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Crime Wrongly accused in killing of a pre-school boy, man may go free

23:56  05 april  2018
23:56  05 april  2018 Source:   mysanantonio.com

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a close up of a man: Prosecutors dismissed an indictment against Tramone Mykel Anderson, 25, who was charged in connection with the drive-by shooting death of 4-year-old De-Earlvion Whitley in 2017. © Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc Prosecutors dismissed an indictment against Tramone Mykel Anderson, 25, who was charged in connection with the drive-by shooting death of 4-year-old De-Earlvion Whitley in 2017. Prosecutors on Thursday dismissed an indictment against a man charged in connection with last summer's drive-by shooting death of 4-year-old De-Earlvion Whitley.

Tramone Mykel Anderson, 25, was one of three men jailed in connection with the July 19, 2017, shooting, which investigators believe targeted the boy’s father in retaliation for an earlier drive-by that was part of escalating violence on the East Side.

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Ugandan schoolboy Tumusiime Henry was 15 when he was accused of murder the first time. While he waited almost two years for the trial to begin he was accused of a second murder. The hope was that Henry, always top of his class, would be the first in the family to go to university.

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Anderson was not charged with murder, but was indicted on a charge of being a felon with a gun. He proclaimed his innocence from the day federal agents arrested him in August.

Without listing a reason, U.S. Attorney John Bash and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Wannarka filed a motion Thursday to dismiss the indictment against Anderson, and U.S. District Judge Fred Biery signed an order granting the request.

According to one of Anderson’s lawyers, Tom McHugh, the government acknowledged Anderson was misidentified as an alleged driver or participant in the Whitley shooting. McHugh said prosecutors “did the right thing” by dropping the charge upon learning of the mistake.

A retired federal prosecutor, McHugh said his client had “a smile as broad as his shoulders” when he was told the indictment was dismissed. McHugh said he and co-counsel Chris Griffith are working for the release of Anderson, whose bond on an unrelated state case was revoked when he was arrested on the federal charge.

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Ugandan schoolboy Tumusiime Henry was 15 when he was accused of murder the first time. While he waited almost two years for the trial to begin he was But then he met an American lawyer who slowly realised it was up to him to come to the rescue of an innocent teenager. Henry was at school when

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a person posing for the camera: De-Earlvion Whitley, shown in a photo provided by his family, was sleeping in his East Side home when he was shot and killed by a bullet fired in a drive-by shooting. His mother, 29-year-old Cyntwanisha Whitley, was struck twice in her left leg by the bullets. © Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc De-Earlvion Whitley, shown in a photo provided by his family, was sleeping in his East Side home when he was shot and killed by a bullet fired in a drive-by shooting. His mother, 29-year-old Cyntwanisha Whitley, was struck twice in her left leg by the bullets.

McHugh commended them “for being open to the notion of possible innocence, for always listening and for never being satisfied, for continuing to test their evidence and their theories, and above all, for recognizing that justice is not some obscure law school concept but is an ideal and a goal which has application and should be embraced by anyone who walks the halls of courthouses everywhere.

“Poignant indeed, this result and positive outcome occurred on the 50th anniversary, plus one day, of the death of Martin Luther King Jr.,” McHugh added.

Federal court records said that federal agents initially identified Anderson as a suspect while looking into the alleged drug dealings of Charles Lee Bethany, 36, who remains charged in connection to the Whitley shooting, along with John Lee Chatman, 35.

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Bethany and Chatman also are not charged with murder, but with gun or drug charges in what court regulars call “holdover charges” meant to get someone off the streets as a matter is further investigated.

A federal task force helping target violent crime on the East Side made the arrests, and three months later — in November — also obtained indictments against nine suspected gang members alleged to have contributed to the bloodshed, including the boy’s father, Earl Whitley Jr. Federal court records said Bethany was believed to have been a target of a drive-by shooting about 4:30 p.m. on July 19, 2016, at Coliseum Meat Market in the 400 block of Spriggsdale — hours before the Whitley home in the 200 block of Hub Street was sprayed with bullets later that night.

“Certainly, these are important cases,” McHugh said. “People — innocent children — are being slaughtered on our streets. ...Understandably, there is a haste or urgency to stop it, to rid the streets of this insane violence, of its ugly perpetrators. And yes, our system of justice is far from perfect, yet it is far better than any other justice system yet devised.”

Guillermo Contreras is a San Antonio Express-News staff writer. Read more of his stories here. | gcontreras@express-news.net | @gmaninfedland

Court rejects child killer's claim of planted evidence .
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