Ex-US attorney to try to help free man convicted of killings

Kansas governor renominates lawyer for appeals court spot

CLEVELAND (AP) – A former US attorney has joined a legal team trying to rescue a man convicted of the murder of three people who have long since proclaimed innocence.

Justin Herdman, appointed by former President Donald Trump in 2017, stepped down as a U.S. attorney for North Ohio in January. Herdman wrote in federal court this week that 57-year-old Kevin Keith should be given a hearing to consider his arguments after 27 years in prison, cleveland.com reported.

Keith’s 2010 death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment for the 1994 murders of two women and a 4-year-old girl. He has proclaimed his innocence, arguing that there are alibi witnesses, another possible suspect, and inconsistencies in the evidence against him.

The US Supreme Court dismissed Keith’s arguments, but in 2018 the US 6th Court of Appeals said that “no sensible fact-finder would have found him guilty” based on evidence his lawyers wrongly kept away from a jury .

Evidence includes a personal file of a state forensic investigator who worked on his case, which contains allegations that she was in the habit of providing police authorities with the answers they requested, as well as a copy of the Bucyrus Police Department radio logs.

The shipping logs are important as authorities stated that they first obtained Keith’s name from a nurse who called and that a victim of the shooting identified Keith as the culprit.

However, the logs do not include calls from a nurse. According to court documents, the words “ignore for the time being” were also written on top of a subpoena seeking the minutes at that time.

Marichell Chatman, 24, was killed in the shootings; her 4 year old daughter Marchae; and Chatman’s 39-year-old aunt, Linda Chatman. Three other people, including two children, survived.