David Thorne Case: The Framing of Joseph Wilkes

YvonneTwenty-six year old, Yvonne Layne was found dead in a pool of blood the morning of April 1, 1999. She had four young children in the home. Two were locked in an upstairs bedroom, a baby was in a crib in another bedroom and a four year old was loose in the house. The children were unharmed.

The killer slit Yvonne’s throat, dragged her across the floor and laid the body down on the living room floor. She was found with several objects against and on top of her. A bleach bottle with gloves were found on the kitchen sink. Please read more background about this case here.

Joe Wilkes allegedly “confessed” that he murdered Yvonne Layne 5 minutes after police had him in the interrogation room at the Ravenna police department on 7/14/99.  He allegedly broke down and said “I’m sorry.  I killed her.”  The story would go that David Thorne paid him to kill her for the sum of $300.

Police testified at trial that just before the “confession” they confronted him with the following:

  • Information that Joe had been telling others that he murdered Yvonne
  • Proof that he stayed at the Comfort Inn on the night of 3/31/99
  • Proof that he purchased a knife and batting gloves at K-Mart on 3/31/99
  • Proof that he called David Thorne’s home from the mall the morning of 4/1/99

Leech supplement

After that, they describe how Joe broke down and said “I’m sorry.  I killed her.”

confession

There are several problems with this scenario.  To begin, if Joe truly confessed (before the tape recorder was turned on) as police allege, why do they then begin the recorded interview with Miranda rights and inform him that he is not under arrest?!  A man just confessed to a murder and he is NOT under arrest?!  How is that possible?

transcript - beginning of interview

What really happened: There is much evidence to support a theory that police set out to frame a co-conspirator for this crime and they selected Joe Wilkes.  They knew they couldn’t pin the murder on David Thorne because he had an alibi.  They wanted to solve this murder so they created a “murder for hire” plot.  Once they selected Joe, they then had to build a case against him.  They did this via police informants, coercion of witnesses, planted evidence and a threat on Joe’s life – confess to the murder or face the electric chair.  To be blunt, they threatened the life of a frightened 18 year old kid by describing exactly what evidence they cooked up against him and telling him that his friend, David Thorne implicated him in the murder.  That is how they secured this conviction.

I believe police told Joe that if he cooperated, if he made the required statements – statements probably presented to him with cue cards – that he would be free to go.  Why else would they tell him he was not under arrest?!  They totally manipulated him.  Once they had the statements and all of the details (that they fed to him) on tape, they were able to make their arrest and then they were able to arrest David Thorne. Case closed – only it’s not closed because this murder remains unsolved.

How do we know Joe was framed?  For starters, none of his statement was consistent with the evidence at the crime scene.  His description of how the murder occurred was impossible, he didn’t see any children in the home, he didn’t see the yelping puppies on the deck, he didn’t have any blood on his clothing or shoes as there was no blood found in David Thorne’s car that he allegedly drove him home in the following morning.  He had no change of clothes with him.  There were no bloody footprints on the stairs that Joe said he descended following the murder. The pants that were allegedly “found” in the woods had no blood on them.  The (planted) knife found in a storm grate had no blood on it.  Not one person saw a bloody man walking down around that night.  His own story changed during several times during the interview.  It just doesn’t fit!  This was a personal crime, but I won’t go into that in this article.

Samantha Pegg

Police informed Joe that he had discussed the murder with others during the unrecorded portion of the interview (see above) —- how then is it possible that the person Joe stated he talked to about the murder (Samantha) didn’t contact police about the information until 7/18 – four days after Joe’s interrogation?  I believe police coerced her to make a statement against Joe before his interview.  That is the only thing that makes any sense.  Detective Sampson stated during a preliminary hearing on 7/23 that Samantha is the only person that Joe allegedly spoke to about the murder – yet police already HAD the information before Joe uttered a word.  They wanted to make it appear as if they learned about Samantha during Joe’s recorded interview but that conflicts with their own statement that “We informed Joe that he was discussing the murder with others…”

In a post conviction hearing, Joe testified that he received a letter from Samantha while in prison and that she apologized for what she had told police about him.

Samantha Pegg PC

This is what Joe stated during the taped interview – remember that police said they told Joe that he was talking to others about the murder before the recorded interview began.  How did they know?  Because they had already coerced her!

Joe speaks about Samantha

informantsInformants/snitches  Chris Campbell and Rose Mohr allegedly saw Joe Wilkes the evening before the murders at Carnation Mall. They told police that he was in town to do a job and that he purchased a knife at K-Mart (more about that soon).

An article was published one day after Joe’s interview.  There are references to police “working their informants”.  Were Rose Mohr and/or Chris Campbell informants?  They are the only people I can think of that could be informants who “helped” with the investigation.

One of the police’ hand written notes has “Chris Campbell – suspect” written on it.  Did this suspect turn into a witness?  What did police potentially do to coerce Campbell?

Campbell suspect

Chris Campbell was allegedly witnessed by police placing his hands in his pockets and suspected of pocketing drugs.  They ended up arresting him and holding him in prison until after David’s trial.  This occurred two days after David and Joe were arrested.  Is it possible that this was a deal?  Did they hold him and threaten to keep him in prison until he testified at trial?  I think it’s very likely the case.

The K-Mart murder supply shopping:  Remember that police told Joe that he purchased a knife and batting gloves the night before the murder, at K-Mart.  How did they know?  They claim they learned of this from Chris and Rose but if that were true, shouldn’t there have been some mention of it in their hand written notes of their interview on 7/9?  There isn’t one word about it.

Campbell hand written note by Mucklo - Copy (2)

One could say that possibly they didn’t tell police about it until their recorded interview on 7/12, but that’s impossible because police stated in their supplemental report that they visited the Comfort Inn on 7/9 to confirm that Joe Wilkes had rented a room that night. That is the date written on the hand written note above. You can see that there is no mention of the K-Mart shopping and no mention of the hotel rental. I believe they built both the K-mart shopping and the hotel stay into their story line before even speaking to Chris and Rose.

There are receipts – hotel and K-Mart receipts.  The K-Mart receipts make no sense at all as the batting gloves were purchased early in the day, at approximately 2PM and the knife was purchased at 8:10PM – cutting it rather close with a planned murder for that very evening.

During Joe’s interview on 7/14, he never speaks about Chris or Rose and is never asked about them.  There are several inconsistencies about this chance encounter the evening of 3/31.  I don’t believe they ever saw Joe that night because I don’t believe he was in Alliance.

The phone call:  Police told Joe that they had evidence that he attempted to contact David the morning of 4/1 from a payphone at the Carnation Mall.  They told him they had a record indicating that a call was placed at 8:28AM.  The problem is, the number of the mall phone ends in 3566 and the number on David’s phone record looks more like 3588.  Was there really a call from the mall that morning?  I don’t think so.  If Joe needed a ride home from the mall that morning, why didn’t he call David’s pager?  He never attempted to reach him that way.  We never saw the Carnation Mall phone records to verify that an outgoing call was placed at 8:28 that morning.

carnation mall phone callCrime Scene Photos 431The Nike theme:

According to the official story, Chris and Rose stated that Joe was wearing brand new Nike shoes, Nike swishy pants and a Nike jacket.  They gave conflicting statements about the color but they definitely mentioned Nike.  Did police weave this into the story because they had visited Dick’s Sporting Goods in an attempt to “match” the bloody footprint from the crime scene (in a very unscientific way) and the store clerk believed the murder print was produced from a Nike cross trainer?  I think so.

I believe that police wanted the story to go that David gave Joe money to buy the new Nike murder outfit ahead of time to wear to the murder and that is what the witnesses described and Joe told police that he threw away the “murder” pants in a wooded area in Ravenna – over 20 miles away from the murder scene – they conveniently recovered them.  There was no blood on them but that doesn’t matter because the story sounds good. I believe they planted them to go along with the Nike shoes identified by the Dick’s Sporting goods clerk.

Police wanted the story to go that the Nike outfit was purchased before the murder but Joe messed that up and stated that he shopped for new Nike clothing a week after the murder.

Photo of police “finding” the Nike swishy pants

Crime Scene Photos 439

It’s all a bit too convenient.  Police also recovered the K-Mart folding knife in a storm grate two blocks from Yvonne’s home.  We’re to believe that fleeing her home on a dark night, Joe noticed this flat, metal grate that is sitting well within the person’s lawn and put a knife in there?

storm drain Morgan and College

Crime Scene Photos 440Police “finding” the knife

It doesn’t matter that the knife had no blood on it, or that the blade was only 3 1/2 inches long and the cut to Yvonne’s throat was 4 inches deep.  It makes for a good story – “Murder weapon recovered”!   Oh!  The home where the knife was found?  Linda McLaughlin’s friend’s home.  Coincidence?  (Linda is the mother of Yvonne’s boyfriend at the time – Erick).  He would have been the suspect but he was in prison at the time of the murder so the focus was all on David.

David_10David Thorne: Police alleged that his motive was that he wanted custody of Brandon (his 2 year old son to Yvonne) and that he didn’t want to pay child support.  It had recently been implemented, two months prior to the murder.  The problem with that is, there are NO reports of any issues at all between Yvonne and David.  Everyone police interviewed said that they got along well.  It’s not logical that one would want custody so they could “save money”.  How would someone save money by having full time care of a child?  Ridiculous.

Additionally, it’s clear that David loved his son and cared for him.  He had him at his home on weekends typically.  For someone who cared for a child like this, how could he ever have possibly left this child alone in a home unattended for hours with his dead mother’s body?  No way.

Based on everything described, I can’t be certain that Joe was even in Alliance that night.  There is no evidence that he ran into Chris and Rose and it seems unlikely as their stories are so inconsistent with each other and from one interview to the next. There is also no evidence that Joe was at Yvonne’s that night.  If he was, there should have been some physical evidence tying him to the scene.  There isn’t.  If police did search the hotel room for evidence, there is no record of it.  For that reason, I don’t believe that he rented a room that night.  Yes, there is a receipt but I believe they fabricated it.

This crime remains unsolved.  This was a personal crime – someone close to the victim. Joe Wilkes was not close to the victim.  I’m unsure why police would go to such great lengths to pin this on Joe and David, but like many wrongful conviction cases – they wanted to show that the crime was solved.  They had it in for David because he refused to speak to them.  I believe that is why they framed them for this murder.

Many Inconsistencies in the David Thorne Case

Crime Scene Photos 005The David Thorne case has many of the classic tell tale signs of a wrongful conviction – tunnel vision, poor evidence collection at crime scene, poor defense representation, coerced witnesses and lies.  A lie can be so powerful in a criminal case.  Evidenced by the many convictions overturned in recent years, we now know that many of them were built solely on lies.  It typically takes new physical evidence to finally bring the truth to light.  The problem with some cases is that when the investigations are so poorly handled such as the Thorne case, it is difficult to find that new information that can help free the wrongfully convicted – but we must keep searching.  We do this because we know the State’s case doesn’t hold up.  We know there must be something or someone that can help the person and we must continue to try.  Though an excellent website already exists, I would like to highlight some of the major problems with the case that I recently observed while reviewing all of the files once again.  These things demonstrate how unlikely it is that either Joe Wilkes or David Thorne had anything to do with this horrible crime and why we must keep searching for a way to free these men.

A personal crime?

VincentFor those new to this case, Yvonne Layne was found murdered in her home on April 1,1999.  She was found with her throat slit in a pool of blood in the center of an oddly staged crime scene with furniture items carefully placed on and near the body.  A photo of an unknown baby girl was found on the floor between her legs as was an overturned potted plant.  The staging is indicative of a personal crime as it’s unlikely that a random person would take the time to stage the scene.  Also, though 3 of her children were locked in upstairs bedrooms, a 4th child (age 4) was found walking freely in the home and he was clean and dressed and wearing shoes that were tied.  The child was unable to dress himself and certainly couldn’t tie his own shoes. The fact that a child was somehow kept away from his mother’s blood for so many hours and was clean and dressed indicates that someone cared for him.  Certainly only someone close to him would take the time to ensure that he was clean. Police believe that the murder took place the night of 3/31.  If that’s true, this child would have been alone with his mother’s body for potentially as long as 17 1/2 hours and certainly should have had blood on him. Someone ensured that he either remained clean or was cleaned up and dressed before police arrived. When studying this case however, it is clear that those closest to the victim were never investigated.  The police made up their minds right away that David Thorne was responsible.

Why did police focus on Thorne?

Thorne agreed to speak to police the day after Yvonne was found.  Unbenownst to Thorne, his grandfather had arranged for an attorney to send a letter to police requesting immunity in order for Thorne to speak to them. Police were unable to ask Thorne any questions and they felt that Thorne was hiding something by sending the immunity letter.  David Thorne knew nothing about this letter!  Had he known, he would have never agreed to it.  He would have answered questions and it’s very likely that he would have never been pursued as a suspect and certainly wouldn’t have been convicted.

How did they build a case against Thorne?

Joseph Wilkes: The State’s theory is that Joseph Wilkes murdered Yvonne in a murder for hire scheme – that David Thorne paid him a sum of $300 to kill her.  Investigators had custody of Wilkes for 20 short minutes and in that time they received a confession.  That 20 minute interview was not recorded.

  • Wilkes didn’t have a lawyer present.
  • Police lied to Wilkes and told him that David Thorne implicated him in the murder.
  • Police told Wilkes that he could potentially receive the death penalty if he didn’t “confess”.
  • Police told Wilkes that if he “confessed” he could be out in 7 years.
  • Police told Wilkes where he stayed that night.
  • Police told Wilkes that he purchased a knife at K-Mart that night.
  • Police told Wilkes how the murder was committed – a complete scenario.
  • Police took Wilkes to a drain ditch near Yvonne’s home and told him that the knife was found there; police claim that Wilkes directed them to the location – a lie.

Why Joe Wilkes?

Once police understood that Thorne couldn’t have murdered Yvonne because he was in another town taking a class that night, they looked closely at all of his associates.  There is a police record of an incident in which a car windshield was broken.  Joe apparently blamed David for the broken windshield, David accepted responsibility for it even though he said that Joe broke it.  I believe this is how police set out to frame Joseph Wilkes.  He knew David Thorne, he was young and he was easy to manipulate.

Lies and inconsistencies begin:

Crime Scene Photos 376Rose Mohr and Chris Campbell both stated that they saw Joe the night of 3/31 at the Carnation Mall food court in Alliance. That places Joe in the same town as Yvonne Layne – he was staying with the Enoch family 20 miles away at the time. Rose came into this case when she allegedly told her mother that she had information about that night. .The story goes that her mother told the apartment manager who then contacted the police.  Police first contacted Rose’s mother and then Rose. I believe that the statements from Chris and Rose enabled police to frame Joe.  In any case, lies and inconsistencies are flags – an indication that it can’t be trusted, an indication that it was probably manufactured. This case is filled with lies and inconsistencies, beginning with Rose and Chris and in turn the entire case against Joe.

  • Rose testified that Joe was hired to do a job by some guy; Chris testified that Joe was hired to do a job by his girlfriend.
  • Rose testified that Joe said he was “hired to kill a girl”; Chris did not testify that Joe was in town to kill a girl.  He only said that he was hired by his girlfriend to do a job.
  • Though Chris testified at trial that Joe was hired to do a job, in his police interview he said Joe was hired to kill a girl. (Why did he change his testimony?  Was he coerced during his police interview?)
  • Both said that Joe showed them a knife purchased from K-Mart.  Rose described it as a hunting knife in a sheath.  Chris described it as a folding knife.
  • Both said in police interviews that Joe was wearing white pants.  At trial, Rose said he was wearing dark pants. Chris wasn’t asked about the color. (Prosecutors presented evidence of dark pants that Joe allegedly wore that night).
  • Rose never mentioned anything about Joe discussing his “trainer” in either her police interview or at trial.  At the end of the police interview, Chris said that Joe spoke of his trainer that night but he couldn’t recall his name. At trial, Chris said the trainer was David Thorne.
  • Rose testified that Joe wrote his number down on the back of a business card and gave it to Chris. Chris placed it in his wallet.  Chris never mentioned the card.  In a post conviction hearing, it was revealed by a handwriting expert that it was not Joe’s hand writing. Rose later admitted that she wrote it.
  • Police have some sketchy hand written notes from a July 9th interview with either Chris, Rose or both.  There is no mention of the Comfort Inn and no mention of a K-Mart knife purchase.
  • On a supplemental report dated July 20th, police state that they visited a clerk at the Comfort Inn on July 9th and verified that Joe Wilkes stayed there on March 31st.  (Did he really stay there or was this also manufactured?)
  • Rose testified that while sitting with Joe that night, she became nervous and got up and walked around the mall for a while.  When she returned, Joe had left. Chris testified that all 3 sat there until Rose’s father arrived to pick them up; then Joe left.  Both testified that as they were driving away from the mall they saw Joe walking toward the center of town and that Rose’s father beeped at him after Chris said “There’s my friend,  beep at him!”.
  • Interestingly, both Chris and Rose were fired from their mall job on April 1st for not showing up for work for 3 days.
  • When police interviewed Joe, he never mentioned Chris and Rose and police never questioned him about them.  At trial, Joe’s version of meeting them again was inconsistent with their stories.  For example, Joe said he saw them as he was walking through the food court.  When asked what they talked about, he had no recollection whatsoever.

Because of so many inconsistencies, I find it difficult to trust anything coming from Chris and Rose.  Were they coerced?  Chris Campbell was arrested on a drug charge a few days after his July police interview and held in jail for 6 months – until after he testified at Thorne’s trial. I think it’s very possible that the entire story is fabricated and they never actually saw Joe Wilkes that night.

Additional Key Facts:

  • Phone records indicate that aside from one 8 minute call between Joe and David on 3/25, there was NO communication between them whatsoever in the days leading up to the murder.  Even the 8 minute call can’t be verified as coming from Joe because it was placed from a payphone to David’s home.  Assuming the call was from Joe, that means that the entire plot was planned in a total of 8 minutes.
  • Joe was allegedly staying with the Enochs beginning on 3/27, so 4 days before the murder yet there isn’t one call from their home to David’s home.
  • Joe was kicked out of his girlfriend’s home on 3/27 and desperately looking for a place to stay.  David would have had no way of knowing that Joe ended up at the Enoch’s.  How then did David know to pick Joe up there on 3/31 to drive him to the Comfort Inn to rent a room for the night?  There is no way.
  • The official story is that Joe was given a $100 bill to pay for his stay at the Comfort Inn.  It cost $59.76.  Karen Enoch told police that he came home and said he had $40 and bought a carton of cigarettes.  If this is true, he wouldn’t have had enough money left to pay for the batting gloves and knife he allegedly purchased that night.  If it isn’t true, Karen is lying.  If it isn’t true, is ANY of this story true?  It can’t be trusted once a lie is evident.
  • Karen told police in her initial interview that Joe arrived home at 11AM that morning; at trial it was changed to “morning” with no specific time. If Joe arrived home at 11AM, David couldn’t possibly have driven him as he was verified at work at that time.
  • During Joe’s police interview he said that David picked him up and drove him to the Comfort Inn that evening.  That’s impossible because David was in another town taking a class that night.  At trial, Joe testified that Brent Enoch drove him to the hotel.  Brent testified that he drove him as well. Joe didn’t even know what story the police needed him to recite.  He “got it wrong” so police made sure it was fixed before trial.
  • Prosecutors violated Brady laws and withheld evidence of a neighbor stating that he saw a white male leaving Yvonne’s home at approximately 9:30 the morning of April 1st.  He was shown an initial photo line-up and he identified the man.  Police told him he must be mistaken because that man was a cop.  He was shown a second line-up which included David Thorne’s photo, cop photo removed.  He didn’t identify anyone.
  • Joe reportedly had no change of clothing with him, yet returned home the next day still wearing a white wind breaker and the same pants and shoes.
  • Summer Enoch testified that Joe bought new tennis shoes several days after the murder and put the old ones in the box and disposed of them.  We’re to believe he was walking around in the same bloody shoes for days?  David Thorne’s car had no blood in it.
  • In the police interview, Joe stated that David paid him $100 on 3/31 for the hotel, knife and gloves; and paid him an additional $200 the following morning.  The story changed.  By trial it changed to – “Joe didn’t receive the rest of the money until the day of the funeral, 6 days later.”  The Enochs supported the “new” story and testified that Joe continually asked where David was because he was waiting for his money for “cleaning the garage”.
  • The Enochs allegedly picked Joe up 20 miles away the Tuesday before the murder (so one day prior) but warned him that they were not going to be chauffeurs for him!  We’re to believe that the very next day, Joe asked Brent to drive him to the Carnation mall (again 20 miles away) and Brent said “No problem!”.
  • The Comfort Inn where Joe allegedly stayed that night was 4 miles from Yvonne’s home.  It was approximately a 90 minute walk.  Joe allegedly purchased the knife that he would later use for the murder at 8:10PM and told police that David told him to finish the job by 10PM because David would be “on a surveillance camera at a convenience store” at that time.  Why didn’t Joe choose a smaller hotel much closer to Yvonne’s home?  Why did he register in his own name?
  • Crime Scene Photos 133Police tried to get Joe to describe seeing puppies at the home and a small child; Joe said he saw neither.

There is much, much more to this story and many more inconsistencies.  Of course, probably the biggest issue with the State’s case is that it couldn’t possibly have happened the way Joe described it.  See Brent Turvey’s report. I think it’s important to point out all of the other smaller issues with the case because they all add up to a case that clearly remains unsolved.  We will continue working on this until the case is solved and these men are freed.  If you have any information that could be helpful, please send an email to lynne0312@yahoo.com.


Key facts indicate David Thorne’s Innocence

  • Yvonne Layne was murdered in her home on March 31st, 1999. David Thorne was convicted and sentenced in January, 2000, after being charged with complicity to aggravated murder/murder for hire. There is overwhelming evidence that David was falsely arrested and wrongfully convicted in the death.
  • David and Yvonne had a then two-year-old child together. David was unaware that he had fathered a child until he was asked to provide DNA for paternity testing in April, 1998. Before test results were in, David began visiting the child and developing a relationship with him, his brothers and their mother. When Yvonne was murdered nearly a year later, newly established paternity and child support payments were cited as the motive, despite evidence of David’s generosity to Yvonne and her children.
  • David, who had a iron-clad alibi, was implicated by Joseph Wilkes, a mentally and emotionally impaired man, after Joe was arrested and bullied by police officers. They told Joe that David Thorne was “in the next room” implicating him to save his own life, which was not true. David wasn’t at the police station and had never been interviewed by police. According to Joe, officers offered him a choice of confessing or facing the death penalty, and denied him access to an attorney. As Wilkes sat “trembling and shaking his head in disbelief”, he chose the save his own life and implicate his friend in a crime neither of them took part in. Joseph Wilkes has since recanted his confession.
  • Nothing led to David except the coerced statement of Joseph Wilkes. Joe, at David’s trial, answered “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall” 138 times during his testimony. He described the crime inaccurately, even getting the room the victim was killed in wrong. He stated in court that he was saying what “they” told him to say. According to Forensic Scientist Brent Turvey, who testified at David Thorne’s post-conviction hearing, Joseph Wilkes got every detail of the crime wrong, except the type of weapon used.
  • Witnesses brought by the prosecution to bolster Joe’s confession have since admitted to investigators that they altered their stories to implicate David. Defense witnesses were present in court but were never called to testify. Detectives didn’t bother to verify David’s alibi.
  • Since the trial, two witnesses were discovered in police documentation not previously provided to the defense. One witness saw a man walking into the victim’s house the night of the murder and another witness saw a man walk out of the front door of the house the next morning while the body was, as of that time, undiscovered. The witnesses gave descriptions of the man they saw that did not match David Thorne or Joseph Wilkes. One of the witnesses was shown three photo line-ups, one that included David Thorne and one that included both David Thorne and Joseph Wilkes. He did not choose either man as the person he saw walking out the front door the morning the body was discovered. According to this witness, he did choose a man out of the line-up that did not include David Thorne, and was told he had to be mistaken, because the man he chose was a police officer.
  • Detectives had numerous suspects brought to their attention that they didn’t bother to follow up on. One man came to the police station to be interviewed, but was released after refusing to waive his rights. An APB was put out on another suspect, but he was never brought in for questioning. The victim’s child, present at the scene, repeatedly screamed a man’s name, saying the man “hurt mommy”. Police did not follow up on that information.
  • Despite an enormous amount of evidence and numerous statements pointing to David’s actual innocence, he remains behind bars. He has proclaimed his innocence from the start. He offered to take a polygraph test, but was denied. It’s time for the truth to be told.

News articles describe problems with the David Thorne case

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.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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