Once again, Radley Balko is “da man” with respect to the Cory Maye case. In addition to the great article (reminder for me to update his wiki) he wrote for Reason (not available online), Balko of what could be the major breakthrough in the blogosphere’s attempt to free Maye:
One of the Covington attorneys noticed early after they took the case that the autopsy on Ron Jones reported that Jones had written a phone number on his hand. The team hired a private investigator, and after some leg work, managed to track down the guy who owned the number at the time of the raid.
Gold. The number eventually led to the informant who tipped Ron Jones off to the raid on the Cory Maye-Jamie Smith duplex. The guy’s a real piece of work. I can’t go into too much detail right now, but the story the informant told Covington’s private investigator is dramatically different than the description given in Ron Jones’ affidavits for the search warrants. The details between the two accounts aren’t even close. I’ll get into the rammifications of the discprencies a bit later.
For now? Well, here’s where it gets fun.
After the guy realized the investigator was working for the defense team, he clammed up. When Bob Evans — Cory Maye’s lead attorney — called to tell him that if he didn’t talk, they’d compell his testimony with a subpeona, the informant flipped out. He called Evans, and left a rant on Evans’ answering maching that, when Evans played it for me the other night, blew my mind. It’s a 45-second clip of absolute fury, brimming with f-bombs, anger, hate, and — by my count — at least four utterances of the word “nigger.”
This is the “trustworthy” informant whose tip led to the raid on Cory Maye’s home. An unabashed bigot. Makes you wonder how many other black people have been raided, arrested, and imprisoned based on this guy’s tips. Not to mention how many ignoramouses like him are still turning people in down in Mississippi — or, for that matter, anywhere else.
The obvious question is why Maye’s earlier attorney, Rhonda Cooper, didn’t explore such an obvious line of investigation. If she had, Maye might not be sitting on death row at this moment.
If it wasn’t for Balko’s tireless efforts on Maye’s behalf, this story would never have seen the light of day. I’d like to take this time to thank him for his ongoing work to see that justice is finally served in the Maye case, as well as his studies which expose the problems we have in our law enforcement system which allowed such a travesty to occur in the first place.
I’ll be at an event on Wednesday where Balko will be a “special guest star.” It would be neat if I could hand him a printout of this posting where you all have given him a lot of high-fives (or other commentary) in the comment section. Radley Balko really deserves it!