LANCE WAS DENIED A FAIR TRIAL WHEN SENTENCED TO LIFE
In 2003 a jury convicted Lance McNeal of First Degree Felony Murder, for the fatal stabbing of the deceased. The incident occurred at the home of McNeal's ex-girlfriend, T-Shack. McNeal had moved out a couple of months earlier when Shack succumb to her struggles with addiction. McNeal continued to help with the utilities and went by that evening to check on her status. Shack and her friend testified they were two stories above and could not see the altercation or hear what McNeal was saying, but did hear McNeal forcibly enter the home.
There were no eyewitnesses to the altercation. McNeal testified he stabbed the deceased in self-defense when Isbell - who was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine - attacked McNeal with a pair of garden shears and a garden hoe. McNeal informed the deceased twice he was not interested in fighting, and evidence supports McNeal then retreated upstairs. But, the deceased continued to act in an erratic and aggressive manner. None of the weapons were preserved by the Detroit Police Department (DPD). As a result, the prosecutor argued the deceased did not possess a weapon and did not attack McNeal. In addition, the prosecutor presented crime scene photographs that did not contain the garden shears, inferring to the jury the shears did not exist and McNeal was not attacked.
EVIDENCE OF SELF-DEFENSE WAS SUPPRESSED
However, with assistance from Claudia Whitman, of The National Capital Crime Assistance Network, and Darrell Siggers, of Legal Access Plus, McNeal obtained new evidence and expert affidavits that prove the prosecution suppressed evidence to obtain McNeal's incredulous sentence of life without parole. Two newly discovered crime scene photographs depict the garden shears and garden hoe lying next to the deceased's body. Former FBI Forensic Documentation and Crime Scene Investigation Expert, Mark Songer, opined the DPD's crime scene investigation and documentation were substandard and prejudicial, and the new crime scene photos support Mr. McNeal's claim of self-defense. Dr. Keenan Bora, a forensic toxicologist, and emergency room physician opined the level of alcohol and cocaine in the deceased's blood would cause him to act in an exaggerated and aggressive manner.
PRESENT STATUS OF MCNEAL'S CASE
In June of 2021, the Wayne County Circuit Court reviewed the new evidence and concluded the prosecutor had suppressed the photos. But ruled, the Court "believes" the new evidence would not make a difference on retrial. However, the Court refused to hold a hearing so the new photos and experts' testimony can be placed in the record. The Court also ignored that the prosecutor capitalized on the suppression of the photos when he used other photos that did not contain the shears, to mislead the jury into believing the sheers did not exist and Mr. McNeal was lying about being attacked. Hopefully, the Michigan appellate courts or the Wayne County Prosecutor will grant Mr. McNeal a new and fair trial.
For questions or support please contact:
Lance McNeal #302062
Muskegon Correctional Facility
2400 S. Sheridan Dr.
Muskegon, MI 49442
Attorney at Law
500 Griswold St., Ste. 2410
Detroit, MI 48226