I was born in 1955, in Watts, CA. I am the youngest of six children, three older brothers and two older sisters. Growing up in Watts, I had many wonderful experiences, but the Watts rebellion quickly helped me to realize that life in the ghetto can be a very dangerous thing. After the Watts rebellion in 1965, my family moved to Compton, CA, it was still the ghetto, but the Hub city had yet to experience the intense racial confrontations that had erupted in Watts.
My two brothers James and Jody had a significant impact on my life. James the eldest took me to concerts at Markhem Jr. High school, where he played the French horn in the schools band. He also took me to student body meetings at Jordan High School. Those meetings allowed me to see the voices of young Blacks in action, addressing political issues and getting results from their demands. Jody always took me to jobs and work assignments he found around the community. Working to earn money set a good example for me.
In 1968, our family moved to 154th Street in Compton where I met my future wife, Nanette Porter and her family. Her brother was one of my best friends and our families knew each other well.
The late 60's were still boiling with the Civil Rights Movement. The activities of the Black Panthers captured my young mind and I would frequent the Black Panther Center in my neighborhood on 152nd St. and other centers I found around the city of Compton. I was impressed by what I was seeing and learning from the Panthers. The unity among Black people in the community and the efforts toward collective goals instilled in me a genuine love and appreciation for my people. I wanted to be involved at an early age in the struggle for justice, equality and freedom, but I was always told I was too young. I admired the Black Panthers for the help and assistance they gave our community. I helped with the distributio of bags of free food as a part of the Survival Program at Laurel Street Elementary School across the street from our home. Being a part of the Survivial Program exemplified for me how we can help and assist each other by working together.
In the summer of 1970, I worked for Long Beach Naval Ship yard as a ship fitter. It was part of a neighborhood youth program reacing out to yound kids to help get them involved and trained at an early age. At the end of the summer I was offered an apprenticeship training but I had already decided to follow in the footsteps of Jody who had gone to Job Corps in 1068. He told me how beneficial it would be for me. In October 1971, I left school and went to Job Corps. I was told I could get job training and earn wages at the same time. I was sent to Moses Lake in the state of Washington. After 6 months the training and wages were not sufficient for me. I returned and went back to Compton High School. My brother James was attending South West College. He'd often take me to Black Student Union meetings or the Mind Benders Club meetings where men and women discussed or debated political and social matters relating to African Americans during those times. I didn't finish high school, instead I dropped out and sought work at different jobs trying to earn money to take care of myself. I had no real viable skills but it wasn't difficult to find work if you showed a desire to work hard. That was something Jody instilled in me, if you work hard, you'll get paid. At this time I lived with my oldest sister and her two children.
In the summer of 1973, I got a job with the Pioneer Paper Division, a recycling company. I live with Nanette and her sister Gloria for a few months because their house was closer to the job than walking from my sister's house. On February 13, 1974, I called in sick because I didn't want to make the long walk to work and back from my sister's house. Later that morning, I went around the corner to had out with a few brothers. They were lifting weights, drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. I joined in and throughout the day we'd made 3 or 4 trips to the liquor store. In the evening we went to the liquor store again to purchase more beer and wine and I was asked to hold a gun while the others went into the store. Instead, I followed them into the store to talk with a friend who worked in the store. On the way out the door I physically bumped into Victor Ibarra, we exchanged angry words, what was said I do not recall, which makes my following actions more egregious because I shot and killed him behind an utterance of which I can't even recall! It was senseless and I make no excuses for such a wanton and brutal act. Later that evening I was arrested and 18 months later I was sentenced to 7 years to life Inprisonment for first degree murder. I was 19 years old.
Nanette, still a true friend would visit me at the county jail. We fell in love and were married April 4, 1977 while I was doing time at Soledad Prison.
In January 1984, at Folsom Prison, after my thrid parole appearance I was give a 4 year tentative release date. The release date was tentative because the parole board wanted me to get a more extensive psychiatric evaluation before the parole date was finalized. I was assigned to the Category X program at CMC prison, it was an 11 month program and once completed the parole board would review the result to determine if I was suitable for parole. While waiting for transfer to CMC prison, March 24, 1984, I was wrongfully charged and later convicted for the murder of Edward Brooks. The murder charge was special circumstances because of my prior murder conviction, but the jurors did not give me the death penalty, instead I was sentenced to Life without the possibility of parole in 1988.
I am completely innocent of the murder of Edward Brooks. I have maintained my innocence and with the help of my wife, family and friends who believe in my innocence together we have uncovered extraordinary facts and proof that not only was I framed by Folsom prison guards, but the murder of Edward Brooks was simply a continuation of conspiracies for revenge, sanctioned set-ups and cover ups by corrupt prison guards and inmates seeking positions of power to carry out their own criminal agendas.
The day the murder tood place, Sgt. Jimmy Walker to me, he and four other guards were watching me play basketball through the first tier window when the warning shot was
fired to stop the attack on Brooks. All five guards lied at my trial. The day after Brooks' murder, Rickey Bonville confessed to stabbing Brooks to death. Eleven eyewitnesses
testified t seeing Warren Jordan stabbing Brooks with Rickey Bonville. At trial Warren Jordan confessed that he stabbed
The sole witnes against me was Dennis Stafford, a Folsom prison guard who told 5 differnt versions of what happened and once told the investigating employee that I was playing basketball when Brooks was being attacked.
In a 2006, declaration Bonville reveals the murder of Brooks was sanctioned by Sgt. Walker as repayment for the stabbing of Hugo Pinell, two months prior to the Brooks murder. Pinell was public enemy #1 in the prison world after his involvement with George Jackson in the 1971 bloody take over of San Quentin's Adjustment Center which left 3 guards dead , 3 white prisoners dead and George Jackson also died.
We have compiled enormous evidence and proof of my innocence, but to no avail. We are currently preparing a petition to the district court seeking review. You can check out many of the facts and proofs on this website.
We are seeking your help in rectifying the grave tragedy and miscarriage of justice. Join in and help our cause. I am 25 years past my release date. Our society believes in second chances, I was given my second chance only to have it taken away by criminally corrupt prison guards. Please help us expose this injustice and gain our freedom.