Tag Archives: Wrongful conviction

Glenn Fritz

Preface

This is a case of a fabricated identification in Missouri. The man who likely murdered the mother of Glenn Fritz’s son was observed dumping her purse and trash bags in a dumpster. Witnesses were coerced into changing their statements to say that the vehicle they saw was the victims vehicle, and the man they saw was Glenn Fritz.

Introduction

On Friday, April 25th, 2014, Terry Glenn Fritz was found guilty and convicted of 1st degree murder and armed criminal action, in the murder of Kinga Gillibrand, after a week long trial – see here for news report. Kinga was the mother of his son, living at his home, but they were no longer in a relationship.

Probable Cause

The probable cause stated the following points: ( commentary in italics )

  • On June 8, 2010 Rolla Police went  the Budget Apartments at 1805 N. Bishop Rolla, after a resident found Kinga’s purse in the apartment complex dumpster. The Rolla Police made contact with Terry Fritz, advising him of this. The purse contained Kinga’s drivers license and four credit cards.
    Not disputed.
  • On June 15, Bradley Stope, the investigating officer, telephoned Wilford Gann, who said an early 2000 Toyota 4-Runner Black with Illinois plates had pulled into the Budget Apartments, and a white male, with short salt and pepper hair exited the vehicle, threw three black trash bags into the dumpster and left.Gann stated the plate started with “G” had a “B” in the middle and ended with “1”
    This statement was inconsistent with an earlier statement given by Gann on June 8 . See key testimony below.
  • On June 16, Stope interviewed Fritz at his home, and observed Kinga’s vehicle on his driveway.
    The date of the interview is disputed. In fact it was before Stope called Gann on June 15.
  •  On June 17, the vehicle was found to have blood in the back cargo area.
    Lab technician Shena Latcham testified the blood found was not human.
  • On July 1, Stopes obtained a DVD, showing Fritz purchasing a king sized mattress cover and two pillows from Wal-Mart on June 8, 2010 at 09:24.
    This is not disputed.
  • On July 2, police searched Kinga’s home at 39367 Maries County Road, finding spattered blood located on a wall behind the bed, and a pool a large stain of blood. In addition a small hole was found in the mattress and a small calibre slug was photographed and taken as evidence, along with the mattress cover.
    It is disputed that the spatter was blood.

Key testimony

Gann originally stated to Rolla Police officer, Jessie Hoyt, who took his report on June 8th, that he saw a man with hair, driving a black, 4 door passenger car, pull up to the dumpster and throw in the trash bags approximately an hour before calling Rolla Police. That Curtis Mann brought him the purse from the trash bags and he, Gann, then called the police within an hour of seeing the man. Hoyt testified that Gann specifically stated to her that it was a black, passenger car, not a truck or SUV, and that he did not see the license plate number or any of the letters or digits. She asked  for these specific details and questions in case the purse became a reported burglary or robbery. Mr. Gann confirmed this with his own testimony. See page 9 of Hoyt’s deposition taken before trial ( her trial testimony clarified this further).

Q. And what else did those folks say to you if anything?
Hoyt: From what I vaguely recall, he advised he observed a male in a black passenger car dumping the purse. He didn’t give a description. He didn’t have a plate or anything for the vehicle.

Thus it is apparent that Gann’s statement on July 15 was manufactured by feeding him information.

Further points

The probable cause also stated:

  • That Fritz’s mother’s had said that her four year old grandson (W.F.) said while travelling near the Budget apartments that his father Fritz had thrown “big trash” in a dumpster.
    However at trial, Fritz’s mother testified that when W.F. was asked about throwing trash away at a dumpster he answered Fritz had thrown away ceiling tiles at a dumpster at a gas station, not near the Budget Apartments, and not on the day in question.
  • That Wilford Gann and Curtis Mann identified Fritz in a photo lineup, apparently on June 17.
    This was a  6 picture, photo array line-up. The photograph used was a 15 year old photo, when Fritz had hair, was nearly 60 pounds lighter in weight, and did not resemble his appearance on June 8th, 2010. No video recording of the witness identification, or the process was made, contrary to good practice.

Summary

It is apparent that all of the reasons for Fritz to be suspected of murder in the probable cause were refuted at trial, a strong indication of a wrongful conviction.

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