On the night of November 18, 1999, Khalil Johnson, a security guard at the State Fair Lounge in Detroit, Michigan, was escorting an unruly patron, John Davis, from the club when he was shot once in the chest. The shot took his life.
THE INVESTIGATION AND TRIAL
Various witnesses from the club provided statements during the initial investigation which contained varying versions of the events, and later testified at trial.
Calvin Pye was also a security guard at the club, and testified that there had been a group of "15-20 people" celebrating a birthday. One of the men in the group was involved in a disturbance in the "picture room", this was separate from the main part of the bar. This man was John Davis, it was his sister Cassandra’s birthday they were celebrating.
Pye testified, that when he attempted to escort Davis from the bar, Davis swung a bottle at him, at which point some of the patrons began to leave the bar, including Demeteilus Greene. Pye testified that when he fell to the ground with Davis, he heard two shots, and that Khalil Johnson was struck by a bullet. Pye, who had criminal warrants out against him at the time, did not see the shooter, but testified that he heard Greene say "Flick 'em, Flick 'em" as he was leaving the bar. Pye was never arrested on his outstanding warrants, and they were never disclosed to the jury at trial.
Harold Outley was the bar's Security Supervisor and claimed that Greene stated "I'm going to get my shit" at about the same time that Johnson was escorting another man from the bar. He claimed that Greene left and returned to the front doorway of the bar, and that he was standing only five feet from Greene when Greene "extended his arm into the bar and fired two shots".
Outley also had outstanding felony warrants against him during these proceedings, and was also not arrested in clear exchange for his testimony, which was favorable to the prosecutor. This, too, was withheld from the jury at trial.
Notably, nobody else claimed to have heard Greene say this, and Outley's story is notably and markedly different from Pye's "flick 'em" story.
Two other security guards, Charles Fisher and Robert Edwards testified that they heard the shot, but did not see the shooter. Fisher said that, even though he did not see the shooter's face, he did see a man run to the door of the bar, fire a gun, and then leave in a dark Cadillac. The man was wearing a black leather jacket and blue jeans.
Lashawanna Baskerville, a waitress at the bar, testified that she saw Davis and Greene together in the bar, before the disturbance broke out in the picture room, and that Pye and Johnson grabbed Davis and walked him toward the front door, as other people were leaving the bar, including Greene. Baskerville claimed that Greene returned to the doorway of the bar and fired a gun, and that he was wearing a red or burgundy jersey.
Demarco Frierson worked the coat check room in the bar and testified that Greene was the man he saw run to a car with tinted windows, just as another man was being escorted out of the bar, and that Greene returned to the door of the bar, fired two shots, and then went to the dark-tinted windowed car and drove off.
John Davis testified that he was at the bar celebrating his sister's birthday, with whom Green has a child, when, as he was being escorted from the bar by a security guard, he saw Greene standing near the door, and that Greene "left for about five minutes" and returned to the bar, "stuck his hand in there" and that Davis heard two shots, and claimed that Khalil Johnson said "Your boy shot me" as he fell to the floor. Davis also testified that he was told by the police at the scene, that if he did not give a statement implicating Greene, he would "not see his kids until Christmas".
While each of these statements appears to implicate Demeteilus Greene, it is important to note that each statement is completely inconsistent with the remaining statements in many details.
More telling is the remainder of the evidence.
Demeteilus Greene #322577
Lakeland Correctional Institution
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It is also important to note that each of these identifications of Greene were made by the police officers showing the witnesses a single picture of Greene saying "This is the shooter". This is a completely improper and even illegal procedure well established to have absolutely zero reliability.
Antoine Lockett and his cousin, David "Byron" Allen drove Greene and another friend, Juan, to the State Fair Lounge in Lockett's grey Toyota minivan. They witnessed the altercation between Davis and the bouncer, and decided to leave. They all went back to the grey Toyota minivan, went to Lockett's house for about fifteen minutes, then Allen drove Greene to Greene's girlfriend's house, and dropped him off, where he spent the night. Greene was wearing a red "#4" jersey, and did not have on a black leather jacket.
The testimony of Lockett, Allen and Greene all are consistent with these facts. There is no dispute that Greene arrived and left the bar in the grey Toyota minivan. The car with the tinted windows was identified at trial as belonging to John Davis.
What was most telling was what the jury never saw.
In addition to being left in the dark, about the primary state witnesses having criminal warrants against them which were "overlooked by the prosecutor" in exchange for their testimonies, the prosecutor also played keep-away with the physical evidence.
At trial, the prosecutor presented testimony from the Medical Examiner, Dr. Leigh Hlavaty, that the unclothed body of Khalil Johnson did not have unburnt gunpowder or soot around the wound track and, therefore, it could not have been a close range shot. This was presented to attempt to rebut the defense theory that it was not Greene who had fired the shot, but more likely John Davis.
Indeed, Medical Examiner Hlavaty's Report is crystal clear in stating "There is no evidence of close range firing present on the skin surrounding the wound". This Report contains additional information, however that is crucial to the determination of the truth.
The Medical Examiner’s Report further states "No clothing was received with the body", and that the wound track was "from front to back, right to left and downward".
Notably, Khalil Johnson had John Davis completely off his feet and the downward trajectory is consistent with a person shooting someone who is holding them up off the ground, as are the front to back and left to right elements of the trajectory. The trajectory is completely forensically inconsistent with someone shooting from several feet away through the door of the bar, when Johnson had Davis in front of him. The shot would have had to go through Davis to go into Johnson "front to back". Moreover, Johnson is 6'4" tall, Greene is 5'11" tall.
Additionally, in direct contradiction to the testimony that it could not have been a close range shot, was the Dannug Forensic Report, dated December 21, 1999, well before trial, which was withheld by the prosecution until the very end of trial, after all the witnesses had testified, leaving the defense in the untenable position of seeking to have the report admitted with no available testimony to authenticate it, or to testify about its significance. This Forensic Report is the smoking gun in this case. This Report states that a black T-shirt belonging to the victim had been submitted for analysis and "Particles of unburned gunpowder and sooting were observed on both sides of the T-shirt near the holes."
A statement obtained from Darren Hayden Dannug who is the Forensic Examiner who conducted the tests and created the Report, confirms the authenticity of the report and the contents thereof.
Even more telling is the fact that the Medical Examiner, Dr. Leigh Hlavaty, when presented with the Dannug Forensic Report, stated that she had never seen the report before or during the autopsy and that, "if the lab report is on the clothes that the decedent was wearing at the time and the crime lab scientist will testify or has testified that the clothing was positive for soot and/or gunpowder, then the shot was fired at 'close range". As an agent of the state, Dr. Hlavaty has refused to execute an Affidavit, but has stated that she will testify or speak with police, prosecutors or defense counsel if/when the case is reopened.
Another very important fact is that, despite some of the state witnesses claiming that "Mr. Greene fired TWO shots", there is absolutely zero evidence to support the assertion of a second gunshot. The entire bar was searched and no bullet, bullet hole, casing, or any other physical evidence exists that a second shot was fired. Only the single shot that hit Johnson is supported by evidence. Oddly, the Forensic Report notes two different sized holes in the T-shirt, but there was only one bullet hole in Khalil Johnson. Based solely on the evidence, there is no way to tell how many times Khalil Johnson was shot.
Something further to note is that Khalil Johnson made a dying declaration to the EMT in the transport to the hospital, stating "I had an argument with the guy. I tried to put him out and the guy shot me". This was not known to Greene or presented at trial, but was discovered by the investigator subsequent to trial, and due to collective bargaining requirements for State Employee Contracts, the EMT is prohibited from giving an Affidavit.
What is further disturbing about this case is that well after trial, Greene discovered that the prosecutor had provided the CCV of the Forensic Examiner, Dannug, to the defense lawyer a week before trial, but not the Report. Counsel should have pressed for the Report well before trial. When presented with the Report, after closing arguments and during a lunch break, trial counsel Luther Glenn went to Greene's family and told them that, for an additional $5,000 he would "get him out right now". When confronted with the question as to what he could do for $5,000 more that he couldn't or wouldn't do for the $15,000 he had already been paid, he went back into the courtroom and dismally failed to have the Report admitted with testimony being reopened to explain it to the jury.
Notably, the clothing of John Davis, while admittedly blood spattered, was never collected or tested for GSR. The prosecutor told the jury that it "didn't matter".
Even more interesting is that all of the participants in Greene's trial no longer work for the State, due to having been mired in a huge scandal involving the entire Detroit, Michigan Crime Lab, involving, inter alia, false testimony, falsified results, etc., and the prosecutor, Morton, is also no longer with the prosecutor's office.
It is clear beyond any doubt that Demeteilus Greene is innocent in the shooting to death of Khalil Johnson.