On April 15, 1994, two men in Kansas City, Kansas were shot dead in broad daylight. Lamonte McIntyre, an innocent seventeen-year-old, was falsely accused of the crime. Due to multiple, hideous perversions of justice, he would spend the next twenty-three years in prison. Today, he is a successful businessman and co-founder of Miracle of Innocence, a non-profit designed to get other wrongfully convicted people out of prison and provide them the resources necessary to thrive. But no amount of financial prosperity or philanthropy can make up for lost time. In this episode of Open Mike, Lamonte takes us through the events of that fateful day, breaks down the corruption that defined his trial, and explains how, after everything, he remains unbitter about his misfortune.

Show Notes

[01:06] Welcoming Lamonte McIntyre to Open Mike!

[01:49] Introduction to Lamonte and background of the circumstances of his wrongful conviction

[03:06] Before we get into the horrific details of your case, how are you doing today?

[03:59] How are you able to put everything aside and move forward without letting bitterness and anger take you over?

[06:21] Before April 15th, 1994, the day of these double murders, you were seventeen… what was happening in your life at that time?

[07:51] Had you ever been arrested before this happened?

[09:46] You were with your family on that day when the murders occurred. How did you hear about this double murder that you ultimately were wrongfully charged for?

[10:23] These were court-appointed attorneys that tried to help you? Did you have a sense at the time they weren’t looking out for your best interests?

[11:09] Public defenders don’t have enough money, resources, or time to handle the number of cases the state foists on them. Some are good people who are overburdened, others are simply not good people. Lamonte encountered many “despicable” lawyers during his experience.

[12:26] You had a four-day trial which is unbelievably quick. The prosecuting attorney was withholding evidence and was later discovered to be having a romantic affair with the judge… they’re still both working in the system, is that true?

[13:49] Det. Roger Golubski led the investigation that settled on Lamonte as the only suspect.

[14:04] Lamonte’s case is still being litigated.

[14:54] What should people know about how bad the criminal justice and defense systems are?

[16:56] If a person tells their attorney they’re innocent, there’s a chance they are. And the attorney needs to believe their client.

[17:20] 5% of the American prison system 120,000 people, are possibly innocent.

[19:48] People who have been wrongfully incarcerated for periods of find themselves “left behind” as society progresses forward. Lamonte and another wrongfully convicted man named Darryl Burton started an organization called Miracle of Innocence that helps get the innocent out of prison and provides comprehensive resources necessary to flourish in society. They recently helped their first wrongfully convicted person get released.

[21:08] How did Centurion Ministries hear about your case? Were you writing to them? How do we get the attention of an organization like Centurion, or a media source to focus attention on these types of cases?

[23:16] You were the one taking initiative, because you know you were innocent. Did you know in your heart that you were coming home one day?

[26:06] These court of appeals judges are only reading written paper when evaluating these cases… how can you tell who is innocent through thousands of documents each year? Is there an answer to that?

[27:22] What was the demographic make-up of your jury?

[28:43] As a Black person, there’s no way to be judged by a jury of peers when the people who comprise the jury do not have the same understanding and empathy for the Black experience, as especially as it relates to interactions with law enforcement.

[29:28] The one juror writing you letters for 23 years, apologizing for your conviction, was he the sole black juror you mentioned?

[30:27] Inaccurate and fraudulent ID situations lead to more wrongful convictions than anything else — you suffered it, and it sounds like the cops and prosecutor, Terra Morehead, did it on purpose. What was your impression of her?

[33:05] I read in some articles there was exculpatory evidence that they didn’t turn over?

[34:07] Prosecution must turn over evidence that could potentially prove a defendant’s innocence, but they often hide it because that may lead to them losing the case.

[34:33] Somebody identified the real shooter later on. I couldn’t find if he was actually arrested and convicted — do you know anything about that?

[36:11] How did your organization Miracle of Innocence free your first client? What did you provide to him?

[37:20] On average, it costs $300,000 to free an innocent person. As a non-profit, the organization constantly has to fundraise in order to obtain legal services for a wrongfully convicted person. Donate here.

[38:18] There are many different innocence clinics around this country — Lamonte is involved with many of them, including: Centurion Ministries and the Midwest Innocence Project.

[40:08] Despite having seventeen years of his life stolen from him, Lamonte has managed to do well in business with his real estate company, McIntyres Property Group, and his barber shop, Headlines Barber Academy.

[41:24] Upon release, a parolee is granted assistance with healthcare, housing, employment, mental health treatment. However, an exoneree, someone who is imprisoned by mistake, gets no benefits. It’s one of the greatest failures in the justice system. Miracle of Innocence provides the services to these exonerees that the government should provide.

[44:13] One of Lamonte’s friends calls him from prison.

[44:37] Thank you for sharing your story, Lamonte. You can find him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn.

[44:48] Make sure to Google Lamonte McIntyre and his story. His case takes on multiple, hideous twists and turns that he was unable to discuss.

[46:20] Thank you for watching Open Mike— we’ll see you next time.

Watch This episode!

Where to listen to all episodes: