Free Kevin Dykes
Free Kevin Dykes
Kevin Dykes was a small time Compton drug dealer in the 1980's. 2 bigger fish in that pond were men named Slim and Hondo, who committed the crimes for which Kevin has been in prison since 1987.
While healing from a horrific January 1986 vehicular assault, Kevin could barely walk. At a party one night, after failed attempts to get his belligerently drunk friend Ephraim under control, Kevin hit Ephraim. Slim and Hondo took this as a cue to jump in. Kevin stopped it. After Ephraim left the house, Slim and Hondo followed him down the block and stabbed him 33 times. A neighbor, Mrs Bradley intervened and was also attacked. Kevin ultimately saw what was happening, hobbled down the block, and got them to stop. Ephraim and Mrs Bradley both survived in no small part by Kevin's actions. A few days later, Slim and Hondo had an issue with Kevin's friend Otis Perry over a stolen gun. Despite his best efforts to steer the 2 dangerous men from Otis, Kevin could not stop them this time. When asked, he had to show them where they could hide Otis' body and helped them get it there. Had he refused, Slim and Hondo would have had to hide Kevin's body as well.
- As soon as he was free from Slim and Hondo, he told Otis' mother what happened and went to the police.
- He gave a statement about both incidents, naming Slim and Hondo and what he had to do to survive to give that statement.
- In both incidents, he possessed no criminal intent. In fact, his actions saved 2 people's lives and led police to the 2 murderers.
- He was going to be a witness against 2 dangerous men for no gain - other than it being the right thing to do.
After his statement, he was allowed to leave. Kevin was later picked up for possession and put in the "snitch tank," as he was a witness in these 2 incidents. While telling a few guys in the "snitch tank" about this situation, 3 of them used those details to their advantage, flipping the narrative on Kevin. With the details of the case, they were able to convince the DA that their false claims of Kevin's confession to all 3 charges were legit, trading their false testimony against Kevin for leniency in their own charges. Kevin was then put on trial for Slim and Hondo's crimes - both of whom were never tried. Despite one of the attempted murder victims testifying on Kevin's behalf AND other defense witnesses testifying to the unreliability of all 3 jailhouse snitches, Kevin was convicted of 2nd degree murder and 2 counts of attempted murder.
Following a 60 Minutes segment on the California "snitch system" and a subsequent investigation, a law was enacted making jailhouse snitch testimony inadmissible without corroboration, as it was - and is - almost always incentivized by leniency in the snitch's charges, making it wholly unreliable evidence. So, not only is Kevin innocent, but also, his case couldn't even be brought to trial today. On top of that, 2 of the 3 snitches have since recanted, while the last one has been presumed dead.
The Los Angeles District Attorney's Conviction Integrity Unit has stalled in acting on this case. It is unclear why. The charges are 2 counts of attempted murder and 2nd degree murder. The living snitches have recanted - never mind the unreliability of their word. All that is left is Kevin's own statement where all criminal intent is found with Slim and Hondo. As a witness to this crime, he was essentially kidnapped - a prisoner - until Slim and Hondo disposed of the body - a body he identified for the police. If Kevin had opposed Slim and Hondo, not only would we not know who killed Otis, but also Kevin's murderers would be a mystery too.