To Whom This May Concern. My name is Kenneth Cooper and I am reaching out for your assistance to help me correct my wrongful conviction. I am fighting a 2002 conviction based on police and prosecutorial misconduct, Brady violations (withholding exculpatory evidence), and threatening witnesses. There was no physical, nor eyewitness evidence linking me to the crime. I desperately need your assistance. Please!
I have served 20 years for the murder of Anton LIeshaj, 32, a recent immigrant from Albania, outside a shady east-side Detroit after-hours club Dec. 24, 2000.
I have always maintained my innocence, and renowned Michigan Appeals Court Judge Hilda Gage agreed with my claim of innocence in her October 13, 2003 opinion where she stated, “In this case, there is simply no evidence identifying defendant Cooper as being involved in the murder. There was no witness testimony placing defendant Cooper at or near the crime scene either before or after the murder. The only eyewitness to the murder, Karen Bright, could not identify defendant Cooper in any lineup or at the preliminary examination, and she did not identify him at trial. In fact, at the photographic lineup, Bright picked out two photographs, neither of which was defendant Cooper. While circumstantial evidence can be used to prove a defendant’s guilt, in this case, even viewing the evidence cumulatively, I do not believe a rational jury could infer defendant Cooper’s presence at the murder scene. Therefore, even viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the prosecution, a rational trier of fact could not find that defendant Cooper shot and killed the victim during an armed robbery. Under the circumstances, I would reverse defendant Cooper’s felony-murder conviction.” See link below for full text of opinion.
There was only one direct eyewitness to the murder. She ultimately identified another man as the killer. Police showed her a photo of that man because they said a 9 mm shell casing found at the scene of the LIeshaj homicide matched the Luger 9 mm. This gun was used in an earlier crime for which that man had been charged.
No forensic evidence connected me to any gun in the case. No one testified that I had a weapon the morning of the murder, or that I was in the car that drove up behind the victim. Records show that investigators repeatedly visited the eyewitness at her home and other addresses, as well as her places of employment, hoping to secure an ID. She said the police had threatened to arrest her.
Newly discovered exculpatory evidence:
My family, fiancee, and I have been trying to get a copy of the videotape made Feb. 8 at Meijer's through Michigan FOIA, but the police FOIA representatives haven't responded to emails or scheduled a time so the exculpatory evidence can be viewed. This tape was withheld from my defense and the jury. No one testified that the killer was wearing a U-M jacket, a key prosecution exhibit.
My mother told a local newspaper, Voice of Detroit, that she has worried day and night over the fact I am still in prison for a crime I didn't commit. She went on to say, “I recall when two of the officers told me they knew my son was innocent, but that someone had to take the fall. The actual killer told his family members that he was the one who shot and killed the victim and that my son didn't have anything to do with the murder. How much longer must my son stay locked up for something he absolutely didn't do?”
Newly discovered Evidence:
The mother and son's mother of my codefendant, Willie D. Stovall, executed sworn affidavits for private investigator Scott Lewis. Both said Stovall told them shortly before his death after his release from prison that HE was the killer in the Lleshaj case, and that I was not even at the scene. Their affidavits have been submitted in my ongoing post-conviction case.
Newly discovered evidence:
Prosecutor misconduct: Midway through my trial the prosecution lied to the court by saying that the eyewitness was prepared to change her story and identify me as the killer. P.I. Scott Lewis interviewed the eyewitness and she indicated that she was never going to identify me as the killer. (See P.I.Scott Lewis affidavit #11 and Trial transcript January 9, 2002 pages 207-209)
Please help me. I am innocent. I promise you that my life is worth saving.
I declare pursuant to 28 USC 1746 that my statement is true and accurate.
Kenneth Cooper 239147
Macomb Correctional Facility
34625 26 Mile Road
Lenox TWP, MI 48048
Direct Jpay or KennethCooper916@gmail.com