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The Christopher Dunn Story

Seven alibi witnesses, but none heard by jury

Gang members testify against innocent teen

Attorney fails to cross-examine accusers


This is the true story of Christopher Dunn, a young black man raised in St. Louis, MO. Chris was 18 when, on May 18, 1990, in St Louis, Rico Roggers was shot and killed.

Chris was with someone all of that evening, and at the time of the shooting, he was inside his mother's home and did not leave until the police arrived at 2:00 AM. With him were: Larry Dunn, Angela Dunn, Arnetta Dunn, Martha Dunn, Wilford Richmond, Cathy Jackson, and Crystal Jackson. In addition to these seven people able to testify for Chris, there was also a phone call made by Chris to his friend, Nicole Williams, at a local hospital.

You are probably wondering how Chris could be convicted with such a strong alibi, right? It is simple; the fact is, none of his witnesses were ever notified or called to testify. His court appointed attorney did not work to defend Chris. Knowing that the state had the burden of proof, she made the assumption that they could not prove him guilty if he was innocent. But his lawyer was wrong. The state came up with two witnesses against Chris, two men who had been with Mr. Roggers when he was shot.

In order to defend Chris, his lawyer should have cross-examined these two state witnesses, but she did not. She could have brought out facts that both the witnesses and the victim were members of a gang and were, in fact, at war with another gang. Also, the fact that the victim had himself shot and killed a man just one day prior to his death.

Despite these facts, the attorney did not even question the two men's testimonies. This knowledge would have been pivotal in considering the witnesses credibility. If the lawyer had cross examined, she might have brought light to the witnesses' motivation for giving false testimony. The fact is that there was a deal between the state and one witness who was then given probation in return for his testimony. He lied and his friend backed him up. The lawyer failed to point out contradictions made by these witnesses; statements on the police report and trial transcript would have disclosed this. In fact, the state witnesses showed inconsistencies as much as twelve times each. By the way, the witness who was given the deal is currently in prison with Chris, having shot and killed his girlfriend. There is a good chance he could change his testimony at Chris's new trial.

All that the state had against Chris were these two witnesses. There was no motive. The attorney should have suggested that another person might have had a motive as Mr. Roggers had just killed a man. There was no physical evidence against Chris. There was, however, a gun presented, giving the jury misleading information. The lawyer knew that it was not the murder weapon and could have called a firearms examiner that could have matched bullets from the victim with the murder weapon. The gun that was found was unrelated to this trial and prejudiced the jury.

There was another witness to this crime, the victim's brother. The lack of appearance by the witness who, in any other trial, would be the star witness seems odd to me. It seems obvious that he must have been ready to testify to something other than what the state wanted him to say.

Clearly, Chris's lawyer was both ineffective and incompetent in presenting her client's defence at the trial. Chris was found guilty due to his attorney's ineffective counsel.

Also consider that the twelve jury members were white except one.

Because Chris is innocent, he refused to plea bargain and was given the sentance of life without parole.

Chris believes that the judge, Michael B. Calvin, did not agree with the verdict.

Now

It has been over eight years now. Chris is educating himself, learning about the justice system, and working to present his case. During these years, new evidence has developed adding to the proof of his innocence. He has gotten signed affidavits from two witnesses who spoke with the state witness, currently incarcerated. Each of these two men state that they heard the state witness say that Chris did not kill Mr. Roggers. Also, evidence was found that the lawyer had evidence that could have proven Chris could not have committed the crime, but withheld it. Chris has evidence that his attorney never called or attempted to contact his witnesses to confirm his alibi.

What You Can Do

I suppose that some of you maybe asking, "What can I DO?"

You can write to him. Please see the address below. You can pray for him.

If you are an attorney or a journalist, there may be ways that you can directly help to correct this gross injustice. He does not have an attorney at this time and needs help. We can not afford one. Chris did have a state appeals lawyer who appealed at the state level but was denied. Chris also has filed at the federal level and that action is pending.

To find out all of the names and facts of the case, contact:

Christopher Dunn 181654
J.C.C.C.
PO Box 900
Jefferson City, MO 65102

You may also wish to contact Chris's state appeals attorney regarding Chris's case.

His name and address is:

Craig Johnston
Office of the Public Defender
3402 Buttonwood
Columbia, MO 65201-3722
(314) 882-9855

We believe that if you look into this case, you will agree that the wrong man is in prison suffering a life that he does not deserve.

We are Beth & Jesse Michael, Christopher's "Mama" and "Pops", and we will be eternally grateful to anyone who offers assistance to him. We pray daily for his freedom so that he may come home.

Thanks you for reading this story and considering the facts. May God bless you.

While we wait, please pray for Christopher.


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