Man Says Chicago Cops|Framed Him for Murder

     CHICAGO (CN) – Chicago police concealed evidence and conspired to frame an innocent man for murder and he spent 17 years in prison, the exonerated man claims in Federal Court.
     Alprentiss Nash sued Chicago and eight police officers or former officers: Michael Baker, David Fidyk, John Ford, Joel Howard, George Karl, Thaddeus Macudzinski, John Solecki, and Neil Spencer.
     Nash was arrested in 1995 and charged with the murder of Leon Stroud. He was convicted and served 17 years in prison before DNA testing exonerated him in 2012, he says in the complaint.
     Stroud was “a noted ‘bootlegger’ in the neighborhood. He sold alcohol, cigarettes and crack cocaine out of his home,” Nash says in the lawsuit.
     “At around 1:45 p.m. on April 30, 1995, three masked men entered Stroud’s home and robbed him. One of the masked men shot Stroud in the chest.”
     Nash claims that when police arrested him he gave them an “airtight and verifiable alibi. He stated that he sold drugs from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the corner of 119th Street and Perry Avenue.”
     The complaint continues: “By early afternoon, Nash had accumulated over $600 in cash. Nash explained that he earned between $1,500 and $2,000 a week. He had no reason to rob Stroud.
     “At around 1:00 p.m., Nash went to Boone’s Liberty Cab, located at 117th Street and Michigan Avenue. He hired a man named Freddie to drive him to Maxwell Street to shop. Freddie had driven Nash on numerous occasions in the past.
     “On Maxwell Street, Nash shopped at Bryer’s. He purchased a pair of blue overalls, some navy blue gym shoes, a three quarter length black bloomers jacket, and a snake skin baseball hat.
     “Nash explained that he shopped at Bryer’s on a regular basis. The employees, including ‘Mother Bryer,’ knew him by name.
     “Nash told the officers he returned home at about 4:30 p.m. He changed into the clothes he bought at Bryer’s. He was later arrested in those very unique clothes.”
     But “seeing an opportunity to quickly resolve a case involving the death of a bootlegger in a poor neighborhood by arresting Nash, a drug dealer from the neighborhood who had been running his mouth about Area 2 officers, defendants conspired to frame Nash,” according to the complaint.
     Nash claims police interviewed (nonparty) Alvin Wyatt, who named a man known as “Moose” as the shooter, then coerced Wyatt into identifying Nash as “Moose.”
     “Wyatt knew Nash by name and owed him $350 at the time. He had purchased drugs from Nash earlier that day. Wyatt knew Nash’s nickname was ‘Lemeke,’ not ‘Moose,'” the complaints states.
     It continues: “‘Moose’ was the nickname of Demetrius Loggers, another man who lived in the neighborhood.
     “On information and belief, defendant officers were aware that Loggers’s nickname was ‘Moose.’
     “As alleged in further detail below, Loggers’s DNA was discovered on the mask found at the scene.
     “Defendants Baker, Solecki, Karl, and others drove Wyatt to Nash’s home.
     Defendant Baker retrieved a photo of Nash from the residence. He brought the photo out to the car and showed Wyatt.
     “On information and belief, Wyatt repeatedly denied that the man in the photo was ‘Moose.’ He told them the man in the photo was Nash, also known as ‘Lemeke.’
     “On information and belief, defendants Baker, Solecki, and Karl advised Wyatt that he would be charged with murder and go to jail unless identified the man in the photo as ‘Moose,’ in which case he would not go to jail. Wyatt eventually gave in and stated that the person in the photograph was indeed ‘Moose.'”
     Nash claims the police then conducted suggestive lineups to encourage other witnesses to name him as the murderer, and concealed from prosecutors and defense counsel that they had interviewed Freddie and Mother Bryer, who had confirmed his alibi.
     Nash seeks damages for violation of due process, failure to intervene, conspiracy, malicious prosecution, and emotional distress.
     He is represented by Kathleen Zellner, of Downers Grove.

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