James Stone has been a prisoner of the state of Indiana for 29 years and still has another 21 years before he can get out. He was wrongfully convicted of Attempted Murder, Criminal Deviate Conduct, Rape and Conversion and for these charges he was sentenced to 100 years.
Around 5am on August 10, 1985, a young woman was stabbed twice 40 miles West of New Albany, Indiana. She had given James Stone a lift home around 2am. James did not leave with her, as his family knew for certain, however the woman falsely accused James, possibly out of fear of her real attacker.
The police believed the story of the woman, concocted false evidence to support the story, and James was wrongly convicted.
- A tape recording of a detective’s perjured testimony was erased, resulting in an incomplete record of the trial. See Missing testimony.
- The erased perjury was a detective’s claim to have matched James’ tennis shoes to the crime scene. In fact testimony from another detective proved this to be impossible, the shoes were locked in a car boot the whole time.
- An ex-boyfriend of the woman was never questioned by police and his existence was concealed from the jury. The break-up was just a week before the attack.
- The victim gave conflicting accounts of what allegedly occurred, see below.
- The prosecutor was Stan O. Faith, who lied, suppressed evidence and suborned perjury during the first trial of David Camm, freed after 13 years in prison on October 24, 2013.
In more detail
Friday August 9, 1985 James Stone went out drinking and for the night he would be walking because he had previously received a DUI and the as part of his sentence the Judge ordered him not to drive for 6 months. James was obeying the court by not driving and was walking. He had a ride to the first bar with a friend who came in to have a drink and left to pick his girl up from work. James stayed at the bar himself playing pool and drinking. After several hours he left the bar to start walking home.
While walking he decided to take a break and stopped in at a second bar and had more to drink and played a game of pool after which he started walking home again. After considerable distance he stopped in another bar for a break and ran into a friend. The two of them talked and then joined two ladies. James danced with both ladies and the four of them talked and James continued to drink. After noticing that it was getting late he ordered double shots and then announced that he needed to leave because he had to finish walking home because he had to work the next morning. The ladies said they were ready to leave as well and offered James a ride home and he accepted.
Instead of dropping him off at his house the ladies drove to another bar because Donna needed to meet up with her boyfriend. James said he really needed to leave because he was drunk and needed to get to bed to go to work the next morning. At that point Angela borrowed Donna’s car to take him home by herself. After arriving at the house Angela came in and while entering the house the storm door slammed because the shock on the door was broke. The two started making out. They were interrupted by James’s mother who was seeing who came in the house so late. She wanted to make sure it was James because she knew he had to work the next morning.
After she left the room the two continued to make out and clothes came off. They had consensual sex and at some point James passed out inebriated and Angela left. When she left the storm door slammed again and once again James’s mother got up to check on James. She wanted to make sure he was not leaving because his parents were going to drive him to work in the morning. When she entered the room she discovered James passed out and naked on the couch. The couch was in front of a picture window and as she was covering him up she watched as the car left the driveway and got on Blackiston Mill road.
James came to and had to go to the bathroom. On doing so he ran into his younger brother who was getting ready to go to work as a roofer. James lay back down after leaving the bathroom and was later awaked up by his mother to get ready for work. His parents drove him to work and he told him he was going to help move a friend when he left work.
Later that day Saturday August 10, 1985 Patty (James’s sister) who had slept over heard somebody knocking on their parent’s door. It was 2 detectives inquiring to speak with James Stone. When asked what it was concerning the officers said they needed to talk to him. Again she inquired what it was concerning and one of the Detectives said they could not divulge that information. She told them she had no idea where he was and they continued to ask his whereabouts. She said she could not tell them because she did not know because they had woken her up.
Later that day the detectives spoke with James’s parents. They Detectives told his parents a girl James had meet last night was in an accident and they needed to talk to James. They asked his parents James’s whereabouts. His father said he was unsure but if they wanted to stop by in the morning he would let James know the police was coming to talk to him about the girl he had been with the night before.
When James return home his sister had waited for him and said the police came and will be back tomorrow to ask you some questions about a girl who had been in an accident. However James’s sister did not believe the police because they had told her one thing and their parents something else. She urged him to come with her to her place in Kentucky. She wanted to call an attorney on Monday and let the attorney find out what was going on. James thought she was being paranoid and said he had nothing to hide so he stayed at home to meet with the police on Sunday morning.
James said he did see a lady at a night club on Friday, she was with a friend and she offered him a ride home. James father asked if he bought her any drinks because at most they thought maybe the girl was under age. James said he didn’t buy her any drinks because she had some in front of her when he was invited over to her table and later a guy came in and talk to the other girl and bought the two ladies a drink before leaving. James sister had stayed the night because she didn’t trust the Police. They had told her on Saturday that they couldn’t say what it was about and then later told their parents that the girl had been in a car accident and they just wanted to know how much she had to drink in front of James as well as a few other things.
On Sunday August 11, 1985 James got up, made coffee and when the police arrived he let them into the house and offered them some coffee. The police asked James questions for 35 minutes but then they started asking the same questions but had reworded them and that’s when James started to think something was up. They asked James a few more questions and about another 13 minutes later (a total of 48 minutes) James asked if I was under arrest or something and that is when they read James his rights.
They took James down to the police station and questioned for some time. Then later they asked if he was willing to give a recorded statement as to what had happen the night before and indicated that if he cooperated he would be able to go home. James agreed to give the voluntary statement and they questioned him again only this time they recorded what was said.
James parents had gone to the police station to inquire about what was going on. The Detectives had questioned James parents at the Stone house and James mother had said she seen the girl who drove James home and she had gone back to bed. While at the police station the police asked James mother if she would give a voluntary statement about the girl she had seen and indicated to her that if she cooperated she would be able to take their son home. James mother agreed to give a recorded voluntary statement and said she was willing to help so they could all leave and go home.
It was all lies and after James and his mother had cooperated with the police they were informed they were detaining James on suspicion of harming the girl that had been to the Stone residents early in the morning Saturday August 10, 2014 (Friday night). The girl left the house without James (his mother saw the car leave and covered James up) and it was later discovered that 3 to 3½ hours after leaving the Stone’s residents the girl was discovered a great distance away with 2 stab wounds.
There was a plea on the table where James could have been out in 5 years with good behavior or served out in 10 years. He told them he wouldn’t plea for even 1 day for crimes he did not commit. It has been 29 years and James wishes that he wouldn’t have thought his sister was paranoid. All James wants is out. Nobody is sentence to 100 years just because like any normal innocent person would do, he requested a trial. The judge did state that due to lack of remorse his why he was being so harsh. James did say he was very sorry that this happened to the girl but what more could he have said … he didn’t do it!
James has always stipulated that they did met, they did dance, they were drinking, she did drive him home alone, she did come in the house and that they may have had sex but if so it was consensual (he was very drunk, passed out on her and couldn’t remember but was naked). Their stories match (except for how much both of them had to drink) about meeting, dancing, talking, riding to another bar, her driving him home and her coming into the house. They do not differ until they get into James parents’ house and then there are two different stories. The main point being he never left the Stone’s house after he got home. He was even seen three times that night at home and he was awakened the next morning to go to work.
Angela says James talked her into driving him to a friend’s house after they arrived and came into his parents’ house and that he is the one that raped and stabbed her. She also says he drove the car and James says he was only a passenger. All they had to do is fingerprint the driver’s side of the car and see who was telling the truth about that one thing. The police say they did not dust for prints inside of the car because fingerprints are only important on TV shows. Of course this comment was made after it was brought up that James prints did not match the prints recovered on the hood of the car, where she says she was raped.
Her stories were pretty consistent every time she has told them right up to the point the two of them arrive at the Stone home and then the inconsistencies start.
Her first statement to the police on 8-10-1985 she says she was raped once. He made her perform fellatio on him first and then had intercourse over the hood of the car. At that point he told her to get in the car and he drove. At one point he pulled the car over and beat her up, banging her head on a bridge railing. Then they got back in the car and he drove until he got to the final stop, they got out of the car and he let her put her pants back on and then stabbed her.
Later she gives a statement (second) to the doctor that she was raped twice that night. The first time being over the hood of the car with vaginal intercourse first and fellatio second. Afterwards he takes over the car and while driving he makes her perform fellatio on him. He drives until he gets to a bridge and he rapes her under the bridge meaning vaginal intercourse. They then get back in the car and he lets her put her pants back on while he is driving. He drives until he gets to the final stop and he had her get out of the car and he stabbed her.
The third time she tells the story she is giving her second statement to the police on 9-13-1985 and she says she was raped twice. The first time across the car hood on the driver’s side having intercourse and performing fellatio. Then they get back in the car and he drives and after he gets on the interstate he makes her perform fellatio again. He drove until he got to a bridge and he made her go under the bridge and he raped her again but this time he was beating her up and pounding her head on the pavement. They then got back in the car and he let her put her pants back on. He drove until he started to get off the interstate somewhere and then it came to a dead end or something and he turned the car around so he was back on the interstate. He drove until he got to the English exit and he got off the interstate and turned left and drove down that road away and then turned the car around and got back on the interstate going back towards town. He drove for a little while, then he stopped and backed the car up down the interstate to where a bridge was and he pulled off to the side. He had her get out and told her to step over the guardrail and he stabbed her as she was stepping over it and then stabbed her again.
The fourth time she said what happen was on 7-7-1986 during a deposition. He made her take her shirt off and then he took off the rest of her clothes and he raped her across the hood of the car. Then he told her to get in the car and he drove and while driving on the interstate he made her perform fellatio. He kept driving until he got to the bridge over Blue River and then he told her to get out of the car and duck down as cars were going by. Then they had to squeeze through a fence and crawl back on the concrete because the bridge slopes. Then he raped her again meaning intercourse and while he was raping her he yelled at her to spread her legs. Then he put the knife between her legs and yells I’ll open you up or spread you. After he raped her he grapped her head with both hands and started pounding her head into the pavement. Then after that he sodomized her. Then they got back in the car and while he was driving he told her she could put her pants on. Then he seen there was a road that looked like an exit and he took it but it was a dead end so he got back on the interstate. Then he passed up an exit, took the next one and turned left, drove a little and then made a U-turn and got back on the interstate. Then went down the interstate a good ways and all at once he stopped the car and started backing up down the interstate and then pulled to the side of the road. There was kind of a little bridge with side rails and stuff. Then he told her to get out of the car and get over the guardrail. When she stepped over the guardrail he stabbed her. Then he pulled the knife out and was coming at her so she started to take off and he stabbed her again. She says she left the house about 2:00 AM Scottsburg time (slow time) which would have been 3:00 am, and she was wearing a watch, she was discovered on interstate 64 by a Good-Samaritan at 5:15. These times come from her deposition as to what time she left the Stone house and what time the Good-Samaritan says he stopped to help her. He took her to the hospital by loading her in the back of his pickup truck and stated he knows what time it was because he had to work.
The following are flaws in James Stone’s case or case number 22C01-8508-FA-00054.
- The Police came to the house with the full intent to arrest but did not read James his rights until after 48 minutes of talking to him and asking questions and even only then after James asked if he was under arrest.
- Refusal of an exculpatory Polygraph – James requested a lie detector test and even offered to pay for it on more than one occasion.
- There are two alibi witnesses that place James at his home at 3 different times of that night, his Mother seen the car the girl was driving leave the driveway as she looked out the window and covered James up. She also woke him up the next morning for work.
- Improper due process – Arrested August 11, 1985 in Floyd County was held and then transferred to Crawford County but a warrant was not issued until November 15, 1985.
- Perjury – one of the state’s main witnesses (lead officer Indiana State police Detective David Graves) perjured himself several times and this can be found in the incomplete transcript.
- Incomplete transcript – they recorded the trial and there was a stenographer there but the transcript is incomplete. It states in Vol. 3 page 666 that the FIRST PART OF DETECTIVE GRAVES TESTIMONY ON TODAY’S DATE COULD NOT BE TRANSCRIBED AS THE FIRST PART OF THE TAPE IS BLANK AND THEN NOISY AND COULD NOT BE UNDERSTOOD.
- Requested a hearing with the paper preparer to find out why the transcript is incomplete when it was both recorded and there was a stenographer but it was refused.
- Requested to be able to listen to the recording to see if indeed it was inaudible and again it was refused.
- Requested a copy of the Voire Dire but have never received one.
- Requested a copy of the informational packet but have never received one.
- With a complete transcript of the full trial – James should at least be granted a mistrial or have grounds for the court of appeals or reverse and remand.
- Introduction of crime that was not being tried during the trial to prejudice to jury. Detective Graves testified that James had escaped from the Crawford County police station. This is part of the missing testimony in the incomplete transcript.
- Falsification of evidence – if you go through the transcript you can see that Detective Graves perjured himself and falsified evidence. Such as in Volume 5 page 1035 – 1039 Detective Heavrin finally states that his tennis shoes did not match up to any crime scene because they were in his car and had never been taken out for anything since he had collected them from James on the day of his arrest. (We believe they were taken out of the trunk of his car the week of my trial which was over a year later) Detective David Graves testified that he personally matched up the tennis shoes to the crime scene and that they were a perfect match but that is in the missing part of the transcript. The tennis shoes were never tested or matched up to anything and should never have been allowed as evidence. There are several small places in the incomplete transcript that you can see where Detective David Graves lied but you have to look for them. Especially, in the testimony by Indiana State Police Technician Charles Mead, he was the one who was in charge of testing the evidence. All through pages 792 – 813 there are several inconsistencies from what Indiana State Police Technician Charles Mead testified to compare to what Detective David Graves testified but again that is part of the transcript that is missing.
- Chain of custody – Charles Mead’s testified that Detective David Graves put states’ exhibit #1(her jeans and belt) in a temporary locker on August 14, 1985 but Graves received this evidence on August 11, 1985 so the chain of custody of the evidence had been broken by Detective David Grave’s. Grave’s lies about this but again a part of the transcript that is missing. Like I said without a complete transcript it has to be looked for but it can be found through other people’s testimony.
- Subornation of perjury – Prosecutor Stan Faith knew Detective David Graves was not telling the truth but allowed him to perjure himself about matching shoe prints just the same.
- Prosecutorial Misconduct – allows Graves to commit perjury, in vol. 2 pages 483 & 484 during the opening statement lies about what the victim was wearing, during the closing statement lies that a hair matching James in her shoe but her shoes were never recovered or entered into evidence because all she was wearing was a belt and blue jeans, no shoes. This is a deliberate attempt to enter evidence that never existed.
- Sloppy police work, tunnel vision and a rush to judgment (it happened on Saturday August 10, 1985 and they arrest was made on Sunday August 11, 1985). They completely stopped working the case after the arrest. They waited a long time before they questioned witnesses in one case waited over a year (right before the trial) to question a witness. The police also never questioned her ex-boyfriend who she had just broken up with.
- Ineffective counsel – Just about every motion counsel made on James behalf he made useless. He said he didn’t want past criminal record brought up and even objected when the photo lineup was brought up. However, in his Opening Statement Counsel says “He was walking that night, because he doesn’t have a driver’s license. He had been arrested for a DUI and lost his license so he was on foot” This of course opens the door to past criminal record. He made many motions but like this one he undid them himself. It was almost like he was working for the other side.
- Insufficient evidence to take the case to trial. The only evidence consisted of James being picked out of a photo lineup by the victim and her inconsistent statements. No finger prints, palm prints, no blood discovered on James shoes or on his clothes and the knife was never recovered. No hard evidence it was simply she said/he said. No real evidence of rape.
- The sentence is unjustified Page 1730 Article I, section 18 of the Indiana Constitution “The penal code shall be bounded on the principles of reformation, and not of vindictive justice”.
- The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution commands that “cruel and unusual punishments” shall not be “inflicted.” According to the U.S. Supreme Court, there are two kinds of cruel and unusual punishments: “barbaric” punishments and punishments that are disproportionate to the crime committed. The sentence is not proportioned to the crime.
- Shoes were lied about at least twice. The Indiana State Police Detective David Graves perjured himself and said he personally matched James’s shoes up to the crime scene. However Detective Ted Heavrin testified that the shoes could not have been matched up because they never left his custody (trunk of his squad car). The Prosecutor lied about the victim’s shoes and said a hair from James was found in her shoe but when she was found she was not wearing shoes. James shoes were entered as evidence without ever being tested for anything including blood. These may seem like small things but when thrown all together the totality of mistakes are enormous and lead to the wrongful conviction of James Stone.
- There is no real evidence of rape other than the victim stated it occurred several hours after she was at the hospital. A rape exam was conducted and the other mention of trauma to that area was a bruise on the outer pelvis area and this could have very well happened when she was put against the tail gate of the pickup truck before pushing her in the back to transport her to the hospital. There is no mention of trauma to the rectal area in the rape exam. During her deposition she states that during one of the rapes she had forced sodomy.
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