko. (Id. at 12.) The Commonwealth says that the five men banded together to hold her down while she violently struggled. (Id. at 20-21.) Then they had sexual intercourse with her. The prosecution says that despite their combined efforts, none of the Norfolk Four ejaculated in Bosko's vagina, and despite their herculean labors to restrain her and her desperate struggles, they left not a trace of DNA. (Id.) According to the Commonwealth, after the sexual assault the four sailors and Ballard took turns stabbing her-passing the knife around so that each had a chance to stab her. (Id. at 21.) Yet the men (other than Ballard) did not leave any DNA on Bosko or anywhere else in the apartment. (Id. at 22.)

         Recognizing the improbability of the scenario it proffers, the State argues that the confessions of Williams and Dick prove that they committed the crime. (Id. at 26.) This argument ignores three important things. First, it ignores the physical evidence that demonstrates the sailors' innocence. Second, it ignores how the police secured confessions from the Norfolk Four. The police took multiple statements of the men to groom them to say what the police wanted.[4] Third, this argument ignores dramatic research on how police tactics-such as those used here-lead to false confessions. E.g., Brandon L. Garrett, Convicting the Innocent, 14-44(2011).

         In contrast, Ballard described the scene accurately, deposited DNA at the scene, admitted to the offense, and said that the four sailors did not commit the crime. The evidence leads to one sensible conclusion: Ballard alone raped and killed Bosko.

         The Commonwealth's theory depends on assumptions that beggar belief: that four men struggled with Bosko without leaving any DNA behind, that four men raped Bosko without leaving any DNA behind, that four men stabbed her without leaving any DNA behind, and that four men passed a knife around, taking turns stabbing her, and creating a neat pattern of fatal wounds, all of the same depth.[5]

         Although the Norfolk Four have been released from prison, the wrongful convictions have continuing consequences. For instance, the men have to register as sex offenders. In the case of one of the four-Eric Wilson-the registration prevents Wilson from adopting his stepson, yet Wilson has no remedy in court to undo this injustice. Wilson v. Flaherty, 689 F.3d 332, 335 (4th Cir. 2012). Williams and Dick must go through life with the burden of false felony convictions. Regardless of the eventual outcome of this case, [6] it is time for the Commonwealth to free these men of the continuing shackles of their convictions.

         II. Standard for Gateway Claim of Actual Innocence

         By any measure, the evidence shows the defendants' innocence-by a preponderance of the evidence, by clear and convincing evidence, by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, or even by conclusive evidence, The law actually requires only a substantial showing of evidence. Schlup v. Delo, 513 U.S. 298 (1995), articulated the innocence standard for gateway procedural relief. "[A] petition supported by a convincing Schlup gateway showing 'raise[s] sufficient doubt about [the petitioner's] guilt to undermine confidence in the result of the trial without the assurance that that trial was untainted by constitutional error'; hence, 'a review of the merits of the constitutional claims' is justified." House v. Bell, 547 U.S. 518, 537 (2006) (second and third alterations in original) (quoting Schlup, 513 U.S. at 317). A gateway claim requires "new reliable evidence- whether it be exculpatory scientific evidence, trustworthy eyewitness accounts, or critical physical evidence-that was not presented at trial." Schlup, 513 U.S. at 324. Here, as detailed in the Court's prior opinions, the petitioners have met the initial burden of producing new, reliable evidence of their innocence. Accordingly, at this stage the Court must consider '"all the evidence, ' old and new, incriminating and exculpatory, without regard to whether it would necessarily be admitted under 'rules of admissibility that would govern at trial, '" and determine whether the petitioners have met the standard for a gateway claim of innocence. House, 547 U.S. at 538 (quoting Schlup, 513 U.S. at 327-28).

         The Court must determine whether "it is more likely than not that no reasonable juror would have found petitioner guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." Schlup, 513 U.S. at 327-28; Sharpe v. Bell, 593 F.3d 372, 377 (4th Cir. 2010). This assessment requires the Court to make "a holistic judgment about all the evidence and its likely effect on reasonable jurors applying the reasonable-doubt standard." House, 547 U.S. at 539 (citations and internal quotation marks omitted). "It is not the district court's independent judgment as to whether reasonable doubt exists that the standard addresses; rather the standard requires the district court to make a probabilistic determination about what reasonable, properly instructed jurors would do." Schlup, 513 U.S. at 329. As explained below, considering all the evidence, "no juror, acting reasonably, would have voted to find [Williams and Dick] guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." Id., [7]Stated more simply, no sane human being could find them guilty.

         III. General Timeline of Events Preceding Williams' Guilty Plea

         There is no dispute that Ballard raped and murdered Michelle Bosko. (JSF ¶ 979.) What the parties dispute is whether Williams and Dick participated in those crimes with Ballard. A general understanding of the sequence of events before and after the murder is necessary to give context to the evidence in support of Williams' and Dick's guilt or innocence.

         A. Events Preceding the Murder of Bosko

         In June and July of 1997, Michelle and William Bosko and Danial and Nicole Williams lived in the Bayshore Gardens apartment in Norfolk. (JSF ¶ 973.) In late June, Nicole Williams learned that she had ovarian cancer and required surgery. (JSF ¶ 974.) Williams arranged to take two weeks of leave to care for Nicole after her surgery. (JSF ¶ 974.) Danial and Nicole moved their wedding date forward to June 27, so that Danial's health insurance would cover Nicole's surgery. (Id. ¶¶ 974, 975.) On July 1, 1997, Nicole Williams entered the hospital for surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. (Id. ¶ 976.)

         In June and early July of 1997, Williams would often visit Bosko late at night on the pretense of using Michelle's telephone. (JA 1739-40, 1743.) Williams seldom came by to use the phone if Bosko's husband was around. (JA 1740.)

         In the beginning of July of 1997, a couple of days before Bosko's murder and while Nicole Williams was in the hospital, Bosko hosted a party in her apartment. (JA 1743-44.) Bosko's husband, a sailor, was out at sea at the time of the party. (JA 1744.) Among others, Tamika Taylor and Omar Ballard went to the party. (JA 1184-85.) Williams came to the apartment and asked to use the phone. (JA 1183, 1746.) After he got off the phone, Williams asked to join the party. (JA 1183, 1746.) At about four in the morning, Taylor noticed Williams staring at Bosko's crotch and asked him to leave. (JA 1747-48, 1184, 1186.)

         On July 5, 1997, Williams' parents arrived in Norfolk from Michigan to visit him and his new wife. (JSF ¶ 977.) On July 6, 1997, Williams brought Nicole home from the hospital after cancer surgery. (JSF ¶ 978.)

         On July 7, 1997, Danial and Nicole visited his parents at their Williamsburg campground for several hours before leaving around dusk with plans to meet for dinner the next day. (JSF ¶ 264.)

         On the evening of July 7, 1997, Bosko stayed at Tamika Taylor's apartment from roughly 10:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. (JSF ¶ 603.) Eventually, Bosko told Tamika that she wanted "to get everything ready for" her husband's return, and went back to her apartment to do so. (JA 1189, 1760.)

         B. Investigation Immediately Following Bosko's Murder

         On July 8, 1997, shortly before 5:00 p.m., William Bosko returned to his home in Norfolk from a Navy cruise and found his wife murdered in the bedroom of their apartment. (JA 1009-11, 3312.) Bosko banged on Danial and Nicole's door and screamed that his wife was dead and asked them to call 911. (JSF ¶ 268.) Williams then followed Bosko back to the Bosko's apartment where they covered her corpse with a blanket. (JA 1013.) At 5:45 p.m. Norfolk Investigators Huffman and Graupmann spoke with Tamika Taylor. (JA3313.) She told the investigators that Williams had been bothering Bosko. (JA3314.) She stated that Williams "constantly knocks on [Bosko's] door and only when her husband ain't there." (JA 3314.) Based on this information, the police invited Williams to the police department to provide a statement. (JA 3316.)

         Williams drove his own car to the police department. (JSF ¶ 341.) Shortly after 8:00 p.m., Detectives Maureen Evans and Scott Halverson took Williams into an interrogation room, at which time they administered the Miranda[8]warnings and provided a Miranda waiver, which Williams signed two minutes later. (JSF ¶ 342.) Williams agreed to take a polygraph exam, during which he denied killing Bosko. (JSF ¶¶ 349-50.)[9] The "Final Call" in the polygraph report showed "No Deception Indicated." (JSF ¶ 351.) Shortly after midnight on July 8, 1997 (the morning of July 9, 1997), after obtaining the polygraph results, the detectives questioned Williams for two more hours without a break. (JSF ¶ 357.) As an interrogation technique (JSF ¶ 363), Detective Evans told Williams that he had failed the polygraph even though the report indicated he passed. (JSF ¶ 362.)

         The detectives took a break from the interrogation from 1:55 a.m. to 2:08 a.m. (JSF ¶ 366.) When the detectives continued with the interrogation, they explained to Williams the current technology of DNA evidence. (JSF ¶ 367.) The detectives discussed with Williams the evidence samples that Williams had consented to give. (JSF ¶ 368.) The detectives took a break from their questioning of Williams from 3:22 a.m. to 3:32 a.m. (JSF ¶ 372.) When the detectives continued the interrogation, they questioned Williams about his obsession with Bosko. (JSF ¶ 373.)

         At 4:33 a.m. on July 9, 1997, Detective Halverson left the interrogation room, and Detective Evans spoke with Williams about having remorse and feeling sorry that Bosko was no longer alive. (JSF ¶ 375.) Williams then began to cry. (JSF ¶ 376.) At 4:51 a.m., Detective Halverson returned to the interrogation room with a new detective, Robert Glenn Ford. (JSF ¶ 377.)

         In response to Ford's accusation, Williams denied being in Bosko's apartment the night before. (JSF ¶ 379.) Despite the denial, Ford confronted Williams about being there and having something to do with Bosko's death. (JSF ¶ 380.) Williams then asked for a five-minute break and Detectives Ford and Halverson left the interrogation room at 5:40 a.m. (JSF ¶ 381.) At 5:50 a.m., they returned. (JSF 3 82.)

         C. Williams' First Inculpatory Statements

         Williams told the detectives that he had gone alone to Bosko's apartment at approximately 11:30 to 11:45 p.m. on the night of the murder. (JSF ¶ 383.) Williams said that he was wearing white undershorts when he entered the apartment. (JSF ¶ 388.) He said that there was a little struggle when he tried to pin Bosko down, but he did not use weapons or choke her. (JSF ¶¶ 384-85.) At one point he said that he did not remember if he hit Bosko or not, then later said that he hit her a couple of times, but could not remember where. (JSF ¶¶ 386, 397.) Williams said that Bosko hit him a couple of times, but did not have any weapons. (JSF ¶¶ 393- 94.)

         Eventually he pinned her on the floor. (JSF ¶ 395.) Williams said that he had vaginal sex with her, but did not ejaculate. (JSF ¶¶ 387, 390, 396.) He said that Bosko was hollering and screaming when he left the apartment. (JSF ¶ 392.)

         D. Williams' First Recorded Statement

         Between 7:00 and 7:16 a.m., the detectives audiotaped a statement from Williams. (JSF ¶ 398.) Williams stated that he entered the apartment barefoot, and without weapons. (JSF ¶¶ 399, 404.) Bosko was not wearing panties. (JSF ¶ 400.)[10] He did not choke or strangle her, but rather he hit her with his fist and shoe"[11] on the side of her head. (JSF ¶¶ 401, 405.) Williams said that he had intercourse with her, but did not ejaculate. (JSF ¶ 402.) Williams said he did not touch the blanket (from which DNA was later recovered) during the assault. (JSF ¶ 403.) At 9:25 a.m., Williams reviewed and signed a transcript of his tape-recorded statement. (JSF ¶ 406.)

         E. The Evolution of Williams' Second Recorded Statement

         At 9:00 a.m. on July 9, 1997, Detective Evans observed Bosko's autopsy. (JSF ¶ 407.) During die autopsy, Evans learned that Bosko had no bruises on her face or head, except bruises on her neck and jaw consistent with being strangled. (JSF ¶ 408.) Detective Evans also learned during the autopsy that Bosko had been stabbed repeatedly in the chest. (JSF ¶ 409.) Three of the stab wounds penetrated deep into her chest, consistent with having been inflicted by the knife found near her body. (JSF ¶ 410.)

         Detective Evans called the department with this information. (JSF ¶ 411.) After learning the facts from Evans, Detective Halverson entered the interrogation room and got Williams to sign a transcript of his first tape-recorded statement. (JSF ¶¶ 412, 413.) After Williams signed the transcript, Halverson asked him if he grabbed or held the victim's neck in any way, to which Williams replied that he may have done so while Bosko was screaming. (JSF ¶ 414.)

         Detective Evans returned to police headquarters at 11:00 a.m. after the autopsy. (JSF ¶ 415.) She entered the interrogation room and told Williams that Bosko did not die from a beating with a shoe. (JSF ¶ 416.) She asked Williams if he had, instead, stabbed Bosko. (JSF ¶ 417.) Williams denied stabbing Bosko and explained that he could not have stabbed her because he did not have a knife when he went into the house. (JSF ¶ 418.) Evans suggested that the knife may have already been in the room, and pantomimed how and where Bosko had been stabbed. (JSF ¶ 419; Apr. 16, 2015 Tr. 118-19.) Williams then said that he had stabbed Bosko three times in the chest. (JSF ¶ 420.)

         At 11:27 a.m., Evans took a second audiotaped statement from Williams, which ended three minutes later. (JSF ¶ 421.) In this second statement, Williams said he stabbed Bosko about three times in the chest to stop her from screaming. (JA 66.) Although prompted, Williams could not provide any description of the knife. (JA 66.) Williams signed a transcript of the second statement at 12:08 p.m. (JSF¶422.)

         F.DNA Testing Excludes Williams as the Contributor of the DNA Associated with Rape and Murder.

         The Commonwealth recovered several biological samples from the crime scene for DNA testing: a vaginal swab from Bosko, a spermatozoa stain on a white blanket that covered her body, and material from underneath her fingernails. (JA 281.) On December 11, 1997, DNA analysts told Norfolk police that Williams was preliminarily excluded from the crime scene DNA samples. (JSF ¶ 995.) By this time, a grand jury had indicted Williams. (JSF ¶ 989.) The Commonwealth, however, did not share this information with Williams' lawyers until April 30, 1998. (JSF ¶ 995.)[12]

         G. The Police Charge an Ever Widening Group of Individuals in an Effort to Discover the Contributor of the DNA Associated with the Rape and Murder of Bosko.

         1. Dick's First Account of the Crimes

         On January 12, 1998, Detectives Ford and Brian Wray drove Dick, Danial and Nicole Williams' roommate at the time of the murder, to the Norfolk police department for questioning. (JSF¶¶ 424-31.) Dick's questioning began around 10:30 a.m. (JSF ¶ 430.) Dick initially told the detectives that he was on board his ship, the USS Saipcrn, on the night of Bosko's murder. (JSF ¶ 432.) For the next several hours, Dick denied any role in the crimes against Bosko. (JSF ¶¶ 433-45.)

         Around 2:15 p.m., after the detective told Dick that they could prove he was there, Dick provided his first story about his involvement in the crimes. (JSF ¶ 448.) Dick said that Bosko let them inside. (JSF ¶ 449.) Once inside Williams started making advances toward Bosko, which she did not take well. (JSF ¶ 449.) According to Dick, Williams knocked Bosko "down on to the floor, held her down by her shoulders, pulled her pants or her shorts off and then her panties off and started jerking off." (JSF ¶ 450.) Dick said that Williams vaginally raped Bosko on the floor and also "began committing oral sodomy to Michelle's vagina." (JSF ¶ 451.) According to Dick, Williams "forced Michelle to give him a blow job, " and placed the blanket under her and raped her again. (JSF ¶¶ 453, 454)

         Dick said that he was "just sitting there watching" and "was not involved in any way other than that he was there." (JSF ¶452.) When he got tired of watching he ran out of the house, leaving Williams in the house, and he did not know what happened after that. (JSF 455.)

         2. Dick's Second Account of the Crimes

         At 2:45 p.m. Detective Wray left Dick alone in the interview room. (JSF ¶ 456.) Around 3:07 p.m., after signing a consent form, Dick provided a blood sample. (JSF ¶ 458.) At 3:18 p.m., Detectives Wray and Ford entered the interview room to "clear up some points." (JSF ¶ 459.) Dick initially provided the police with an account of the crimes against Bosko similar to that provided above. (JSF ¶¶ 460-65.)

         At 3:27 p.m., Detective Ford told Dick that "when we submit the evidence that was recovered in Michelle" and other evidence from the house, "that it would prove that his penis had been in her at some point" and that he needed to know the "entire truth." (JSF ¶ 466.) Dick said that once inside they played music and all three of them-Dick, Williams, and Bosko-were sitting on the living room floor[13] and that Williams "started rubbing Michelle's breasts and vagina area, " but after about five minutes Bosko started resisting. (JSF ¶¶ 467, 468.) Williams then pinned her to the floor and asked Dick to hold her shoulders down, which he did. (JSF ¶ 468.) While Dick held her shoulders down, Williams "ate her vagina out with his mouth" and asked Dick to do the same thing. (JSF ¶ 469.) When Detective Ford asked if he "put his penis anywhere, " Dick stated that he "stuck his penis in her vagina, also." (JSF ¶ 470.)

         Dick kept adding sexual actions to his account. He said that while Williams was "eating the victim's vagina, " he "put his penis in the victim's mouth." (JSF ¶ 471.) Bosko tried to bite him, at which point he took his penis out of her mouth, slapped her, and told her that he would slap her harder if she did it again. (JSF ¶ 472.) Dick said that at the time he slapped her, Williams was having vaginal sex with Bosko. (JSF ¶ 473.) Dick said that he ejaculated in Bosko's mouth. (JSF ¶ 474.) Dick said that after he removed his penis from Bosko's mouth he wiped it off on a towel. (JSF ¶ 475.) Later, he changed his story and said he wiped his penis off on a blanket. (JSF ¶ 480.)

         Dick said that he had vaginal sex for about five minutes while Williams put his penis in Bosko's mouth. (JSF ¶ 476.) Williams switched places with Dick, put Bosko on a blanket, and had vaginal sex with her again. (JSF ¶¶ 481, 482)

         Dick said that the entire ordeal lasted between an hour and an hour and a half. (JSF ¶ 478.) Dick asserted that Bosko fought and resisted the entire time. (JSF ¶ 477.)

         According to Dick, he and Williams argued for about five minutes about whether they should stay or not. (JSF ¶ 483.) While they were arguing, Bosko got up and went to the kitchen and picked up a knife. (JSF ¶ 484.) Bosko "went after" Williams with the knife, but Williams grabbed her hand holding the knife. Dick took the knife from her hand and put it down. (JSF ¶ 485.)

         Detective Ford told Dick that "he was still not telling us the whole truth" and that "he needed to tell us the entire truth about what he actually did with the knife." (JSF ¶ 486.) Dick then said that when he grabbed the knife from Bosko, he stabbed her twice "but he wasn't sure" and "it could have been more." (JSF 489.) He then dropped the knife. (JSF ¶ 487.) He did not remember where he stabbed Bosko. (JSF ¶ 488.) Dick said that after he dropped the knife, Williams picked it up. (JSF ¶ 490.) Bosko "came toward him again, " so he grabbed her and Williams stabbed her "a couple of more times in the chest while he was holding her." (JSF ¶ 491.) Bosko fell to the ground. (JSF ¶ 492.) Dick said that he put the blanket over her legs and left the apartment, leaving Williams there. (JSF ¶¶ 493, 494.)

         At 3:55 p.m., Detectives Wray and Ford left the interview room. (JSF ¶ 495.)

         3. Dick's Third Account

         The detectives were not done with Dick, and Dick was not done with changing his story to meet the detectives' changing expectations.

         At 4:37 p.m., Detectives Wray and Ford returned to the interview room "to clear up a few more points." (JSF ¶ 496.) Dick said that the struggle started in the living room and that the rape occurred there. (JSF ¶ 497.) He did not remember what room they ended up in. (JSF ¶ 498.) Detective Ford then asked if "during the struggle they could have ended up in the bedroom[.]" (JSF ¶ 498.) In what was to become a distressingly familiar pattern of accommodating whatever details seemed to make the police happy, Dick stated that "they could have, but he was not sure." (JSF ¶ 498.)

         At 4:55 p.m., Detectives Wray and Ford left the interview room, but they returned at 5:17 p.m. to tape record a statement from Dick. (JSF ¶¶ 501, 502.) At 7:00 p.m., Ford reviewed the statement with Dick, who signed it. (JSF ¶¶ 504, 505.) The police then arrested Dick for capital murder and rape. (JSF ¶ 997.)

         4. Further DNA testing Excludes Dick and Williams as Contributors.

         On January 15, 1998, Dick told his parents that he was innocent and had confessed due to police pressure. (JSF ¶ 998.) On March 26, 1998, a DNA analysis supported his statement to his parents. (JSF ¶ 1004.) Specifically, the DNA analysis report excluded Williams and Dick from crime scene samples. (JSF ¶ 1004.) It also excluded Bosko's DNA from Williams' underwear samples. (JSF ¶1004.)

         5. The Police Arrest Eric Wilson.

         In early April 1998, government informant Timothy Gurley (acting on police direction) got information from Dick about someone named "Eric." (JSF ¶ 1005.) Eventually, the police focused on Eric Wilson. (JSF ¶ 1005.) On April 8, 1998, Detectives Ford and Hoggard interrogated Wilson. (JSF ¶¶ 606, 610-22.) Initially, Wilson denied involvement in the murder (JSF ¶ 623), but he eventually said that he held Bosko down while Williams raped her. (JSF ¶ 643.) Wilson claimed to have left the apartment when Dick started to rape her while Williams held Bosko down. (JSF ¶ 645.) He later said he went to Cheetah's Bar and began drinking. (JSF ¶651.)

         The detectives left Wilson in the interview room for about forty-five minutes. (JSF ¶¶ 647-48.) When the detectives came back, Wilson said that "they may have ended up in the bedroom when they were all wrestling and playing around." (JSF ¶ 649.) Wilson could not remember what he was doing when Dick was preparing to rape Bosko. (JSF ¶ 650.) Wilson said that Williams hit Bosko in the face at least once. (JSF ¶ 652.)

         At 5:55 p.m., the detectives confronted Wilson about his participation in the rape. (JSF ¶653.) Wilson said that "he was going to start telling the truth." (JSF ¶ 654.) According to Wilson's new story, he, Williams, and Dick were in Williams' apartment watching TV when Williams suggested going to Bosko's place. (JSF ¶ 655.) Upon arriving at Bosko's, Williams and Dick sat on the couch with Bosko and started wrestling with her. (JSF ¶ 656.) Wilson said that he joined in the fracas. (JSF ¶ 657.) While Wilson and Dick held Bosko down, Williams hit her once in the face and began to rape her. (JSF ¶ 658.) After Williams Finished, Williams and Dick held Bosko down, and Wilson raped her. (JSF ¶ 659.) Wilson penetrated her and thought "that he may have ejaculated in her, " but was not sure. (JSF ¶¶660, 661.) No one wore a condom. (JSF ¶ 665.) Wilson said that Williams and Dick "were getting really rough, " and after he raped Bosko, he left. (JSF ¶¶ 662, 663.) Wilson said that Bosko was alive when he left. (JSF ¶ 664.)

         Wilson then made a taped statement, and signed the transcription of the statement. (JSF

         ¶¶ 670-72.) The police charged Wilson with capital murder and rape. (JSF ¶ 674.)

         6. Dick Changes his Story to Incorporate Wilson in the Crimes and Adds an ...


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