Victims of the State

Washoe County, NV 

Kriseya Labastida

Jan 9, 1993

Kriseya Labastida was convicted of murder because her husband had physically abused her infant son, Thunder, an abuse that resulted in his death. She was convicted because she “should have known” that her husband was likely to abuse and kill her son. The conviction was overturned in 2000.  (IPT)

Orleans Parish, LA 

Labat & Poret

Nov 12, 1950 (New Orleans)

Edgar Labat and Clifton Alton Poret, both blacks, were convicted of raping a white female and each was sentenced to death. The two men smuggled an appeal out of death row that was published as an ad in the Los Angeles Times. A woman reader of the ad was moved to hire attorneys for the men. These lawyers obtained a stay of execution only three hours before it was to be carried out. The men's convictions were eventually reversed when it was shown that a witness named Earl Howard testified falsely under police pressure.  (Time) (54) (55) (58) (64) (66)  [10/05]

Kewaunee County, WI 

Beth LaBatte

Nov 16, 1991

Beth LaBatte was convicted in 1996 of murdering sisters Ceil and Ann Cadigan, ages 85 and 90. The crime occurred in their rural home just north of Casco. LaBatte was released in 2006 after DNA results that showed that blood on items connected to the Cadigan murders did not belong to her.  (GBPG)  [9/06]

Hennepin County, MN 

Edward & Karri LaBois

1984 (Minnetonka)

Edward and Karri LaBois operated a child day care in their home and were accused in 1984 of abusing their four-year-old daughter. After learning of the accusation, they fled the state with their daughter. In 2003, an informant tipped off police that the couple was living in a Salt Lake City suburb. The couple was arrested on Nov. 10, 2003. As a four-year-old, the daughter testified on videotape that she was abused after being asked leading questions. However, as a 19-year-old she remembered no such abuse. Parents who sent their children to the LaBois's daycare remember no allegations of abuse by their children. On Nov. 26, prosecutors dropped charges. Allegations of child abuse were a fad in 1984, but were no longer so in 2003.  (AP News)  [12/05]

Montgomery County, TX 

LaBonte & LaFleur

June 8, 1997 (Conroe)

Lonnie LaBonte and Russell LaFleur were convicted of the murders of Misty Morgan and Sarah Cleary. LaBonte knew Morgan because she was the girlfriend of his friend, Gerald Barton. LaFleur was a young man who stayed at LaBonte's residence for about two weeks around the time of the murders. During a police interrogation, LaFleur confessed to witnessing LaBonte commit the murders. He said the confession was coerced because police had put a syringe to his arm and threatened to kill him while making it appear that he killed himself with an overdose of drugs.
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Orleans Parish, LA 

Dwight Labran

Dec 26, 1996

Dwight Labran was convicted of murdering Martin Hubbard. The conviction was due to a sole eyewitness who had serious credibility problems. The eyewitness, Kevin Watson, aka Kevin Ellis, was Hubbard's cousin. Watson was the owner of the car in which the victim's body was found and had outstanding warrants for firearms and drug offenses. By giving a false name and naming Labran as the killer, he not only avoided becoming a suspect, but also avoided being arrested on his own outstanding warrants. None of this evidence was presented at trial. Labran's conviction was later reversed because of eyewitness perjury and he was released in 2001.  (IPNO)

Madison County, NY

Dan Lackey

Jan 16, 2003 (Oneida)

Dan Lackey was convicted of raping Amber Mundy. Mundy said she was assaulted near some railroad tracks in Oneida. At this site Mundy's footprints were visible in the snow, but those of her assailant's were not. It was alleged that passing trains blew snow into the assailant's footprints, but not into those of his victim. Mundy said she was assaulted with a stick, and according to her testimony, there should have been much blood on the stick, but there was only a tiny amount of blood on it. She also said her assailant bit her, but when a DNA test was performed on the bite mark, the results were deemed inconclusive because they failed to show the presence of any male DNA.

Although Mundy was not able to positively identify Lackey as her assailant, police alleged that Lackey gave an unrecorded confession to the crime. Three months after Lackey's conviction, Mundy reported a similar rape in Oswego County. For this action she was convicted of making a false report and spent 8 months in jail. A state police investigator had informed the Oneida Police of the case just three months after Lackey's sentencing. Lackey first learned of Mundy's false report two years later when a defense investigator interviewed Mundy's boyfriend.

In response to this evidence, a judge overturned Lackey's conviction in July 2007. The judge said he was not convinced that the alleged confession obtained from Lackey was admissible, because with a 73 IQ, Lackey may not have had the mental capacity to waive his Miranda rights. Lackey was released without bail. The D.A., however, appealed the decision to overturn Lackey's conviction, but his appeal was unsuccessful.  (Oneida Dispatch) (Video)  [4/10]

U.S. Federal Case (VA) 

Ben Lacy


Ben Lacy was an apple juice producer in northern Virginia who made a few mistakes filling out environmental forms over the course of several years. Federal prosecutors chose to interpret the few mistakes as comprising a conspiracy to hide the pollution of a stream behind his plant. As the stream tested pristine, the prosecutors did not accuse him of polluting the stream. Prosecutors had to let go of Lacy but only after they ruined him financially.  (American Spectator) (Examiner)  [7/05]

Russell LaFleur - See LaBonte & LaFleur

Worcester County, MA 

Benjamin LaGuer

July 12, 1983 (Leominster)

Benjamin LaGuer was convicted of raping 59-year-old Lennice Plante. Plante had bad eyesight and said she could not identify her assailant. When questioned further she vaguely described him as a very dark skinned black male who was very short and of small build. She later identified LaGuer from a photo. LaGuer has a light olive skin complexion, is at least six inches taller than Plante and is of muscular build. Plante said her assailant spoke clearly without an accent, yet LaGuer had had a severe stutter since childhood, and also has an ethnic accent. Plante said she was vaginally and anally raped over an 8-hour period, yet tests of vaginal and rectal swabs taken from her, as well as tests on her panties failed to show the presence of semen.

Plante had a nervous breakdown 14-years before the incident and her daughter said she “had not been right” since the breakdown. The prosecutor thought she was mentally ill. Given her mental state and the lack of semen evidence, it is not clear that she was ever raped. Other problems plague the case including fingerprint evidence, blood evidence, a missing knife, a missing Pepsi can, police misconduct, prosecutorial misconduct, and even juror misconduct. Following LaGuer's conviction, some jurors on the all-white jury came forward and said that during deliberations other jurors made prejudicial ethnic statements against LaGuer.  (Justice: Denied)  [3/07]

Piscataquis County, ME 

Henry Lambert

May 12, 1901 (Shirley)

Henry J. Lambert, a French Canadian, was indicted for the murders of J. Wesley Allen, his wife, Mary, and his 15-year-old daughter, Carrie Louise. Allen's farmhouse and barn were burned to the ground and all that remained of the family were charred bones. Authorities did not believe the fire was an accident because it appeared unlikely that the fire could have spread between the house and the barn. Also witnesses reportedly had seen the fire from a distance prior to 10 p.m., before the family was likely to be sleeping. However, no one visited the scene until the next day. Allen's remains were allegedly found in the barn, although it was never completely clear that these remains were human.

Lambert was tried for the murder of Allen only, presumably to allow the prosecution a chance to convict him of the other alleged murders should he be acquitted of Allen's murder. The prosecution alleged as motive for the crime that Lambert was in love with Allen's daughter who it asserted was raped. Lambert had cut a square piece of cloth from an area of one of his shirts that was normally tucked in his trousers. He said he used the cloth to bandage his foot. The prosecution alleged a charred piece of cloth found at the murder scene came from this cut in Lambert's shirt. It is not clear how good the match was or why such a piece of cloth would be used or left behind at a murder scene. All other presented evidence against Lambert consisted of attempts to cast suspicion on him, but these attempts were largely refuted. Nevertheless, Lambert was convicted of Allen's murder.

In 1923, after serving more than 20 years in prison, Lambert was granted a pardon based on innocence. It was felt that Lambert was convicted on insufficient evidence and that other evidence showed Allen had had a dispute with a tramp who may have committed the alleged murders.  (News Articles 1900s) (News Articles 1920s)  [1/10]

Santa Clara County, CA

David Lamson

May 30, 1933 (Palo Alto)

David A. Lamson, an advertising manager for Stanford University Press, was convicted of murdering his wife, Allene. Lamson's wife died in the bathroom of the couple's house after either being struck or falling and hitting some object. The Lamsons lived at 622 Salvatierra Street in Palo Alto. The case received much press attention. At Lamson's trial the defense was unprepared to rebut an alleged “love triangle” motive for the killing. After being convicted, Lamson was sentenced to death. Lamson won a retrial in 1934, but that trial led to a hung jury. A third trial was aborted due to jury list irregularities. Lamson's fourth trial also led to a hung jury. The prosecution then decided to drop the case against Lamson and he was released. Lamson wrote a book about his case entitled We Who Are About To Die.  (Stanford Mag) (MOJ)  [7/07]

Hudson County, NJ 

James Landano

Aug 13, 1976

Vincent James Landano was convicted of the murder of Police Officer John Snow. On Aug. 13, 1976, two gunmen robbed the Hi-Way Check Cashing Service in Kearny. One went inside, while the other waited in a getaway car. As the robbery was in progress, John Snow, a Newark police officer, arrived in his patrol car with an attaché case containing $46,000 to be delivered to the business. Before Snow could get out of his car, the outside gunman walked up to the patrol car and shot Snow at point-blank range. The gunman then took the attaché case and got into his car, while the the other gunman left the check-cashing service with a cash drawer containing about $6,000. This gunman put the drawer on the roof of the car and jumped into the back seat. The car sped away leaving $6,000 fluttering in the air behind it.

A man arrested for the crime, Allen Rollo, admitted being the inside gunman, and identified Landano as his partner, the one who shot Snow. Centurion Ministries discovered a hidden police report in which the only eyewitness to the murder identified another man as the shooter. When the case was retried, the jury deliberated for less than an hour and acquitted Landano in 1989. Jurors later celebrated with him at a victory party.  (NY Times) (CM)  [4/08]

Buncombe County, NC 

Gus Colin Langley

Sept 27, 1932 (Asheville)

Gus Colin Langley was convicted of murdering Lonnie G. Russell during an Asheville gas station holdup. Witnesses reported that the day before the murder they had seen a car with a New Jersey license plate at the gas station. Five days later police located a car with a New Jersey plate in Wilmington, NC, 320 miles away. It was driven by Langley, who, although a native of Wilmington, had worked as a house painter in Jersey City, NJ. Police could not locate any other car with a New Jersey plate in the whole of North Carolina on the day of the murder.

Aside from his license plate, there was no physical evidence against Langley. The prosecution's case relied on informant testimony. Langley had alibi witnesses who could verify that his car could not have been in Asheville the day before the murder, and other witnesses who could verify that he was far from Asheville on the day of the murder. Langley wrote letters to these witnesses, but the letters went unanswered. Later investigation revealed that the witnesses never received his letters. It seems doubtful that his jailers ever mailed them. Langley's execution was stopped 25 minutes before its scheduled time because of a technicality in the judge's order. Langley was cleared in 1936 after it was proven that he was hundreds of miles away from the location of the murder on the day it occurred.  (The Innocents) (ISI)  [5/08]

Idaho County, ID 

Mark Lankford

June 21, 1983

Mark Henry Lankford was convicted along with his brother Bryan of beating to death Robert and Cheryl Bravence in the Idaho wilderness. Mark was not at the scene of the crime but was convicted because Bryan was promised life imprisonment instead of death, for testimony against his brother. Bryan has since recanted, but Mark has spent 20 years in solitary confinement on Death Row.  (Free Mark)  [3/05]

Bronx County, NY

Milton Lantigua

June 27, 1990

Milton Lantigua was convicted of the murder of Felix Ayala. Ayala was shot to death in front of 1520 Sheridan Avenue shortly after 1:00 a.m. on the morning of June 27, 1990. An earlier trial, conducted in 1991, ended in a mistrial when the jurors were unable to agree on a verdict. A witness, Frances Nunez Rosario, identified Lantigua as the shooter after claiming she had been alone looking out her apartment window. Later she recanted saying she had been preoccupied with a man in her apartment. The prosecutor refused to charge Rosario with perjury, calling her false testimony an “honest mistake.” Lantigua was released in 1996 and awarded $1.3 million in 2004-05 for 6 years of wrongful imprisonment.  (NY Times) (Justice: Denied)  [4/08]

 Hartford County, CT

Richard Lapointe

Mar 8, 1987 (Manchester)

After an unrecorded nine and one-half hour interrogation, 43-year-old Richard Lapointe confessed in 1989 to the 1987 murder of 88-year-old Bernice Martin, his wife's grandmother. Lapointe, a mentally handicapped adult, signed three contradictory confessions to raping, stabbing, and strangling Martin. No physical evidence linked Lapointe to the crime or corroborated any of his incriminating statements. The confessions contradicted the facts of the crime.

Lapointe confessed to moving Martin's body, which weighed 160 pounds, yet surgery he had made him incapable of lifting more than 50 lbs. A timeline of Lapointe's activities makes it virtually impossible for him to have committed the crime. The killer's gloves were left behind at the crime scene, but they were too large to fit Lapointe's hands. Eyewitnesses saw a large man who did not match Lapointe's description running away from the crime scene; they insisted that this man was not Lapointe. Lapointe was convicted of the murder and is serving life without parole plus sixty years.  (  [9/05]

Erie County, NY

Edward Larkman

Aug 12, 1925 (Buffalo)

Edward Larkman was convicted of the robbery and murder of Ward J. Pierce, the paymaster of the Art Metal Shop plant in Buffalo, NY. Dorothy Littleworth, an eyewitness to the crime, said the killer wore dark glasses. After police forced Larkman to put on dark glasses, Littleworth identified Larkman as the killer. The identification was performed without any lineup. Littleworth had said she had seen the killer's profile for only three seconds and his face for only two. At trial, the jury asked for information on how Littleworth had identified Larkman, but they were not told. The jury convicted Larkman after 43 hours of deliberation. Larkman was sentenced to death.

The court of appeals affirmed Larkman's conviction, without issuing a majority opinion. However, two judges issued a minority dissent because they felt that Larkman's identification had not been established beyond a reasonable doubt. In Jan. 1927, shortly before Larkman's scheduled execution, Governor Alfred E. Smith commuted Larkman's sentence to life imprisonment, as was customary when there was dissent on the court of appeals.

In April 1929, Anthony Kalkiewicz, a Buffalo gangster, confessed to participating in the murder of Pierce with four other men, none of them Larkman. Larkman was subsequently denied a new trial because the new evidence was not presented within a year of his first trial. However, in April 1933, Governor Lehman unconditionally pardoned Larkman, mainly because of the identification method used by the police.  (Not Guilty)  [10/08]

 Volusia County, FL

Virginia Larzelere

Mar 8, 1991 (Edgewater)

Virginia Larzelere was convicted of murdering her husband Norman in their dental office. She was sentenced to death. An intruder had robbed the office safe of gold coins, cash, and narcotic drugs and had shot her husband through a closed waiting room door.  (JD)

Plaquemines Parish, LA 

Alvin Latham

July 16, 2000

After a storm at sea, a shrimp boat named “The Bandit,” containing Alvin Latham and the ship's captain, Raymond Leiker, failed to return to its home port of Venice, LA. Latham was picked up at sea 14 hours later holding onto a piece of wood. He said the storm came up suddenly and that while trying to pull fish into the boat, Leiker's foot got caught in a fishing net. Latham tried to help Leiker free his foot, but eventually Leiker told him to save himself. Moments after Latham swam away from the boat, the boat submerged into the sea.
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Adams County, PA

Barry Laughman

Aug 13, 1987 (Oxford Twp)

Barry Laughman, who was 24 with an IQ of 70, confessed to the rape and murder of 85-year-old Edna Laughman, a distant relative. He was convicted largely on the testimony of State Trooper John J. Holtz who was later discredited for accepting money from a crime writer in another murder case, and Janice Roadcap, a state police chemist accused of doctoring records in a third murder case. Roadcap suggested that antibiotics Edna was taking at the time of her death changed the blood type of the semen evidence from Barry's type B, to type A.

The prosecution argued that Barry had killed Edna on the night of Aug. 12, but Elwood Bollinger and his girlfriend, Patricia Harrison, reported seeing Edna on the morning of the 13th, while on their way a medical appointment. Barry's attorney presented evidence that Harrison had an appointment on the 13th. The prosecution also presented evidence that an allegedly three-finger grip mark on Edna was made by Barry because Barry had an injured pinky finger. Barry served 16 years of a life sentence before DNA tests exonerated him.  (IP) (Patriot-News)  [9/05]

Travis County, TX 

Carlos Lavernia

June 2, 1983

A rape victim picked Carlos Lavernia's photo out of a photo spread. At trial, on cross-examination, the victim said Lavernia's photo was the only one in the spread that “anywhere near” resembled her assailant, but such evidence was enough for a jury to convict him. Lavernia's later requests for DNA testing were denied by the courts, but an Austin police detective who went to interview him in Nov. 1999 about a different crime, questioned his guilt, and got the DA's office to perform DNA testing which exonerated him in 2000.  (IP) (CWC)  [7/05]

St. Clair County, IL 

Carl Lawson

July 27, 1989

Carl Lawson was convicted of murdering 8-year-old Terrence Jones whose body was found in an abandoned church. Lawson was sentenced to death. The prosecution claimed that a shoeprint found in the blood near the body matched the brand of shoes worn by Lawson. A mob of curious onlookers including Lawson had walked near the body once it was found, but the prosecution contended that the dryness of blood around the shoeprint proved that the print was made some time ago – by the murderer. The defense repeatedly asked the trial judge for funds to retain its own forensic expert to rebut the state's expert, but these requests were denied.

 On appeal, the Illinois Supreme Court overturned the conviction because the defense was denied these funds. Upon retrial, the defense presented evidence that the police put the temperature in the church at 98 degrees. The defense expert explained that with this intense heat, a shoeprint left by one of the onlookers would have dried very quickly. The prosecution's expert could not dispute this fact, yet one of the twelve jurors still voted to convict Lawson and the trial ended in a hung jury. At a third trial (which was moved to a different venue), the jury acquitted Lawson of all charges.  (CWC)  [7/05]


Arnoldo Lazarovsky


“Arnoldo Lazarovsky was wrongly convicted of molesting an 11-year-old boy while he worked at a swimming pool. The boy made the complaint 7 years later, when he was 18. Lazarovsky completed his four-year sentence in 2001, but the Israeli Supreme Court vacated his conviction in December 2005 and ordered a new trial, on the basis that the boy's testimony was untrustworthy because it was probable the boy lied in a ploy to avoid serving in a combat military unit.” – FJDB

Santa Clara County, CA

P. F. Lazor

Jan 1983 (Los Gatos)

P. F. Lazor shot a man named John Allred who broke down his door and was swinging a meat cleaver at him. Allred also wielded a handgun which turned out to be a BB-gun, but looked like the real thing. After Allred stopped, though was still standing, Lazor called police and got the man medical attention, but he died several hours later. Because of police suppression of evidence and manufacturing of new evidence, Lazor was convicted of murder.  (Copy of Old Website) (New Website)  [11/05]