Victims of the State

Allen County, IN 

Ralph Lobaugh


Ralph Woodrow Lobaugh was sentenced to death for the murders of three women. Within an 18-month period of time, four women were abducted and killed in the Fort Wayne area: Wilhelmina Haaga, 38, on Feb. 2, 1944, Anna Kuzeff, 20, on May 22, 1944, Phyllis Conine, 17, on Aug. 6, 1944, and Dorothea Howard, 36, on Mar. 6, 1945. The murders of these women were all committed during inclement weather. They were possibly the work of a single serial killer dubbed “The Killer in the Rain.” There were some differences between the first three murders and Howard's murder, suggesting a different killer had murdered Howard.
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Mitchell County, GA 

Denise Lockett

Sept 1997 (Baconton)

Sixteen-year-old Denise Lockett gave birth to a full-term baby boy while sitting on the toilet in her mother's apartment. The baby was stillborn or died within minutes of falling into the toilet bowl. Lockett has an IQ of 61 and did not know she was pregnant, nor did anyone else. She was charged with murder. Her court appointed attorney persuaded her to plead guilty to manslaughter. Lockett was sentenced to 20 years in prison.  (Justice: Denied)  [2/07]

Brendan Loftus - See Balu & Loftus

 Cook County, IL

Alton Logan

Jan 11, 1982

Alton Logan was convicted of murdering Lloyd Wickliffe, a security guard, during the robbery of a McDonald's restaurant at 11421 S. Halsted St. in Chicago. Another security guard, Alvin Thompson, was wounded. The gunmen got no money, but stole the guards' handguns. Police arrested Logan after a tip and got three eyewitnesses to identify him. Logan, his mother, and brother all would later testify that he was at home asleep when the murder occurred. While investigating another man, Andrew Wilson, for the unrelated murders of two policeman, police found the shotgun used in the McDonald's robbery. Police never charged Wilson in the McDonald's robbery as there were only two perpetrators in the robbery and they had already built a case against Logan and a codefendant, Edgar Hope.

Hope later told Wilson's attorneys, Dale Coventry and Jamie Kunz, that Logan had nothing to do with the McDonald's shooting and that Wilson was the shooter. When the attorneys asked their client if he was responsible for the McDonald's shooting, Wilson said, “Yep, that was me.” Wilson's attorneys thought about speaking up to prevent Logan's conviction, but attorney-client confidentiality prohibited them. Instead they signed an affidavit regarding Wilson's confession and sealed it. Kunz said they prepared the document “so that if we were ever able to speak up, no one could say we were just making this up now.” They later obtained Wilson's permission to reveal his confession following his death.

After Wilson died in Nov. 2007, the attorneys came forward with Wilson's confession to the crime. In April 2008, Logan's conviction was vacated and charges against him were later dropped. Logan has served 26 years in prison.  (Chicago Tribune) (CWC)  [5/08]

Baltimore City, MD 

Walter Lomax

Dec 2, 1967

Walter Lomax was convicted of the robbery and murder of the proprietor of the Giles Food Market. The crime was one of many robberies that occurred that month. In an effort to solve the crimes, the police resorted to en-masse lineups at the main police station, which they advertised in the newspaper. Showing up to view the lineups were 75 witnesses to 58 crimes including the Giles Food Market murder. Lomax heard that there was a warrant out for his arrest and went to the police station to find out why. The warrant was actually issued for his brother, for non-payment of child support. For reasons unknown, Lomax was placed in one of the numerous lineups. Three witnesses identified him as the shooter at the Giles Food Market.

Prior to the crime, the shooter had engaged in extended interaction with two store clerks in the checkout line, and had carried away two bags of groceries before returning to rob the store. Significantly, these two clerks, who had the best opportunity to view the shooter, could not identify Lomax.

Nine days before the crime, 20-year-old Lomax chaperoned his younger sisters to a dance and was attacked by 10 to 12 thugs who came to the dance to cause trouble. During the attack he was stabbed in his right hand, punched, and kicked. Due to injuries, Lomax wore a plaster cast from his palm and fingers to his elbow. Also, during the following week, he could hardly move due to painful chest and rib injuries. None of the witnesses to the shooting noticed any cast worn by the robber and they indicated that he fired his gun with his right hand. A doctor who treated Lomax on the day of the shooting indicated that the padding and cast on his hand rendered it immobile. Lomax's rib and chest injuries made it impossible for him to have carried two large grocery bags immediately prior to the shooting.

Lomax's trial attorney did not present Lomax's hand injury in a way the jury could grasp, and made no mention of his rib and chest injuries. The judge wondered aloud at trial why Lomax's hand had been stabbed.  Not knowing the circumstances of the hand injury, the jury could have attributed it to criminal conduct on Lomax's part.

In a Dec. 2006 resentencing hearing, Lomax's attorneys were able to present the full facts and circumstances of Lomax's case. The judge citing “evidence of actual innocence” as well as Lomax's spotless 39-year prison record, modified Lomax's sentence to time served.  With the prosecutor's agreement, Lomax walked out of the courtroom a free man.  (CM)  [1/08]

Butts County, GA 

Jean Long

Jan 23, 2003

Beverly Jean Long was charged with murdering her husband, James Long, in his workshop. According to police, she cracked his skull, dragged his body, poured an accelerant on top of him, and ignited it. Investigators claimed to find pour patterns on the floor where the accelerant puddled. They said Jean's story that the fire started when James was filling up a kerosene heater did not make sense. They noted that the red filling can that Jean mentioned was found undamaged outside the workshop.

Defense investigators debunked the pour pattern evidence. According to them, James mistakenly poured gasoline into a hot, but unlit kerosene heater. Gasoline residue was found in the heater. The gasoline exploded, setting James and his workshop on fire. While he was running around on fire, James apparently hit his head on a metal worktable, cracking his skull. The red filling can found outside the workshop was apparently not the one that was used as it contained kerosene. At trial, Jean Long was acquitted.  (Forensic Files)  [9/07]

Queens County, NY

Lee Long

June 1994

Lee Long was arrested in 1994 for a rape that occurred in Jackson Heights. When Long told police he had been at his girlfriend's house all night, one of the officers called the woman. She confirmed his alibi. But in March 1995, Long was convicted of rape, sexual abuse and robbery, and was sentenced to 8 to 24 years. The officer who made the call to Long's girlfriend did not testify at his trial. In 1999, a lawyer from Queens Legal Aid interviewed Long for his appeal case and realized he was dealing with an innocent man. Legal Aid tracked down the police officer who had spoken with Long's girlfriend, and in June 2000, his conviction was overturned. In 2006, Long successfully sued the O.J. Simpson dream-team firm of Cochran, Neufeld, and Scheck for $900,000. The high-powered lawyers bungled his compensation claim against the state by missing a filing deadline.  [1/07]

Nassau County, NY

Long Island Three

Nov 10, 1984 (Lynbrook)

Dennis Halstead, John Kogut, and John Restivo were convicted of raping and murdering 16-year-old Theresa Fusco. Kogut confessed to the crime and implicated the other two, but he later recanted his confession. In the sixth and final version of Kogut's confession, Kogut confessed to strangling Fusco using rope, but the ligature mark on Fusco indicated she was strangled by cloth rather than rope. Rope leaves a crisscross pattern caused by the weave, but the ligature mark on Fusco was smooth. The detectives who extracted Kogut's confession, Joseph Volpe and Robert Dempsey, had also extracted a false confessions in two other murder cases. Volpe got Robert Moore to confess in 1995 that he shot a man, but Moore was acquitted and later awarded $85,000. Dempsey got Shonnard Lee to confess in 1999 to murder, but Lee was acquitted and later awarded $2 million.

In 2003, DNA tests were performed on a discovered semen sample, which excluded the men. Defense investigators also procured an affidavit from a former detective, who performed prosecution analysis of hairs found in the defendants' van that at trial were said to belong to the victim. The analysis showed that these hairs were planted. The detective explained that the hairs had post-mortem root banding which meant that they were attached to a corpse that had been dead for at least eight hours. Because the victim was only alleged to be in the van for a few minutes after death, they could not have come from her then. They could have been taken from her at her autopsy. Convictions for all three defendants were vacated in 2003. Because of his confession, Kogut was retried in 2005, and found not guilty.  (CM) (NY Times) (IP1, IP2, IP3)  [9/06]

Northampton County, PA

Robert Loomis

May 3, 1918 (Easton)

Robert Loomis was convicted of murdering Bertha Myers during a burglary. Two fingerprint experts testified for the prosecution that a latent print found on a jewelry box belonged to Loomis. Loomis won a new trial because the trial judge had prejudiced the jury against Loomis, and he won a third trial for the same reason. At Loomis's third trial, the prosecution admitted that Loomis was not the source of the latent print and declined to offer it into evidence. The record does not show what led the government to this conclusion. Loomis was acquitted and released in 1921.  (More Than Zero) (Phila Inquirer)

Davis Losada - See San Benito Three

Hamilton County, OH 

James Love

Dec 1988 - Mar 1989

In Feb. 1996, 18-year-old Sarah Jane Adams filed a police report, accusing James F. Love of orally raping her six, seven, eight years earlier. After being charged with five rapes, Love filed a notice of alibi, stating that he was out of the United States during a large portion of the time period mentioned in his indictment. His lawyers requested more specific dates and times of the alleged rapes, but the prosecutor repeatedly denied that any dates were available.

At Love's trial in June 1996, Adams testified that the first rape occurred “the week after Christmas 1988.” She testified next three rapes occurred “at least once a month each month after the first time.” Which would have been January, February, and March 1989. Regarding the fifth rape she testified, “I can't remember when the last time was.” Love told his attorneys he was in Mexico during the time period Adams said she was raped. He obtained his mother's telephone records, which showed his mother had received collect calls from Mexico in late 1988 and early 1989. The prosecutor argued that there was no proof the collect calls to Love's mother had been made by Love. The jury convicted Love on four of the five rape charges. Love was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences. Love will be eligible for parole in 2036 when he is 85-years-old.

Since Love's conviction, he has assembled abundant evidence proving that he was in Mexico, before, during, and after the period in which the alleged rapes occurred. In Nov. 2006, Love's conviction was overturned. Love has written numerous articles on wrongfully convicted persons. Many of those articles are posted on the Innocent Inmates of Ohio website.  (Justice: Denied)  [9/07]

Riley County, KS 

Eddie James Lowery

July 26, 1981 (Ogden)

Eddie James Lowery was convicted of raping a 74-year-old Ogden woman in her home. The assailant prevented the victim from seeing him. In the same early morning hours as the rape, Lowery happened to have an automobile accident near the victim's house. He was denied his request for a lawyer and questioned all day using “coercive strong-arm tactics.” Lowery made a confession, which he soon recanted. His first trial ended in a hung jury, but he was convicted on retrial. Lowery served 10 years of his sentence and after release paid for DNA tests which exonerated him in 2003.  (IP) (KS Collegian)  [10/05]

Williamson County, TX 

Henry Lee Lucas

Oct 31, 1979

Henry Lee Lucas was sentenced to death in 1984 for the murder of an unidentified woman whose body was found along I-35 near Georgetown, Texas. The case was known as the “Orange Socks” case because the victim was found nude except for a pair of orange socks. Lucas had confessed to the crime. In his videotaped confession, Lucas said that he had consensual sex with the victim, but this statement was edited out when played at trial, because the prosecution needed to maintain that the victim was raped in order to make Lucas eligible for the death penalty. The medical examiner had found no evidence of rape. The victim had an advanced case of syphilis, but Lucas had no venereal disease. It was later proven that Lucas was in another state at the time. In 1998, three days before his scheduled execution, Texas Governor George W. Bush pardoned Lucas.
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Wabash County, IL 

Margaret & Jesse Lucas

Nov 19, 1905

Margaret and Jesse Lucas – mother and son – were convicted in 1909 of murdering Clyde Showater, who was intoxicated when last seen alive in 1905. A badly decomposed body was found seven months later near Mt. Carmel, IL that was presumed to be Showater. A coroner's inquest failed to determine the cause of death.

In 1908, a young felon named Richard Conrad came forward a said that he had seen Jesse Lucas kill Showater. Conrad had recently been sentenced for raping a 13-year-old girl, and in exchange for his testimony, he was released from prison. At Conrad's behest, a prostitute, Oma Johnson, was arrested and held as a material witness until she agreed to testify. Johnson claimed that Margaret Lucas had been present when her son committed the murder and then helped him dispose of the body. Two other prostitutes also presented testimony claiming to have heard the Lucases confess. The four witnesses contradicted each other on the degree to which Margaret played in the murder. Both mother and son were convicted, but the mother got a new trial, and charges against her were dismissed.

In 1932, George Pond, a former resident of the area, confessed on his deathbed to robbing and murdering Showater 27 years before. Anna Smith, a woman with whom Pond attended church, transcribed his confession. Smith got a volunteer attorney to petition the parole board for Lucas's release. Two of the prostitute witnesses had since died, but Oma Johnson apologized saying that she knew nothing of Showater's murder and had testified under coercion. The parole board released Lucas.  (CWC)  [12/05]


Luton Three

Sept 10, 1969 (Luton)

David Cooper, Michael McMahon, and Patrick Murphy were convicted of murdering a Luton, England post office clerk during an attempted robbery of the post office. An unusually large amount of money was being held in the post office overnight. The victim, Reginald Stevens, a sub-postmaster, had locked up the post office and was shot to death in a nearby parking lot (car park) after he refused to hand over his keys.
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Bronx County, NY

Frederick Lynch


After being summoned for jury duty, Frederick Lynch did not disclose on his own volition that he had a felony drug conviction. He had served on a jury before and that conviction was not an issue. However, the jury Lynch served on was hung and apparently the judge was looking for a scapegoat. Lynch was charged with perjury. To avoid a possibly lengthy prison term, Lynch pleaded guilty to perjury and served 3 months in prison.  (Lynch v. Justice Bamberger)  [10/05]

Montgomery County, MD 

Eric D. Lynn

May 25, 1994 (Silver Spring)

Eric D. Lynn was convicted of the murder of Ephraim Hobson in Nov. 1994 at a bench trial. Hobson, a drug dealer, was shot in a Silver Spring apartment during an apparent armed robbery. Lynn's conviction was based on the testimony of an informant referred to only as “Sandy.” In 2003 an appeals court overturned Lynn's conviction because his trial attorney did not conduct a meaningful investigation of Sandy, which would have enabled him to impeach her credibility by noting that she had been convicted of theft, was a paid police informer, and was a crack user and dealer. At retrial in 2007, Lynn was acquitted. Two retrial jurors said that there were serious problems with the case. “The prosecution's case depended upon the testimony of a witness which the jury found to be wholly un-credible,” said juror Elizabeth Hendon of Bethesda. “There was no other evidence.” She said jurors also thought that former and current police investigators had “credibility issues.”  (WP1) (WP2) (WP3)  [12/10]

Nansemond County, VA 

Ernest Lyons

July 31, 1908 (Reid's Ferry)

Ernest Lyons, the newly elected pastor of small church in Reid's Ferry, got into a quarrel with the old pastor, James Smith, over $45 in church funds. Lyons threatened to kill Smith. Smith soon disappeared from the community. A few months afterwards a decomposed body that seemed to match Smith's description was found near Suffolk. When questioned, Lyons stated he had seen Smith in Portsmouth, Norfolk, and Newport News. These statements were shown to be untrue.

After Lyons' trial and conviction, the judge was willing to grant his lawyer's motion for a hearing for a new trial, but only after the lawyer went to Lyons, told him the motion was denied, and asked what really happened. When the lawyer followed instructions, Lyons stated he had been involved in the murder as part of a conspiracy with church members who had testified for the prosecution. Three years later Smith was located living in North Carolina. He had read newspaper stories about Lyons' trial and conviction, but had done nothing because he feared prosecution for absconding with the $45 over which he and Lyons had quarreled.  (CWC) (CTI)  [7/05]  (Note: Nansemond County became a city in 1972, then merged with the existing City of Suffolk in 1974).

DuPage County, IL 

Marcus Lyons

Nov 30, 1987 (Woodridge)

Marcus Lyons, a black man, was convicted of raping a 29-year-old white woman. The victim identified Lyons in a police lineup and from a photo array. The victim requested to view the police lineup a second time, although police records do not indicate why. A composite sketch of the assailant was shown to two other women who lived at the Maple Lake Apartments where the assault occurred. They said it looked like one of their neighbors – Marcus Lyons. Lyons wasn't surprised. He said, “I was the only black male in the apartment complex.”

The victim's description of the assailant's clothes, which included a pair of brown polyester pants, matched clothing that Lyons owned. Lyons says his brown polyester pants were a size 32 and could never have fit the actual perpetrator as the victim said her assailant weighed 200 pounds and had a “large belly and hips.”

At trial the jury was swayed by Lyons' resemblance to the composite sketch and by the demeanor of the victim, who was “shaking like a leaf” on the stand and “really gave the appearance that she was scared of this guy,” one juror said. Lyons was sentenced to six years of imprisonment, of which he served three. In 2007, DNA tests exonerated Lyons and his conviction was dismissed.  (Chicago Tribune)  [10/07]

U.S. Federal Case (FL) 

Nino Lyons

Convicted 2001

Antonino Lyons, a Cocoa, Florida businessman, owned a chain of clothing stores. He was convicted of drug trafficking, carjacking, and distributing counterfeit clothing. The prosecution relied on the testimony of 26 felons convicted of federal drug law violations. These witnesses testified that Lyons sold them more than $6 million of cocaine. There was no independent evidence – no drugs, no non-felon witnesses, no wiretaps, no tape recordings – supporting the claims of the witnesses. Lyons received letters from prisoners who said they were approached by the prosecution, but refused to perjure themselves in exchange for sentence reductions.

At trial, the prosecution withheld numerous exculpatory documents that were belatedly turned over on appeal. The documents supported Lyons's contention that the prosecution's case against him was not just evidentially insufficient, but had the appearance of being contrived out of whole cloth. In 2004, a judge vacated Lyons's convictions and dismissed all charges against him. It is unknown why federal prosecutors targeted Lyons.  (Justice: Denied) (U.S. v. Lyons)  [2/07]