Hello, my name is Rudy Thomas. I am currently serving a life sentence for a murder I did not commit. The homicide occurred on January 17, 2007, at 1:00 P.M. at the intersection of W. McNichols and Woodingham in the City of Detroit, Michigan. According to the Detroit Police Request for Warrant, there was a witness who stated he was walking down Woodingham approaching W. McNichols and he observed a 2006 Land Rover stop at a stop sign. As the witness approached the vehicle he heard a scream and then 2-3 gunshots. The witness said he saw me exit the front passenger door armed with a handgun.
On the affidavit, for the search warrant, it stated that DPD received information from the D.E.A. (Drug Enforcement Agency) that the witness was an informant for the D.E.A and was actively working on an operation regarding drug dealers.
During the court proceedings, the court asked the witness if he felt threatened in any way. The witness told the court that he did not want to testify. The court asked him why he made that comment and the witness stated “just from prior incidents”. The courts asked him what prior incidents and the witness stated “Just uncertainty with the Sergeant and all those that’s supposed to be dealing with the case”.
I then hired Professional Investigator Steve Crane to locate the witness and ask him if he was an informant for the police and if the police pressured him to say I was the shooter in this crime.
On June 23, 2021, Investigator Crane went to the witness’s place of employment. The witness told Mr. Crane that he was 19 years old at the time of the shooting and on the day of the shooting he was exiting his residence and on his cell phone when he heard gunshots and saw an unidentified male running from the scene where the victim was shot and killed. The witness stated that he only saw this from a distance and could not positively identify the shooter.
Mr. Crane asked the witness if he was an informant for the Detroit Police or the FBI and the witness stated no, and that he never worked with them on any case. The witness stated that the police wanted him to identify me as the shooter and the witness told them he did not want to get involved as he could not 100 percent identify the shooter.
The witness told Mr. Crane that Sergeant Matthew Gnatek of the Detroit Police Department and FBI Agent Paul Source would come to his house or show up at his place of employment and take him away and try to convince him to say that Rudy Thomas was the shooter. The police told the witness that he could be charged with the crime because another witness described him as the one running away from the crime scene.
The witness also told Mr. Crane that the officers even pulled up some old traffic tickets and tried using them to get him to cooperate with them. The witness told Crane that he lost several good-paying jobs because of this. The witness told Crane that he finally decided to cooperate with them, even though he could not positively identify Rudy Thomas as the shooter. The witness said he felt he had no other choice.
During the week of the trial, Judge Cynthia Hathaway, who was the Judge in my trial, was getting her hair done at the witness's daughters’ mothers’ sister's hair salon. The witness told Mr. Crane that he told Judge Hathaway that he could not positively identify the shooter and the Judge would persist in telling the witness that he needed to do the right thing. The witness told Crane that during the trial the judge threatened to hold him in contempt if he did not show up and testify.
The witness told Crane that he was unsure if he wanted to get involved again, but would think about writing a statement. On March 21, 2022, the witness texted Crane and stated that he got a new phone number and was ready to provide Crane with an affidavit. On April 21, 2022, the witness provided Crane a signed affidavit outlining what he told Crane during their June 23, 2021 interview.
I am asking the University of Michigan's Innocence Clinic to investigate my case of actual innocence. If you have any questions please contact me by mail or at www.jpay.com
Rudy Thomas #365961
Muskegon Correctional Facility
2400 S. Sheridan Drive
Muskegon, MI 49442
or please contact my Investigator:
ACS Professional Investigations
7195 Cooley Lake Rd,
West Bloomfield Township, MI 48324
Phone: (248) 363-1360
All contained herein accurate and truthful per Federal Law 28 USC 1746.