I came across two news articles about this case from 2007 and 2008 and wanted to share them here because they provide excellent summaries of why the conviction should be overturned, or at least a new trial should be ordered.

Sue Gless Thorne has done an excellent job investigating this case since the beginning.  Her efforts uncovered a great deal of information that was never revealed during the trial.  I’m going to post the beginning of both articles, along with the link to read them in their entirety. Keep in mind that, despite the new compelling evidence that was uncovered and Joe’s recanted statement, David Thorne is still waiting for relief from the courts. There was a hearing last week before a 3 judge panel and everyone is still waiting on the court’s rulings.  Let’s hope it’s good news for David.

Experts Say Wrong Men Convicted In Woman’s Murder

Posted: 05/10/2007

CLEVELAND –

In the spring of 1999, Yvonne Layne, a young mother of 5, was found in a pool of her own blood.
Joe Wilkes was convicted of her murder and David Thorne was convicted of hiring him.  After investigating the case for seven years, Sue Gless, a postal clerk turned amateur investigator, said both men are innocent of the crime that landed them life in prison. She said she is 100 percent convinced these men did not do it, reported NewsChannel5 chief investigator Duane Pohlman.

Layne lived with Linda McLaughlin’s son, Erick Cameron, in McLaughlin’s home for four years. McLaughlin and others said Layne had a dark side. “She just played so dangerously,” said McLaughlin. Police said they knew Layne had been a prostitute and topless dancer and that she had many sex partners. “I know she had some history,” said former detective John Leech.

Detectives originally identified Cameron as the main suspect in the murder, but there was a problem.
“He was in jail at the time,” said Leech. So, how did this trail lead to Thorne? Police had a theory and a motive. Thorne was the father of one of Layne’s children and a court had just ordered him to pay child support weeks before Layne was killed. But the custody arrangement between Thorne and Layne was described in testimony as “agreeable” and “congenial.”  “She and I had a decent relationship,” says Thorne.

Detectives soon targeted another young man, Joe Wilkes.

Pohlman: “You were going to have sex with Yvonne?”
Wilkes: “Yes.”
On the night Layne was killed, Wilkes admits he went to Yvonne’s home.
“She told me she was supposed to have some company and for me to come back later on,” said Wilkes.
Pohlman: “Did she tell you who the company was?”

Wilkes: “No.”
Wilkes said he went back an hour later, entering a bloody mess.

“I found her laying on the floor, dead, blood all over the place. I stepped over the body and went to see if the kids were all right, and the door was locked so I knew they were in there, and I left,” Wilkes said. Scared and confused, Wilkes said Leech forced him to confess. “They told me the general story about how to put David in it,” said Wilkes.  Leech said that never happened.
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New Evidence Revealed In ‘Wrong Men?’ Investigation

Posted: 12/02/2008

Nine years ago, the body of Yvonne Layne, a mother of five, was found in a pool of blood at her home in Alliance. Joe Wilkes was convicted of killing her. David Thorne was convicted of hiring Wilkes. Both men are serving life sentences and both say they didn’t do it. “I don’t care what they say, you’re guilty until you prove yourself innocent,” Thorne said.

Now new evidence contained in police documents obtained by NewsChannel5 may finally prove their innocence.
Days after the murder, detectives took notes of statements made by the victim’s 4-year-old child who was in the house when his mother was murdered.

“Vincent” – it’s noted – stated repeatedly, “Jimmy pushed mommy down and she yelled.”
There is nothing in the official file showing detectives followed up on that statement. No “Jimmy” was ever identified and the statement was never revealed in court. Sue Gless has been investigating the case for nine years. “It’s disturbing because neither of the men that are in prison for this crime are named Jimmy,” Gless said. “They ignored it. There’s no other answer for it.”

And that’s not the only thing that might have been ignored. The police file contains documents that reveal tips came in shortly after the murder about a man who bragged in a bar that he cut the throat of a woman in Alliance. An APB was sent out on another man who “knew too much” about the murder, but there appears to be no serious follow up. Chief Investigator Duane Pohlman repeatedly tried to get answers from former detective William Mucklo who was one of the lead detectives on the case but he would not talk to Pohlman.

Read more: http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/New-Evidence-Revealed-In-%27Wrong-Men%27-Investigation#ixzz1kfpMaYWN

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