Free this innocent man - Newly discovered evidence Proves his Innocence
Free this innocent man - Newly discovered evidence Proves his Innocence
Before my trial started my attorney noticed something strange and very puzzling about me and requested under Penal Code section 1368 to suspend proceedings and order a hearing into the mental competence of me.
My attorney believed that I didn't understand the nature or purpose of the criminal process and also suffered from some type of disability or mental Illness.
The Court appointed Dr. Charles B. Schaffer, a psychiatrist and diplomat with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, He conducted a psychiatric evaluation and produced a report. The report said that I had the ability to understand the proceedings and to assist his counsel in a rational manner. Based on the findings The judge denied the motion and continued the matter to another court date.
Later The defense attorney requested another evaluation based on the limited cooperation during the initial evaluation and additional information also school records provided by my mom showing learning disabilities existing since early elementary school.
The evaluation was conducted but The judge denied the motion again then next the district attorney offered me a plea bargain for 25 years. 5 years doubled up to 10 years and an additional 10 years for the gun enhancement and another 5 year enhancement for prior convictions totaling 25 years.
I denied the plea bargain and my attorney told me that we needed to then prepare for trial .
After limited communication and little to no cooperation with my attorney I asked the judge if I could get a new attorney to represent me and have her removed from my case due to a conflict of interest and difference of opinions about my defense. The judge denied this motion. So next I requested to represent myself and to act as my own attorney.
Everyone thought I was crazy or stupid for wanting to act as my own attorney. So the judge appointed Dr. Paul G. Mattiuzzi to determine if I was competent to represent myself. Dr. Mattiuzzi examined me and completed his evaluation concluding that I was not competent to represent himself.
The judge denied my request to represent myself.
Meanwhile, in preparation for trial, defense counsel arranged for a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation by Dr. John J. Wicks, a forensic neuropsychologist.
Dr. Wicks conducted his evaluation over three days and about 5 hours each. There were 23 tests conducted all together.
Based on that report, defense counsel decided to have a PET scan of my brain to determine if any organic neurological defect could be detected.
Before the trial started my attorney declared another doubt about my competence. This time, defense counsel informed the court that she believed that I had a developmental deficiency.
She stated that the brain scan was completed and based on her conversations with the neuropsychiatrist who ordered the scan (Dr. Albert Globus), as well as review of the radiologist's report of the scan, there were “confirmed areas of ... brain damage consistent with Dr. Wicks' earlier report which was based on family history, on educational records and juvenile probation reports dating back to when he was eight years old.” The brain scan results were a hard science confirmation and validation of Dr. Wicks' neuropsychological evaluation.
The report made it clear there were three lobes of my brain that appeared to be abnormal, and they did some technical findings of various parts and what they observed was moderate to mild, the overall impression, according to the radiologist, " His brain presents as a very similar to an Alzheimer's patient, which would be very unusual for somebody at his age".
The court documents explained that The PET scan allows one to view by anatomical indications and reduced nerve function.
" This test is used to determine dementia. Although Oliver Gray is young, he showed extensive findings of brain damage which are consistent with the neuropsychological testing. There are four lobes of the brain which are impaired. They are frontal, which is the area of the brain associated with secondary functioning and personality; temporal, which is associated with memory, pleasure, sexuality, and aggressivity; parietal, which is associated with language functions in association with visual, auditory, and somatosensory functions, and the occipital which is associated with visual perception. Oliver Gray shows reduced level of brain functioning in the anterior part of the temporal lobes toward midline, bilaterally symmetrical dysfunction in the parietal lobes, and more subtle decreased activity in both of the frontal lobes. These findings are consistent with the results of my psychiatric examination and Dr. Wicks' neuropsychological examination. His level of thinking and perception is so impaired as to affect day-to-day social functions, and would also impair his understanding of the consequences of the behaviors he displayed during and shortly after the alleged offense. These functions are so impaired that his behavior cannot be rationally adjudged in the manner you adjudge someone's freedom with this brain damage. Oliver Gray is believed to be what's known as developmentally disabled. "Developmentally Disabled" has been used as a code word for something else, and that is that is mental retardation; however that is such a highly charged word it's no longer considers that. It's considered something like a low I.Q., which I think is what we're dealing with here with Mr.Gray."
At trial my co defendant Kristopher Wynne testified that he met with “J” at a house party the day of the robbery. He and “J” also met with me Oliver Gray aka "Ollie" The following morning Wynne and “J” had planned to do a robbery and that Ollie was unaware. Wynne told Ollie that was still sleepy to stay in the van. Wynne testified that “J” was a real light skin individual and “J” is around 24 years old and a little shorter than me. “J” was also slim and skinny. Wynne was wearing a black or dark colored hoodie and “J” was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, they used masks to cover their faces. After the robbery they ran from the McDonalds to the van and left. Ollie was still in the van and “J” was driving. Next Wynne testified that Ollie was shocked as they drove off. Ollie and” J” began arguing. They were quickly pursued by police. When stopped they all jumped out Wynne and Ollie ran in one direction and “J” ran in the opposite direction. Wynne did not take his gun also did not see Ollie pick up the gun. " J " got away .
Next I corroborated Kristopher Wynne’s testimony and testified at my own trial that “J” was the actual robber . Wynne and “J” picked me up and I did not know they had planned to rob McDonalds. I thought it was unusual when Wynne and “J” rushed back to the van. At the time I was in the van reclined back in the seat with a black jacket over me. Then I saw Wynne take off his sweater and mask along with a beanie hat. “J” took off the gray hooded sweatshirt he was wearing putting everything in the floor between the two front seats with the longer gun the 22 caliber, Next I became upset because ”J “ was driving really fast. I had overheard “J” and Wynne discuss the robbery then realized something bad had happened at the MacDonald’s. I made threat’s toward “J” and Wynne. The van came to a stop and I started arguing with both of them. Until a police car passed by but didn’t see them. “J” started to drive again this time being pursued by the police. I became so upset that I grabbed the gun in between the seats and wanted to kill myself rather than go back to jail. When the van stopped, I got out and followed Wynne and “J” went in the opposite direction getting away.
I maintained my innocence that I didn't commit this crime.
On the third day of jury deliberations, the jury foreperson asked to speak to the judge. First the judge warned the foreperson not to say anything about the jury's deliberations, the foreperson told the court the following: “My concern is with what a juror's literacy level is. We have a juror who I do not believe has the comprehension to be able to read the instructions as given to her. I'm concerned, because we have tried to explain in different modes and modalities. I teach special needs students, and I have tried numerous ways to see if we can get her to
comprehend what ‘reasonable’ means and what ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ means, and it's been stalling us.” Even the other jurors had read the instructions “out loud to her,” “but it did not seem to help.”
Next the court then allowed the attorneys to ask questions, and the prosecutor asked whether the juror appeared to understand the instructions; the foreperson said " it did not appear so ".
The foreperson then reiterated that multiple people had read the instructions, the instructions had been read slowly, and they “even had [the juror] track with her finger along with the text.” The judge then told the foreperson, “it sounds like you are doing everything that the Court would request you to do,” and “individuals have varying interpretations at times, based on the facts as they have determined them through the process of the trial.”
The judge directed the foreperson to return and continue deliberating. Outside the presence of the foreperson, the prosecutor argued that the problem appeared to be more than a difference of opinion; “it sounds like the juror does not understand the instruction itself, or the juror cannot understand the instructions.” The judge disagreed, stating that “it all boils around what is reasonable and what is not reasonable. And it sounds like substantial jurors have reached a determination of facts of what is reasonable, and that this juror does not believe that, in fact, that interpretation is reasonable.” The prosecutor proposed that the court ask the juror if she understood the instructions as they were read to her without asking her about her opinion, but the judge declined to do so stating again “that there was a difference of opinion with regard as to what reasonable doubt is.” Ultimately, the judge decided to “wait and see.” That afternoon, without further incident, the jury returned its guilty verdict.
After trial, my attorney gave me a copy of a document generated by the investigative branch of the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office, obtained by prosecutor, The private investigator contacted a witness/victim which told him that he was at the McDonald’s on Power Inn/Fruitridge on May 29, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. and was standing in line, when two subjects entered with their faces partially covered, they yelled for everyone to lie down on the ground, one was taller than the other, that the taller was pointing a handgun at them. He was not sure if the other had a gun, the shorter one jumped over the counter and ran towards the employee working the drive-through window, the taller remained where he was lying then walked behind the counter, he heard the taller one yell at the employee to open the register or he would shoot, he saw the subject go through the register a few seconds later the subject approached him and he felt the barrel of the gun pressed against his back, the subject reached into his pocket and tried to remove His wallet but could not get it out, that the other yelled out that someone was calling 911 and they had to leave, that both ran out of the east doors, then he got up and saw them run. He described the first suspect, who had tried to steal his wallet, as a black male, 6’, 200 lbs., muscular, dark colored baseball hat, unknown colored short-sleeved t-shirt, dark colored jeans; that next He described the second suspect as a shorter and heavier black male, possibly wearing a baseball hat, white short sleeved t-shirt, and dark-colored jeans; that he said both suspects had their faces covered possibly with a bandanna and that he could only see the bridge of their noses and their eyes; he said the first suspect had a dark colored gun.
Basically he described both suspects as being Black and I'm white. I clearly could not have been the suspect but the jury never heard his testimony or that evidence.
Exculpatory evidence is what's known as evidence favorable to the defendant in a criminal trial that exonerates or tends to exonerate the defendant of guilt. This evidence was withheld and not presented to the jury.
Newly discovered evidence
Jerone Darte sworn affidavit .
Jerone Darte signed a sworn affidavit of support on June 22, 2020 . I remember on the night of May 28th 2011. I saw a friend of mine Kristopher Wynne aka " Bris " at a house party in South Sacramento. We went outside to sit in his green mini van . While sitting in his van a white guy that knew Bris walked up and introduced himself as " Ollie " . He was looking to buy some weed. Bris sold him some weed and he got in the van and we smoked together. The white guy Ollie seemed to be a weird kinda strange individual or possibly special needs just by the way he talked and acted or maybe he was just high on something but I remember something being off about him. We were drinking and popping pills that night at the party and I noticed Bris was acting overly excited. Later we ended up leaving the house party and leaving together, Bris was going to drop us both off . it had to be in the early morning between 4:30 and 5:30 am. Bris dropped me off at a house off Meadowview road. We talked several times about robberies and ideas of stores to rob that night. About an hour or so later Bris returned looking to buy some more pills and also talked more and more about a robbery he had planned near his house . He thought it would be a quick get away. We drove and picked up the white boy " Ollie " who lived down the street on our way . He just couldn't sleep and wanted to hang out, He knew nothing about the robbery. Bris parked the van on the side street. We left Ollie in the van with the engine running. During the robbery Bris took the money out of the cash register and next took the female employee to the back office to the safe. During this time I took a purse from a female customer and walked around making sure everyone was laid down and not calling the police, Bris returned and I gave him the purse. I talked to several people on the ground but I don't remember exactly what I said. Seconds later Bris returned and we both ran back to the van. I ran faster than Bris so I got to the van first and got in the driver's seat, then drove off . While driving I took off my gray sweatshirt, black beanie , mask and 22 caliber pistol on the floor of the van. Ollie next began to panic and ask a bunch of questions. This turned into a fight between Bris and Ollie, I remember Ollie punched Bris in his face , but they both calmed down once the police began to chase after us . I ran the red light and made the first turn, parked the van and ran the opposite way . I hid at the elementary school and waited for a ride to pick me up. I later heard that Bris went to prison and later died while in prison. That's when I heard the white boy " Ollie " got a lot of time for this and I wanted to come forward to clear his name.”