Crusader Staff Report
For the third time in two months, a Cook County judge has delayed his decision on whether to grant an evidentiary hearing granted to a wrongfully-convicted man who has waited 18 years to tell his story as he languished in jail for 27 years.
Judge Dennis Porter on Tuesday, January 8, held off making a decision on whether to grant 54-year-old Roosevelt Myles a hearing. Porter said he will make a written argument on February 13.
Myles, who is from Chicago, was convicted of first degree murder in 1996 based on the coerced testimony of Octavius Morris. The 15-year-old, who was the state’s main witness, twice signed sworn affidavits saying Chicago Police Detective Anthony Wojcik forced her to say Myles was the killer after the officer repeatedly visited Morris’ house after the shooting on the West Side on November 16, 1992.
Myles, who had several alibis that said he was blocks from the scene of the crime, has always maintained his innocence and has argued that he received ineffective legal representation.
In 2000, an Illinois Appellate Court granted him a hearing based on his accusations, saying that he satisfied the state’s requirements for a hearing.
But he never got the hearing and a string of public defenders has racked up 70 delays under Porter, who did nothing to stop the continuances.
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has tried to dismiss Myles’ motion for an evidentiary hearing, saying his post-conviction claims and Morris’ sworn affidavits have no merit.
At Tuesday’s hearings, Porter said that he has already started on his written decision. For the second time, Porter asked Myles’ attorney and Cook County prosecutors if they object to him examining the distance between Myles’ alibis and the crime scene on Chicago’s West Side before giving his decision to grant Myles an evidentiary hearing.
Porter originally scheduled November 7, 2018 to make his decision. He then pushed it back to December 17, then January 8, before setting the February 13 date.