UPDATE: MIKE HAS BEEN GRANTED AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING ON MARCH 17TH IN THE WASHINGTON COUNTY COURTHOUSE
MIKE'S CASE HAS BEEN REVIEWED BY THE TAMPA BAY UNIVERSITY LAW STUDENTS AND THE CENTER ON WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS FROM NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY.....
BOTH HAVE DETERMINED HIS INNOCENCE!!!!!!!
HIS CASE IS CURRENTLY UNDER REVIEW WITH THE PENNSYLVANIA INNOCENCE PROJECT
On a Sunday afternoon in the fall of 2007 our son was falsely accused of a crime that never happened. Due to the seriousness of the allegations, we immediately sought legal counsel and went through the “justice” system. Our son cooperated fully, allowing his home to be searched, measured and photographed. He submitted his DNA and attended every court appearance, never once giving less than 100% cooperation. He as well as his entire family believed in our justice system and knew that he would be found innocent and we could put this absolute nightmare behind us. At the preliminary hearing he was held on $50,000 straight bond. The bond was posted and another 11 months passed before we would go to trial. He didn’t flee; he didn’t quit his job. He waited for our justice system to clearly see that this was nothing more than a false accusation and he could go on with his life. After 14 months of anticipation to see that justice was served and this travesty could be put to rest, our justice system failed our son and convicted him without any evidence even though there was an eyewitness there the entire time this allegation was to have happened, there was no DNA match to him at all and we had absolute proof of his innocence. This was ONLY a false allegation. There was no evidence as there was no crime. It was a bitter vindictive attempt again to try to ruin our son’s life by another person. Nothing more.
Our son has now been convicted being sentenced 8-16 years in prison. He will not be eligible for parole as he must be remorseful for his crime. You cannot be remorseful for something that never happened and he will remain in prison until the full sentence is served unless we can have him vindicated. He will not admit to something he never did. An innocent man is in prison and our justice system failed him and our family in ways I never thought possible. He was offered a plea of 11-18 months and refused it because he was innocent. We never imagined that someone could accuse someone falsely and put them in prison for many years nor did we ever believe that a jury could find someone guilty without any evidence and the fact that there was a valid eyewitness present at the time of the allegation. To say we were shocked is an understatement.
Due to the nature of the alleged crime and the goal of our family and friends to have “JUSTICE For Mike,” we must be careful as to how our story is told so that we don’t harm any pending procedures. There is not one family member or friend that believes for one second that this allegation could possibly be true. If you knew our son, Mike, you would know that he could never have done what he was accused of doing.
Moving forward to have Mike vindicated will cost much more money than we ever anticipated. The fees to just fight for his innocence were exorbitant leading up to and during the proceedings. We are now at the point that we need help to have “JUSTICE For Mike.” An INNOCENT man who just turned 30 is in prison and it is our mission to have him home where he belongs.
Our entire family, from parents, grand-parents, brothers, sister-in-law, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends, are devastated that this tragedy can occur from just a false accusation which had no evidence.
We are strong Christians. We believe in the faith of Our Heavenly Father and know that He is with us each step of the way. We have faith that we can get our son home. However, we need the financial support to pursue his legal battle. Please, please, please, donate as much as you – however little you can afford - to help us get the funding we need to get him freed. All of our hearts are broken and our faith in our justice system is scarred. We cannot do this alone and are asking for your help.
We will need a minimum of $15,000 to begin the appeal process.
Many people love Mike beyond measure. However, his local five nieces and nephews are saddened beyond belief that someone took their Uncle Mike away from them. They would spend the night at his home, making Gingerbread houses at Christmas with him and their cousin. He coached his nephews’ Little League team. He took them to Pirate games and let his four-year-old nephew “work” on his car with his Bob the Builder tools. When his nephews spent the night he would rent video games they would enjoy so they could play together, and he would purchase special snacks so that their time together was always memorable and enjoyable. When his nieces spent the night he would find “crafty” things for them to do together so their time was special and memorable. He attended all of their sporting events from T-ball and Little League to Soccer and all of their “special days” such as birthdays and communions.
As a brother, Mike takes the younger ones under his wings and calls the youngest his “Little Grasshopper.” He talks to them, gives them advice, and spends quality time with them all.
Mike is loved both near and far by his many aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. He attends every family gathering we have that he can from Memorial Day picnics to Rotary Club fundraisers. He enjoys and looks forward to our many family gatherings from birthday parties and pool parties to just spending a day at his parent’s home relaxing and watching the Steelers.
His friends know Mike and can attest to his willingness to help them in any way he can. He has always been a loving loyal friend and keeps in touch with them from the East to the West from the North to the South. If they need help moving on a moment’s notice, he is there to help. If they need a ride somewhere and he can take them, he does it without expectations.
He is a fun-loving caring person that has a huge heart and enjoys life. As a son, he is thoughtful, kind, considerate, and caring. He enjoys talking sports with his dad and has deep conversations about life with his mom. His smile can light up a room and turn a bad day into a good one. His humor makes everyone smile.
Above all, Mike is an honest, loving, and caring individual who deserves the freedom that should be his. He served in the military to protect our freedom for 4 years. Now it’s our turn to give him his freedom that he so rightfully deserves.
This is our coverage of the 5th Annual Freedom March for the Wrongfully Convicted in Pennsylvania held on June 3, 2013
Our 1/2 hour video of our event with all speakers and pictures. Please continue to support those wrongfully convicted.
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