Western Louisiana
Victims of the State

13 Cases

Avoyelles Parish, LA 

Vincent Simmons

May 9, 1977

Vincent Alfred Simmons, Jr. was sentenced to 100 years in prison for two counts of attempted aggravated rape of two 14-year-old white twin sisters.  (IIPPI)

Bossier Parish, LA 

Jack Favor

Apr 17, 1964

Jack Graves Favor, a former rodeo star, was convicted in 1967 of the murders of Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Richey who were killed at their bait stand near Haughton, LA. Favor had picked up two hitchhikers, Floyd Cumbey and Donald Yates, who afterwards committed the murders. During Favor's trial Cumbey pled guilty to the murders and testified that Favor was the triggerman. Yates also confessed to the murders and agreed that a third person was involved, but denied it was Favor. The trial judge ruled that he could not give this testimony to Favor's jury. After the trial Cumbey was allowed to change his murder pleas to pleas of guilt to manslaughter and received suspended sentences on each count. Cumbey was released from prison seven months after Favor's trial and two days later he killed his former girlfriend and her roommate in Oklahoma. At a retrial in 1974, Yates denied Favor was involved in the murders and Favor was acquitted. Favor was later awarded $55,000 for his wrongful imprisonment. A 1998 TV movie was made about Favor and his wrongful imprisonment entitled Still Holding On: The Legend of Cadillac Jack.  (ISI) (American Cowboy) (News Article) (Photos)  [2/10]

Bossier Parish, LA 

Alvin Moore

July 9, 1980 (Bossier City)

Alvin R. Moore Jr. was sentenced to death for the murder of JoAnn Wilson, 23, the wife of a former co-worker. Wilson called police and said, “Somebody stabbed me.” After police officer Bill Fields arrived on the scene, he asked her who stabbed her and she reportedly told him, “Elvin did it.” Fields later thought the victim meant “Alvin.” Moore, who is black, was having an affair with Wilson, who was white. Moore was arrested with a drop of blood on his pants. Tests showed the blood was Type O, the same as Wilson's, but shared by about 45% of the population. Moore had a different blood type. A stereo and a plastic jug containing pennies from Wilson's home were found in Moore's car.
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Caddo Parish, LA 

Calvin Willis

June 1981 (Shreveport)

Calvin Willis was convicted of raping a 10-year-old girl and sentenced to life without parole. Willis was convicted because he is a type O secretor as is a large percentage of the male population and because he wears a cowboy hat as did the rapist. The assailant left behind a pair of size 40 boxers, but Willis only wears a size 30. DNA tests exonerated Willis in 2003.  (IP) (TruthInJustice) (GQ)  [10/05]

Caddo Parish, LA 

Darrien Brown

July 28, 1996

Darrien Wayne Brown was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole at hard labor for one count of aggravated rape. The victim, an elderly white woman with Alzheimer's disease, originally reported a theft. After police talked to her, she changed her complaint to rape.  (IIPPI)

Calcasieu Parish, LA 

Allen Coco

May 25, 1995

Allen Coco was convicted of rape and sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. Police assisted the victim in creating a composite sketch of her assailant, which she found unsatisfactory. Yet nearly a month after the attack, she used the faulty composite to identify Coco. There were discrepancies in the victim's initial identification. She described her assailant as wearing a short-sleeved shirt, but failed to notice any tattoos on him. Coco had tattoos covering both arms. She claimed to have gotten hold of her rapist's knife and stabbed him in the buttocks, but Coco did not have any stab wound there or any place else. Blood found at the scene from the apparent stab wound did match Coco's blood type as well as that of 6% of the black population. DNA tests exonerated Coco in 2006.  (IP) (IPNO)

Jackson Parish, LA

Michael Williams

Feb 21, 1981

Sixteen-year-old Michael Anthony Williams had a crush on his 22-year-old math tutor, and had bothered her after she refused to be his girlfriend. In November 1980, he bothered her when she worked at her father's store, and while there he broke a window during an altercation. He was arrested and sent to jail. Sixteen days after he was released, she was raped in the early morning hours. Despite the fact that her assailant covered her face with bedding, she claimed to have seen him by the moonlight and that he was Michael Williams. At trial, Williams and his family testified that he was at home that night, but the prosecution argued that he climbed out his bedroom window, committed the rape, and disposed of the clothes he wore before returning. Williams was convicted of aggravated rape and sentenced to life imprisonment. DNA tests exonerated Williams in 2005.  (IP)  [12/05]

Ouachita Parish, LA 

Timothy Baldwin

Apr 4, 1978

Timothy George Baldwin was convicted of the murder of Mary James Peters, an 85-year-old West Monroe woman. Peters was a former neighbor of Baldwin and also godmother to his youngest child. Peters was severely beaten in her home on April 4, 1978, apparently in the late evening hours. She was found at noontime the next day by a Meals on Wheels worker who went to her home to serve her lunch. Although the assault left Peters with some brain damage, she remained conscious following her discovery. Even though she knew Baldwin well, she did not identify him as her assailant. Peters died the day after she was found.
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Rapides Parish, LA 

Amanda Hypes

Jan 2001 (Tioga)

Amanda Hypes, aka Amanda Gutweiler, was indicted in April 2002 for the arson murder of her three children, Sadie Plum, 10, Luke Hayden, 6, and Jessica Gutweiler, 3. A fire “expert,” John DeHaan, ruled that the Jan. 2001 fire that destroyed her home on Friar Tuck Road in Tioga was arson. Prosecutors said they would demand the death penalty. After being held in jail awaiting trial for more than four years, a judge dismissed the indictment and released Hypes. He ruled that the original arson finding was based “merely on an old wives tale,” of discredited fire investigation techniques.  (Chicago Tribune)  [3/07]

Sabine Parish, LA 

Rickey Johnson

July 12, 1982

Rickey Johnson was convicted of raping a woman on July 12, 1982 at an apartment complex in Many, LA. He was convicted solely on the victim's identification. She was unable to describe any distinguishing marks that Johnson had, including his gold front tooth, despite her testimony of looking at her assailant's face during the entire four hours he was in her bedroom.

In 2001, a close friend and fellow inmate, Calvin Willis, told Johnson to contact the Innocence Project to help exonerate him of his wrongful conviction. Johnson watched Willis walk out of prison after being exonerated by DNA evidence in 2003. In Jan. 2008, Johnson was also exonerated after DNA tests showed that another man, John Carnell McNeal, had committed the rape. McNeal had been convicted in 1984 of raping another woman on April 30, 1983 at the same apartment complex.  (Shreveport Times)  [3/08]

Union Parish, LA 

Graham & Burrell

Aug 31, 1986 (Downsville)

Michael Ray Graham, Jr. and Albert Ronnie Burrell were convicted of the robbery and murders of William Delton Frost, 65, and Callie Maude Frost, 60, at their home near Downsville. Graham and Burrell were sentenced to death. The two were arrested after Burrell's ex-wife, Janet, stated that she had seen Burrell with a rifle on the night of the murder and that he told her Graham had used it to shoot the couple. Janet also said she saw Delton Frost's wallet with his social security card in Burrell's car. However, police reports showed that Delton's wallet and social security card were found on his bed at the murder scene. Following the arrests, Olan Wayne Brantley, a prison informant, claimed that Graham had confessed to him, and after Brantley was moved to Burrell's cell, he claimed that Burrell had confessed as well. A law enforcement official acknowledged that Brantley was known as “Lying Wayne.” In early 2000, 17 days before Burrell's scheduled execution, his ex-wife recanted her statement. She said she had implicated him in an effort to gain an advantage in a child-custody dispute. She had attempted to recant before the pair's trials, but she was threatened with loss of custody if she did. Graham and Burrell were released on Dec 28, 2000 and Jan. 3, 2001.  (CWC) (JP) (Justice: Denied)  [1/06]

Vernon Parish, LA 

Kevin Fitzpatrick

July 2, 1992

Kevin Fitzpatrick was sentenced to 60 years in prison for armed robbery. The victim's statements are full of inconsistencies and known falsehoods.  (IIPPI) (WAFB 9)

Webster Parish, LA 

Jimmy Wingo

Dec 25, 1982 (Dixie Inn)

Jimmy Wingo was convicted of murdering Newton and Erline Brown after breaking into their Dixie Inn home. Wingo and a co-defendant, Jimmy L. Glass, had escaped the day before from the Webster Parish Jail. Glass testified to the unlikely story that after he had stated Wingo's name within earshot of the Browns, Wingo held a shotgun to his head and forced him to kill the Browns. Centurion Ministries' investigation yielded videotaped recantations by the two main state witnesses who admitted they were coerced by a deputy sheriff into lying at Wingo's trial. A dismissive Louisiana Governor and Board of Pardons rejected this strong evidence. Wingo was executed by electric chair on June 16, 1987.  (CM)  [5/05]