A 24-year-old North Lawndale man said in court Monday that he was forced by a Chicago police officer to sign a statement involving the shooting death of a 27-year-old Lawndale man.
Jamie Fairley testified at the Cook County criminal courthouse during the trial of Quinton Davis, 25, and Larry Coburn, 29, who are charged with murder and intent to kill for the Aug. 15, 2009 death of Lawrence Linton.
According to the Chicago Tribune, police were called about 3 a.m. after a report of shots fired in the 1600 block of South Drake Avenue, where they found a man shot in the chest. The victim was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital and was pronounced dead, the Tribune reported.
Fairley said CPD Detective Robert Garcia and State’s Attorney Laurie Rosen brought him in for questioning a week after the shooting and had him sign statements saying that Coburn and Davis were involved in the Lawndale shooting.
In those statements, Fairley said he witnessed a street fight between Davis and another man at the intersection of 16th Street and Drake Avenue. The statement said after Fairley left the scene of the fight, he saw Coburn handing Davis a handgun.
Fairley said in the statement that shortly after the exchange he heard around 11 gun shots and began to run.
When Fairley testified, however, he said he had been forced to make the statement about Coburn and Davis being involved in the shooting. He said Garcia told him to make the statement or he would be charged with a parole violation involving a domestic dispute with his girlfriend.
But Garcia said he was unaware of Fairley’s parole at the time of questioning.
During the trial, Fairley said he never saw anyone with a weapon the night of the fight and he never got closer than 30 feet from Davis and Coburn.
Fairley said the night began around 7 p.m. when he met two friends near the area of 16th and Drake streets. Fairley said until the fight broke out around 3 a.m., he drank more than a bottle of tequila and smoked three or four marijuana cigarettes.
Fairley said he heard noise coming from Drake and headed toward the area, where he saw a crowd of people, including Linton. The crowd had surrounded Davis and another man, who were fighting, according to Fairley. Fairley said he attempted to break up the fight, but was hit in the face by viewers who wanted the fight to continue.
After the fight ended, Davis stood up, only to be struck by another punch, said Fairley. It was then, Fairley said, with Davis close by his side, that he heard around five or six gun shots and began to run.
Fairley said some time after running, he circled back to 16th and Drake streets and saw Linton lying on the ground. An ambulance had arrived, he said.
During the week following the murder, Garcia testified that he picked up Fairley and brought him to an interview room in an area police station to ask about the events of Aug. 15. Garcia said Fairley was “cooperative,” and he never forced Fairley to sign a statement.
Fairley is serving time for an unrelated crime and was subpoenaed for Monday’s trial.