NATIONAL NEWS

Prosecutors avoid misconduct questions by dropping charges in killing of Chicago police officer

Jun 21, 2023, 10:44 AM

CHICAGO (AP) — Prosecutors have dropped charges against two of three men accused of killing an off-duty Chicago police officer, including a man who spent nearly 12 years in jail awaiting trial as authorities challenged allegations of police and prosecutorial misconduct.

Tyrone Clay faced nearly 80 counts and Edgardo Colon almost 20 counts in the shooting death of Officer Clifton Lewis during the robbery of a convenience store where Lewis was working as a security guard in December 2011.

Colon was convicted in 2017 but the verdict was overturned in 2020 after he argued that police obtained a confession even though he’d asked for an attorney during an interrogation that lasted some 50 hours.

Clay has spent almost a dozen years in jail awaiting trial while prosecutors appealed a judge’s ruling that he, too, had repeatedly asked for an attorney before giving an incriminating statement.

Prosecutors dropped the charges Wednesday just ahead of a hearing where detectives and prosecutors would have had to testify about how they handled the case, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin DeBoni told a judge that the state couldn’t meet its burden of proof.

Clay could be released from jail as soon as Wednesday. Colon has been free on bond pending a new trial.

The third defendant, Alexander Villa, has been awaiting sentencing since his conviction in 2019. He, too, has sought a new trial. His attorney uncovered evidence he claims prosecutors failed to turn over, including cellphone records that indicate the three men weren’t at the scene of Lewis’ death.

Colon’s lawyer, Paul Vickrey, had asked the judge to sanction prosecutors for withholding the information. That motion was rendered moot when the charges were dropped.

“There was a shocking amount of hidden and destroyed evidence in this case,” Vickrey said in a statement. “While we are gratified for Edgardo, our hearts go out to the family of Clifton Lewis. A rush to charge and convict was the worst way to honor the short life of a dedicated officer.”

National News

FILE - President Joe Biden participates in a briefing in the Oval Office of the White House, Dec. 2...

Associated Press

Biden’s legacy: Far-reaching accomplishments that didn’t translate into political support

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sitting in the Oval Office behind the iconic Resolute desk in 2022, an animated President Joe Biden described the challenge of leading a psychologically traumatized nation. The United States had endured a life-altering pandemic. There was a jarring burst of inflation and now global conflict with Russia invading Ukraine, as well as […]

36 minutes ago

Associated Press

Here’s the letter that Biden wrote to say he would no longer seek reelection

WASHINGTON (AP) — Preident Joe Biden on Sunday posted a letter to social media announcing that he would no longer seek reelection. The decision by the Democrat came after building pressure from lawmakers, donors, activists and voters within his own party who had concerns about his ability to beat Republican Donald Trump in November’s election. […]

51 minutes ago

FILE - Vice President Kamala Harris speaks in the East Room of the White House, March 18, 2024, in ...

Associated Press

Harris, endorsed by Biden, could become first woman, second Black person to be president

WASHINGTON (AP) — She’s already broken barriers, and now Kamala Harris could become the first Black woman to head a major party presidential ticket after President Joe Biden abruptly ended his reelection bid and endorsed her. Biden announced Sunday that was stepping aside amid widespread concerns about the viability of his candidacy. Harris is the […]

1 hour ago

Image: Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and President Joe Biden attend a trilateral meeting in t...

Associated Press

What happens next: Biden wants to pass the baton to Harris. How that might work

As President Joe Biden ends his reelection bid and endorses Vice President Kamala Harris, Democrats must navigate an unprecedented shift.

1 hour ago

Photo: President Joe Biden speaks at a 2024 Prosperity Summit, July 16, 2024, in North Las Vegas, N...

Associated Press

Biden throws support behind VP Kamala Harris to lead Democrats against Trump, aiming to avoid further party chaos

Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Trump.

2 hours ago

President Joe Biden walks down the steps of Air Force One at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Wedn...

Associated Press

President Joe Biden drops out of the 2024 race after disastrous debate inflamed age concerns

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Donald Trump that raised doubts about his fitness for office just four months before the election. The decision comes after escalating pressure from Biden’s Democratic allies to […]

2 hours ago

Prosecutors avoid misconduct questions by dropping charges in killing of Chicago police officer