Gahlil Oliveira asserts the following in this complaint:
Mr. Oliveira asserts he was wrongly convicted of murder. The DA prosecutors were Mrs. Helen Altomari and Mr. Paul Daly. 3 people were charged in this case. Omayra Taymes was charged with conspiracy to violate the controlled substances act. Her brother Victor St. Hill and Mr. Oliveira were charged with felony murder, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to violate the controlled substances act. Ms. Taymes is reportedly an eyewitness to the crime.
In a police statement given upon arrest by Ms. Taymes she reported it was "herself, Victor, and Ralph" that committed the crimes. She also states Ralph's description, build, the area in which he lived and stated she would be able to identify him if shown a photograph. In the same statement she tells police that Victor told her that the cops had arrested another guy (Mr. Oliveira) and that he was not there and that Lee (Horace Lee Green) had pointed this guy (Oliveira) out to the police.
Mr. Green gave 3 statements to police. One on March 10, 1995 the day after the murder and 2 on March 13, 1995. In the first statement Mr. Green gives a description of the guy who is supposed to be Mr. Oliveira saying, "Victor came back with his friend, a Spanish guy with sideburns down to his chin and he had a mustache, short hair kind of flat." This is the description the police used to compile a photo package where they included a photo of Mr. Oliveira. Mr. Green allegedly picked out this photograph on his own. Mr. Oliveira points out that the photo was signed as being identified by Mr. Green on March 13, 1995 at 6:50 PM and the second ID statement was given at 6:30 PM. At a bail hearing Mr. Green testified that this "light skin Hispanic" was 2 or 3 inches taller than 5 feet nine inches. Ms. Taymes also says the individual in question was about six feet one or two inches tall like Victor and heavy with a beer belly. Mr. Oliveira is not Hispanic, is 5 feet seven inches tall and weighed 140 pounds when he entered jail. Mr. Green also had trouble identifying Mr. Oliveira when he was finally brought into the courtroom taking 45 seconds to make up his mind. While Mr. Oliveira admits to there being some facial similarities between Ralph and himself, the differences between descriptions are still striking.
At the first trial Atty. William Murphy [for Ms. Taymes] asked the court to suppress her police statement. The state did not object saying they hadn't planned to use that statement anyway. Judge Rodgers agreed to suppress the statement. Mr. Oliveira moved for a separate trial from Ms. Taymes and Victor so he would be able to call her as a witness in his defense. The court denied this motion. The police, prosecutors and the Judge all knew what was in Ms. Taymes' statement. Mr. Oliveira could not call Ms. Taymes during the trial because you can not call your co-defendant to the stand and force them to incriminate themselves. The first trial in 1998 resulted in a not guilty for conspiracy to commit murder and there was a hung jury on the murder and drug charge. There was a second trial in 1999 which ended in a mistrial during jury selection. The third trial ended in convictions on all counts for all defendants.
A couple of days before jury deliberations a juror said that she received a copy of Ms. Taymes statement. Judge Cresto excused her from finishing her service on the jury. Judge Cresto then asked the rest of the jurors if they received anything and they all said no. He instructed them that if they did to not read it and bring it in to him.
The convictions came down on November 19, 1999 and on December 5th or 6th, 1999 Mr. Oliveira was sent 2 letters from an anonymous juror stating that they did receive Ms. Taymes statement in the mail prior to our deliberations and was too afraid to come forward about it because someone obviously had their addresses. This anonymous juror also indicated they sent copies to the prosecutor, Judge Cresto, the lawyer and the Providence Journal. The jurors were brought into court and asked who wrote the letters. Everyone denied it. One woman admitted that she did receive Ms. Taymes statement but because she had recently moved the letter was forwarded to her new address and she received it after the verdict.
Mr. Oliveira asserts wrongful conviction, prosecutorial misconduct, a tainted jury and violation of due process by not being allowed to put on an adequate defense. Mr. Oliveira also submitted considerable documentation backing up his assertions.