By Dark Sleuth
UPDATE: On December 15, 2017, the 11th District Court of Appeals reversed a lower court's decision that Crosley Green's appeal was untimely and therefore could not be heard. The reversal means that there will probably be a hearing in Green's case in which his attorneys will present Green's claim of "'actual innocence' amid accusations of prosecutorial misconduct".
Related post: Important court decision in Crosley Green's case
(Source: CBS 48 Hours)
For over 25 years, Crosley Green, has sat in a Florida prison, convicted of a crime he did not commit. His story has been featured on 48 Hours in the episode, "Last Chance for Freedom."
Watch the full episode here:
I've never been able to forget Mr. Green's case. I firmly believe he is innocent of this crime. It is difficult to reconcile how he could have lost so many years to a miscarriage of justice.
48 Hours reporter Erin Moriarty has stated, "This case has haunted me... It's just gone on so long. They need to take a new look at this case." She has reported on it since 1999.
Mr. Green's attorney, Keith Harrison, of Crowell & Moring , told 48 Hours that "Crosley's not a broken man... He really has an extremely strong spirit." Even strong spirits need help and support. Please be sure to read the end of this post for more information on how you can help Crosley Green's fight for freedom!
Green's nightmare began in April 1989.
The CrimeOn the night of April 3, 1989 in Brevard County, Florida, 22 year-old Chip Flynn was out with his ex-girlfriend Kim Hallock. According to Hallock, they were sitting in his truck at a baseball field when a black man kidnapped and robbed them at gunpoint.
The pair were driven by the kidnapper to a remote orange grove. Hallock told authorities that it was there that Flynn recovered his own weapon from the truck and fired at the kidnapper. In the ongoing confusion, Hallock drove away to get help.
3 miles later, Hallock called 911. Police found Flynn in the grove. He was bleeding from a gunshot wound to the chest. Flynn could still speak, but would not tell authorities who shot him. He died while waiting for an ambulance.
The Wrong Man
Hallock's statements to authorities were problematic from the beginning and included several inconsistencies.
She could not accurately describe her assailant. It was also difficult to explain how the assailant drove the "hard to handle truck" with a "custom gear shift" all the while keeping the gun pointed at his two captives.
Hallock claimed there were multiple shots fired at the grove, but authorities "found no shell casings or bullets to support that. The only bullet found was the one that killed Chip."
Authorities found that Chip Flynn had no gunpowder residue on his hands, despite Hallock's statement that he had fired his weapon at the kidnapper. Hallock's hands were never tested for gunpowder residue, according to investigators. Her clothes were also not collected for testing.
Hallock also stated that both she and Flynn were barefoot in the grove, and that Flynn was made to heel. Authorities, however, found "no bare footprints... no knee prints... no shin prints."
She could not explain why it had taken her so long to call 911, despite passing by several places, including a hospital, where she could have gotten help.
Despite these problems, Crosley Green was arrested days later after being identified by Hallock in a flawed photo lineup. The irony is that Green did not even match Hallock's original description of her assailant, whom she described as having "jheri-curled hair" and being "well built." Green was slender and had short hair.
The Fight for Freedom
At the time, Green was a recently released "small-time drug dealer". He may have made an easy mark, as one of his attorneys, Bob Rhoad stated, "The task at hand was finding a black guy to pin this on. And unfortunately for Crosley ... that's where their attention focused."
Despite no physical evidence tying Green to the crime, and an alibi, he was still convicted by an all white jury and sentenced to death in 1990.
Prosecutors lined up 3 witnesses who testified in court that Green had confessed to them. All 3 witnesses, including Green's sister, have recanted their statements. They said they were pushed hard to incriminate Green and were given incentives.
Sadly, Green's original defense attorneys were never informed of the first responding officers' suspicions that Hallock may have been involved in Flynn's death. The prosecutor never turned this information over to the defense.
In 2009 his attorneys were able to get Green taken off death row after it was found that "the trial court erred in sentencing Green."
The fight still continues for Green to be given a new trial. In January 2016 the federal court in Orlando, Florida denied a petition for a new trial because a judge decided that "the motion had not been filed in a timely manner."
In a sad and strange irony, Green's DNA could not be definitively excluded. Testing on body hair fragments found in Flynn's truck showed that mitochondrial DNA could not exclude Green or his maternal relatives. The test cannot definitively or positively match anyone, but it also could not exclude.
Green's brother, O'Connor, knew Tim Curtis, who was the previous owner of Flynn's truck. Curtis sold the truck to Flynn, and O'Connor was known to have driven the vehicle prior to the sale.
According to the 48 Hours episode, Curtis has told authorities that he believes the hair "was in the truck before he sold it to Chip Flynn."
As Green's defense attorney, Keith Harrison stated, "The problem is there is no DNA evidence to exonerate him."
How you can help Crosley Green?
The episode also features 3 similar cases of wrongful convictions from Brevard County Florida in the 1980s that were subsequently overturned.
Follow the case on the official Facebook page:
Learn more about the case from John A. Torres' news columns for Florida Today:
Sign & share the petition!
Jennifer Miller started a petition for clemency (or new trial) on Change.org.
Miller provided Dark Sleuth a direct quote describing why she was motivated to start the petition, even though she has never had any direct relationship to Mr. Green:
"CROSLEY GREEN was a sacrificial lamb and he has paid with his life for a horrendous crime he did not commit. He was stripped of his freedom and his voice was stolen. Really, Brevard County wants this to just go away, people forget, and hope people will just not see value in his life. But, it couldn't be further from reality! Reality is that people will not forget, it's not going to just go away, and many people (including me) see his life as valuable and worthy of fighting for! This case is one of the most blatant cases of corruption I personally have ever heard of. Mr. Green is human and we will keep speaking out and putting a spotlight on his situation until he gets his fair day in court"!
Contact your local representatives!
Write, call, tweet and message them to spread awareness of Crosley Green's case!
Look up your Florida officials here:
Use Common Cause to find your federal elected officials: