|Photo by West Midlands Police.|
By DANIEL W. STAPLES
Police fabricated evidence to pin a woman's 1994 murder on her innocent boyfriend, the man claims in Federal Court, exonerated after 19 years in prison.
Sabein Burgess says Maryland vacated his wrongful conviction on Feb. 21, 2014, after the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project helped him reveal that prosecutors relied on fabricated gun-shot residue evidence.
"Mr. Burgess spent nearly two decades in prison for a murder he did not commit," the March 23 complaint states. "Worse yet, he was convicted of killing a woman he loved."
His attorney, Gail Horn of Loevy & Loevy in Chicago, noted in an interview that "no amount of money will give him back that two decades of his life, but hopefully this lawsuit will give him some justice and true ability to rebuild the life he has now."
Now 44 years old, Burgess spent 19 years in prison for the Oct. 5, 1994, murder in Baltimore of his then-girlfriend, Michelle Dyson.
Burgess said he had just stepped out after Dyson put her four children to bed that night when "two men pushed their way into" the house, brought Dyson down to the basement and shot her.
Police allegedly set their sights on Burgess from the get-go, swabbing his hands at the scene and taking him immediately to the station for interrogation.
Burgess says "no evidence implicating him" in the crime, however, and that he was released from police custody the next morning.
Rather than search for the real killers, Burgess says the police conspired with crime lab employee Daniel Van Gelder over the next month to fabricate gun-shot residue, or GSR, evidence against Burgess.