Kansas man Lamonte McIntyre served 23 years in prison for murders that he did not commit. Last week, a federal judge ruled that McIntyre can proceed with most of the claims in his lawsuit against Wyandotte County, Kansas City, and Roger Golubski, the corrupt police officer who framed him.
McIntyre's wrongful conviction has been extensively covered by The Kansas City Star, Injustice Watch, and The New York Times. McIntyre was also represented by the Midwest Innocence Project, a group that works to exonerate the wrongfully convicted through DNA testing.
On April 15, 1994, Doniel Quinn and Donald Ewing were murdered while they sat in a parked Cadillac in Kansas City. One of the officers who responded to the scene was Roger Golubski. At least two retired officers, former officer Ruby Ellington and former detective Timothy Maskill, attested in separate affidavits that a corrupt Golubski had a thing for sleeping with "black, drug-addicted prostitutes" and other vulnerable black women in the area. Many in the department were well aware of his indiscretions.
Among those solicited by Golubski was Rosie McIntyre, McIntyre's mom. Rosie alleged that Golubski, who had a history of harassing the women who turned him down, retaliated against her rejection by framing her son for murder. After Rosie declined to have a continuous sexual relationship with Golubski, according to her own affidavit, he created false reports to implicate McIntyre.
Despite no DNA tying McIntyre to the scene and despite having no motivation to kill—McIntyre did not even know Quinn and Ewing—he was arrested at age 17 and convicted of homicide.
The state's faulty case was based on two eyewitnesses, both of whom failed to place McIntyre at the scene prior to the trial. One woman later alleged that she not only told the prosecutor McIntyre wasn't the shooter, but that the prosecutor threatened to take her children away if she did not testify in court. Other witnesses similarly denied that McIntyre was the shooter, but this information was never shared with his trial lawyer. The one witness who identified McIntyre later recanted, saying Golubski coerced her.
Golubski, who went on to work for the Edwardsville Police Department, retired in 2016.
There were other missteps. Terra Morehead, then-assistant prosecutor of Wyandotte County had an undisclosed romantic relationship with J. Dexter Burdette, the judge in McIntyre's trial. Advocates for McIntyre later used this relationship to argue bias in his case.
In 2017, advocates presented their case for exoneration before retired Judge Edward Bouker. During the hearing, District Attorney Mark Dupree not only recommended that McIntyre receive a new trial but dismissed the charges against him.
After spending 23 long years in prison, serving two life sentences for murders that he did not commit, McIntyre was finally able to go home in October 2017. Last month, he was awarded $1.5 million in compensation and a certificate of innocence from Shawnee County District Judge Teresa L. Watson.
Last Tuesday, McIntyre was granted the opportunity to pursue further relief.
U.S. District Judge Kathryn H. Vratil allowed most of the claims in McIntyre's civil suit against Wyandotte County, Kansas City, Roger Golubski, and other officers who helped botch the case to stand. The defendants had previously filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
The claims upheld by Vratil's ruling included malicious prosecution, evidence fabrication, and Brady violations, which occurs when a prosecutor suppresses exculpatory evidence. McIntyre will be able to proceed with his suit.