A 15-year-old boy from Illinois says he was caught by police for a shooting he didn’t commit, bribed with food from McDonald’s and a promise of speedy release for a false confession, and then held in jail for two days. .
Martell Williams and his lawyer told reporters on Monday that the Waukegan teen was released only after his sister provided a photo proving he had a hard-hitting alibi for the shooting because he took part in a basketball game 20 miles from the crime scene. . scene.
‘I was scared. I just wanted to go home,” Williams said of his harrowing ordeal last week, CBS Chicago reports.
Williams, accompanied by his family and his attorney, Kevin O’Conner, said he was sitting in a classroom at Waukegan High School, where he is a freshman, on February 16 when police arrived and took him away.
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Martell Williams, 15, says he was bribed with food from McDonald’s and a promise of a speedy release to falsely confess to the February 4 shooting.
Williams was released only after his sister provided this time-stamped photograph proving the boy was participating in a basketball game 20 miles from home at the time of the shooting.
The teenager said the police did not tell him why they were arresting him, leaving him “confused”.
“He was dragged to the police station by a detective who doesn’t even do basic detective work to find out where he was that day,” O’Connor said.
The lawyer added that there was no attorney or attorney available to act on behalf of the minor, and Williams was not allowed to call his mother.
For hours, according to Williams, detectives asked him to confess to the crime without telling him what the crime was.
Williams said he did not know at the time that he was being charged with attempted murder in connection with the February 4 shooting of 19-year-old Elvis Ramos, a clerk at the Dollar General Store.
Elvis Ramos, 19, a clerk at a Dollar General store, was shot in the face while trying to stop a man from stealing merchandise. Since February 4, he has undergone several operations.
Police released surveillance images of the perpetrator and later said several people identified Williams as the masked man in the photographs.
Ramos was shot in the face while trying to stop a man from stealing goods from a store. According to the GoFundMe campaign description, he has had multiple surgeries and more to come.
After the shooting, police released CCTV footage showing the masked suspect at the scene of the crime.
Williams said that after his arrest, a detective told him that several people stepped forward and identified him as a suspect.
The teenager and his lawyer said detectives allegedly tried to bribe him with food from McDonald’s.
The teen did not eat the food but said he eventually broke down and made a confession after he said police promised to let him go within 10 minutes.
“They didn’t even tell him a shooting was involved,” O’Connor said, according to ABC 7 Chicago. “They just said, ‘Hey, it’s not your fault. Just tell us you were on the defensive. Just go ahead and tell us you were there and we’ll let you go home.”
But instead of releasing Williams, the police charged him with attempted murder and aggravated battery and placed him in a juvenile prison.
After two days in jail, Williams’ sister turned herself in to police with a time-stamped photograph showing her brother playing basketball for his school at an away game in Lincolnshire, Illinois, at the time of the shooting. 20 miles from Dollar General Store.
With an undeniable alibi, police released Williams, and Lake County State Attorney Eric Rinehart dropped the charges against him and deleted his records, according to The Washington Post.
Kevin O’Conner, Williams’ attorney (left), demanded an apology from the police and Waukegan High School authorities.
But the boy’s lawyer says that’s not enough. O’Conner says he wants the school and the police department to be held accountable, and he demands that Williams apologize in a public forum to clear his name.
O’Conner did not rule out the possibility of filing a civil lawsuit against the police department.
The local police department did not comment on the allegations, but the city of Waukegan said it was reviewing the case.
As of Thursday, Ramos’ real shooter has not been arrested.