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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014

    CA - Michelle O’Keefe Murder Conviction Doubt: Raymond Lee Jennings Released

    An Iraq war veteran convicted in the 2000 slaying of college student Michelle O’Keefe was ordered released from state prison Thursday after prosecutors express doubts about his guilt.

    "The people no longer have confidence in the conviction," Los Angeles Deputy Dist Atty. Bobby Grace told a judge, who ordered Raymond Lee Jennings released.

    Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Ryan recommended that Jennings be released immediately from the courthouse but ordered electronic monitoring for Jennings because the case against him has not been dismissed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
    can we trade these prosecuors to the melissa calusinski case?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Oh my goodness. This is local to me and I followed along when it happened. I really surprised by this. Looks like I'll need to go do some reading. Thanks for posting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Q: What is the new evidence?

    A: Prosecutors are not saying. But Jennings’ attorney offered some clues.

    Ehrlich said the new investigation uncovered evidence suggesting a robbery or carjacking and that Jennings had nothing to do with it.

    “There were other people at the scene, and D.A.’s office was aware of them, but they only looked at Mr. Jennings,” he said.

    The letter noted that there were several people in the parking lot at the time of the killing who were smoking pot and listening to music. The letter quoted one of the witnesses as saying she saw a man in Toyota Tercel flee the scene.

    He noted in the letter that one of the people in the parking lot that night had ties to street gangs and in the years since was involved in criminal activities

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    On Thursday, the judge unsealed the letter, which said that other people who had been in the parking lot that night had previously committed similar crimes using handguns. They fled before authorities arrived, wrote Chief Deputy Dist. Atty. John Spillane.

    The newly discovered evidence, Spillane wrote, suggests that O’Keefe “may have been killed by gang members during a robbery.”

    The letter did not name the possible suspects, citing the ongoing inquiry, but said a 17-year-old woman was in a rented Chevy Malibu in the parking lot that night with at least two others. A documented gang member, she went on to be convicted of possession of a firearm and was later arrested for throwing bleach in her boyfriend’s face, the letter said.

    In 2015, she was accused of more violence: stabbing a boyfriend. She was charged with attempted murder but convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, and was sentenced to five years in prison.

    An 18-year-old gang member who was with her in the car on the night of O’Keefe’s killing committed a home invasion robbery and carjacking just months later, according to the letter. He was caught after stealing a Mustang. At the time of his arrest, he was wearing an earring with a white stone that was similar to others O’Keefe was wearing the night she was killed.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    When the victim’s father spoke, he sometimes sighed and his voice cracked: “Judge Ryan, I don’t have to tell you how big this decision is.”

    Michael O’Keefe brought up the original prosecutor’s trial argument: that Jennings seemed to know too many details about the shooting for someone who wasn’t guilty. He urged the judge to speak with the trial prosecutor and review an appellate court decision from years earlier that upheld Jennings’ conviction.

    “From what I’ve seen,” the father said, “nothing has changed in my mind.”

    He went on to tell the judge of the tremendous loss he’s suffered over the years — after Michelle’s death, his son died of a drug overdose. Ryan nodded sympathetically.

    “Think about our daughter. Think about an innocent girl killed 17 years ago,” he said. “I’m relying on you to make the right decision.”

    As the parents spoke, Jennings stared ahead, swiveling slightly in his chair and resting his chin on his two index fingers.

    Ryan said he plans to issue a written ruling later on whether to throw out the conviction.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    This is such a heartbreaking (and fascinating) case all the way around. Michelle died at 18, then her younger brother od on prescription pain pills (due to grief) and Michelle's parents divorced afterwards (they had no other children). A purportedly innocent man spent 13+ years in prison due, it seems to sloppy investigation, inadequate defense counsel, and tunnel vision on the part of LE.
    I don't know how the parents go on. They must have strong religious faith.
    Dateline leaves so much out while steering viewers to their conclusion.
    If there were other people partying at the Park and Ride that night at the time of the murder why didn't Ray say so. Was he partying with them? Surely he would have heard the music as well. Perhaps he was afraid of them as some were gang members. I believe Ray's LD test did not clear him which leads me to believe he knows more than he's willing to say, even if he wasn't the shooter.
    He also altered his story towards the end of the episode saying he wasn't sure he actually saw her body twitching after being shot or he just imagined it. Sad, sad tale.
    I hope someone writes a book outlining all the facts.
    Last edited by Mamamerced; 01-14-2017 at 04:38 AM.

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