BY: The Exoneration Project

BREAKING: State’s Attorne Dismisses Six More Convictions Tied to Corrupt Sgt. Ronald Watts

More than 100 convictions have now been tossed in largest mass exoneration in Chicago history

CHICAGO – Six more men had their drug convictions thrown out on Tuesday morning before Presiding Criminal Court Judge LeRoy K. Martin, Jr. The cases stem from arrests made between 2005-2008. All alleged they were framed by a corrupt team of officers led by a now-disgraced former Chicago Police Department Sergeant—Ronald Watts.

More than 100 convictions will have been tossed in what has become one of the largest police scandals in Chicago history. In February 2019, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called Watts “the Burge of our time,” referring to Chicago Commander Jon Burge who for years physically tortured African American men into false confessions.

After the first Watts-related mass exoneration more than three years ago, the City’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) opened an investigation into the roughly dozen Watts subordinates tied to the dismissed cases and who remain active-duty Chicago Police officers. Neither the Lightfoot administration nor COPA has taken any action since. Meanwhile, the officers continue to be paid even where the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has determined it will no longer rely on testimony from officers tied to Watts. And as of today’s date, the City has paid outside counsel more than $5.6 million in defending the current and former Chicago officers in lawsuits.

In 2012, Watts and Officer Kallatt Mohammed were federally indicted and later pled guilty to taking a bribe from an informant. Law enforcement documents have since revealed that Watts and members of his team were running a “protection racket” for more than a decade, planting evidence and fabricating charges against Southside residents while facilitating their own drug and gun trade.

The Illinois Appellate Court has referred to Watts and his team as “corrupt police officers,” perjurers, and “criminals,” chastising the City’s police disciplinary oversight bodies for their utter failure to do anything “to slow down the criminal” police officers during a decade of corruption.

The 6 men whose convictions were dismissed are Antwan Bradley, David Holmes, Shaun James, Jermaine Morris, Derrick Mapp, and Bryant Patrick. This will be Shaun James’ second Watts-related conviction vacated.

All told, there have been 80 men and women who have had their Watts-related convictions dismissed, almost always long after they finished their sentences. Together, they were sentenced to serve 256 years in prison.

For his 2013 federal conviction, Watts served 22 months and Mohammed served 18 months. No other officer has faced charges.    

The following 80 individuals have had convictions dismissed based on allegations they were framed by Watts and his team.

(EP) indicates they are represented by The Exoneration Project

(Flaxman) indicates they are represented by the Law Office of Kenneth N. Flaxman, P.C

Individual # of Convictions Sentence
Ben Baker (EP) 2 18 Years – released from prison via exoneration
Clarissa Glenn (EP) 1 Probation
Lionel White, Sr. (EP/Flaxman) 1 5 years
Anthony McDaniels (EP) 1 12 years – released from prison via exoneration
William Carter (Flaxman) 3 9 years; CCDOC Boot Camp
Bruce Powell (Flaxman) 1 1 year
Robert Forney (Flaxman) 1 5 years
Angelo Shenault, Sr. (Flaxman) 2 3 years; 15 months
Angelo Shenault, Jr. (Flaxman) 3 4 years; 30 months; 2 years
Allen Jackson (EP) 1 1 year
Christopher Scott (EP) 1 Probation
Frank Saunders (EP) 1 4 years
Henry Thomas (EP) 2 4 years; 4 years
Jamar Lewis (EP) 1 5 years
Jamell Sanders (EP) 1 Probation
Lee Rainey (EP) 2 Probation
Leonard Gipson (EP) 3 2 Years; CCDOC Boot Camp
Lionel White, Jr. (EP) 1 Probation
Marcus Gibbs (EP) 1 2 years
Andre McNairy (EP) 1 9 years
Phillip Thomas (EP) 1 6 years
Shaun James (EP) 2 1 year; 6 years
Taurus Smith (EP) 1 Probation
Thomas Jefferson (EP) 1 4 years
Landon Allen (EP) 1 Probation
Deandre Bell (EP) 2 Probation
Bobby Coleman (EP) 1 4 years
Joshua Curtis (Flaxman) 1 4 years
Milton Delaney (EP) 1 1 year
Cleon Glover (EP) 1 3 years
Rickey Henderson (Flaxman) 4 3 years; 1-1/2 years; 3-1/2 years; 4 years
Brian Hunt (EP) 1 Probation
Goleather Jefferson (Flaxman) 1 1 year
Larry Lomax (EP) 1 Probation
Willie Martin (EP) 1 3-1/2 years
James Moore (EP) 1 1 year
George Ollie (Flaxman) 1 2 years
Mister Lucky Pearson (EP) 1 4 years
Nephus Thomas (Flaxman) 1 4 years
Vondell Wilbourn (Flaxman) 2 1-1/2 years; 4 years
Gregory Warren (EP) 1 Probation
Martez Wise (EP) 1 1 year
Harvey Blair (Flaxman) 1 4 years
George Almond (EP) 1 2 years
Craig Colvin (EP) 1 1-1/2 years
Kenneth Hicks (EP) 1 1-1/2 years
Octayvia McDonald (EP) 1 Probation
Lapon Thompson (EP) 1 2 years
Isaac Weekly (EP) 1 Probation
Deon Willis (EP) 2 Probation; 2 years
Cordero Payne (EP) 1 2 years
Zarice Johnson (EP) 2 Probation; 4 years
Sydney Harvey (EP) 1 4-1/2 years
Jermaine Coleman (Flaxman) 1 4 years
Jabal Stokes (Flaxman) 1 4 years
Robert Lindsey (Flaxman) 1 4 years
Germaine Sims (Flaxman) 1 2 years
Alvin Waddy (EP) 1 3 years
Kim Wilbourn (EP) 1 2 years
Derrick Lewis (EP) 2 2 years; 3 years
Gregory Dobbins (EP) 1 3 years
Raynard Carter (EP) 2 3 years; 1-1/2 years
Darron Byrd (EP) 1 1 -1/2 years
Chauncy Ali (EP) 1 1 year
Christopher Farris (EP) 1 4 years
Stefon Harrison (EP) 2 1 year; 4 years
David Mayberry (EP) 1 1 year
Anthony Mays (EP) 1 2-1/2 years
Gregory Molette (EP) 1 2 years
Jajuan Nile (EP) 1 3 years
Hasaan Potts (EP) 1 1-1/2 years
Calvin Robinson (EP) 1 2 years
Alhummza Stokes (EP) 1 3 years
Terrence Moye (Flaxman) 1 4 years
Demetris Adams (Flaxman) 1 1 year
Antwan Bradley (EP) 1 Probation
David Holmes (EP) 1 4 years
Bryant Patrick (EP) 1 6 years
Derrick Mapp (EP) 1 4 years
Jermaine Morris (EP) 1 1 year

Total =

 Total = 251 years and 9 months of criminal sentences; 18 sentences of probation or boot camp.

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