Injustice in Alliance, Ohio – The Wrongful Conviction of David Thorne and Joe Wilkes

what happens when mistakes are made in a murder investigation of all things chief investigative reporter Duane Pohlman has spent three years looking into this local murder case and tonight he begins a very important five on your side investigation going Ted this case is filled with sex secrets and surprises and at the center a very serious question did the system convict the wrong men one word of warning the subject and the pictures tonight are disturbing on April 1st 1999 the murder of a mother of five in her own home stunned the small town of Alliance Ohio but I never expected Fernanda dead the victim 26 year old Devon Lane a beautiful vivacious woman found in a pool of her own blood her throat slashed while her children slept the attack grabbed headlines as police hunted for a killer a day later detectives identified their prime suspect David thorne the father of one of the children the motive child-support thorn was ordered to pay you think he got the right ones yes you still believe that yes I do but David thorn had an alibi he was in class and other records show Thorne was nowhere near the murder scene that night three months after the murder police announced this man Joe Wilkes confessed to killing Yvonne laying that it was a murder-for-hire plot that David thorn had paid Wilkes to do it frankly David is the only link between Joe and Yvonne it didn't take a jury long to convict David Thorne Wilkes pleaded guilty both are now serving life sentences that was seven years ago and for most people here in Alliance the murder has all but faded from memory but for some the crime and the convictions never quite added up for one local woman nagging questions about what really happened here let her on a quest for the truth nothing about this case makes sense nothing about the case they presented make sense su glass was a postal clerk here in Atwater when David Thorne's family came to her and asked for help I'm not a P I I'm not you know I'm not a license to anything I saw stands but Thorne's family knew sue who had a knack for getting to the truth I've been a detective in this case I guess I just uh pushing as he brought little did she know the case would consume her for seven long years I had a step back seven years ago if I had any doubt my life over the next two nights you'll meet the expert who says this case was botched so poor it is it is they almost ate it is literally a textbook example of what not to do as well as the detective who investigated the crime is disturbing that somebody outside the department was on on the scene and the police chief who admits mistakes were made I would say that I could have exercised better judgment plus we tracked down a key eyewitness whose story has never been heard as I was a witness to something that morning from everybody else and you'll see the prison interviews did you murder Yvonne Lee tonight our investigation continues I'll guide you through the most disturbing parts of this case including an allegation of sexual shakedowns plus an expert writes a book with the chapter devoted to what he calls this botched case and you'll get a chance to weigh in yourself online it is a real murder mystery that has many saying the system did indeed convict the wrong men I'll see you back here tonight at 11:00 a cold case is about to get red-hot again tonight chief investigator Duane Pohlman digs up new evidence in the local murder-for-hire trial that grabbed headlines not so long ago Duane Lea spent three years investigating the murder of a mother of five in the case that put two men behind bars for life tonight new evidence and experts who say the case was botched so badly the system did indeed convict the wrong man in the spring of 1999 Yvonne Lane a young mother of five was found in a pool of her own blood Joe Wilkes was convicted of her murder David Thorne was convicted of hiring him you're absolutely convinced these guys are innocent and I'd stake my life on it after investigating this case for seven years sue glass a postal clerk turned amateur investigator says both men are innocent of the crime that landed them life in prison I'm hundred percent convinced no doubt my life Yvonne Lane lived with Linda McLaughlin son Eric Cameron in McLaughlin's home for four years McLaughlin and others say Yvonne Lane had a dark side you know she just she played so dangerously extorting money through sex police new lane had been a prostitute and topless dancer and that she had many sex partners you know she had some history detectives originally identified McLaughlin's son Eric Cameron as the main suspect in the murder but there was a problem he was in jail at the time so how did this trail lead to David thorne almost immediately I mean the very next day I went to the the police station to talk to him police had a theory and a motive David thorne was the father of one of the Von's children and a court had ordered him to pay child support just weeks before Yvonne Lane was killed but the custody arrangement between thorne and Yvonne was described in testimony as agreeable and congenial and I had a decent relationship detectives targeted another young man Jo Wilkes we're gonna have sex with you Vaughn yeah on the night of onlain was killed Wilkes admits he went to Yvonne's home she told me that she was supposed to have some company that uh for me to come back later on she say who the company was no wolf says he went back an hour later entering a bloody mess founder lying on the floor dead blood all over the place what you do stucked over the body you want to see if the kids were all right the door was locked so I knew the kids were in there and I left well who was just 18 years old had trampled through a murder scene what went through your mind nothing I couldn't think scared and confused Wilk says this former detective John leach forced him to confess Wilkes was a friend of David thorns and they told me a general story about how to put David in it detective leach says that never happened it's not a false confession it's not a false confession Wilkes and David thorn were convicted in a murder-for-hire plot I don't care what they say you're guilty until you prove yourself innocent it's a cold case but after eight years this murder filled with sex surprises and intrigue is as hot as ever tonight we take you inside the crime scene to reveal the mistakes and missed clues then and only then can you decide for yourself whether the system convicted the wrong man open this criminal justice textbook and you'll find a chapter on how not to investigate a crime scene this is the actual crime scene it is literally a textbook example of what not to do according to the book's author the investigation of Yvonne Lane's murder was so messed up it's like they didn't even care detectives may have missed the real murderer the best word to describe it is inadequate severely inadequate and until it to the to the point of being a belligerently inadequate in an interview from his home in Alaska bred turvy a nationally known criminal forensics expert picked apart what he calls a botched case homicide scene should be tight as a drum nobody gets in and nobody gets out police and civilians alike trampled through this crime scene this crime she was being treated as a spectacle this is a picture of a foot of a detective taking photos a few shots later the very same footprint he just made appears as evidence even the police chief brought an outsider a woman to the murder scene she is not a sworn officer the chief now admits he made a mistake I would say that I could have exercised better judgment and to make matters worse police covered the body with a blanket taken from the Von's bedroom yeah that would be a level of contamination yes a pretty substantial one potentially yes the murder weapon was a problem two detectives said this knife killed Devon Lane it matched the one missing from her kitchen and had a fingerprint that has yet to be identified but weeks later the same detectives announced this knife purchased by Joe wilt was the real murder weapon we were able to recover the receipt from it from from Kmart where Wilkes had bought it and you know that ties Wilkes to that night that knife had what experts described as protein on it but it had no prints Wolfe says police brought him the knife they never stated nothing ah the devil's the murder weapon on the stand Wilkes said they the police were the ones that stated to me how the murder was committed Wilkes confessed to killing Yvonne on the couch reaching around her cutting her throat but expert Brett turvy says the murder could not have happened that way it is not possible that she received any of these theories that she received on the couch blood patterns turkey says tell the real story The Killers struck while the victim was standing here by the sliding glass doors slice it from behind she begins to spurt blood pumping blood violently out of her out of her neck the killer has supported the victim on the way down then pulled her across the floor and there's Dragan and smear marks in the blood she's being assisted from the sliding glass door to the area between the couch and the television it was a methodical killing the crime scene itself was staged by the offender partly wit Jo Wilkes described why would he describe the murder did he given everything else why would he describe the murder in a way that I don't know maybe just you know the mine does weird things but that's not the only weird thing if wolves killed her our expert says he would have been covered in blood according to turvy these marks clearly show the killer was covered in blood it Wilkes was not where was the blood your clothes that you were worried about on my sue but nowhere else a jacket and pair of pants secured by police had no blood on them at all the offender would have blood all over them was this a botched investigation an expert says yes the system did indeed convict the wrong man I can't think of a rational rational explanation for why they shouldn't get into trouble so do you think these men deserve a new trial go to newsnet and you can vote for yourself not sure well we're not finished yet tomorrow at 6:00 stunning new developments I find a key witness who never testified and a claim that a cop was involved with the victim I'll see you back here on newsChannel 5 at six o'clock and Dwane you've learned that the Ohio public defender's office is already looking into this matter based on what you found not only looking into it they've been here to the station to look at what we've uncovered part of what we'll hear from tomorrow is the evidence that they just themselves have secured to look for a new trial for these two individuals very interesting to see what happened thank you Mark tonight hundreds of people are weighing in on a major five on your side investigation that aired last night at 11:00 by our chief investigator Duane Pohlman doing spent three years investigating a local murder and raised big questions about evidence that sent two men to prison for life now Dwane has new details and a witness who never testified Duane Danita last night at 11 I showed misuse and mistakes tonight I find a man who could blow this case wide open on the morning of April 1st 1999 George Hale was walking down Devine Street when he saw someone seen someone coming out of the house for them a garbage bag that house was this one where if von Lane a mother of five had just been murdered in garbage bag this black trash bag look like it was felled now is like half full Hale says the man carrying that garbage bag did not match the description of Joe wilts who was convicted of killing Lane or David thorne who was convicted of hiring Wilkes to what was he wearing I was wearing a parrot I know he was wearing jeans and flannel shirt or something or no t-shirt was a dark shirt t-shirt or something when Hale was walking back home he saw the same house wrapped in crime-scene tape did you approach any of the detectives out there police officer yes it is and Hale told those detectives what he saw so you told him you saw somebody coming out I seen someone that came out there hello he agreed to look at a photo lineup did you find somebody you recognized um I didn't point out somebody Hale says detectives told him later the picture he pointed out was that of an alliance police officer do you think police were involved George I'm thinking they had something involved in it yet George Hale would never get a chance to tell his story here in court George Hill was not really a reliable witness John leach was a key detective in the case did you know who he identified I know I don't there's a police officer that's that's before the investigation well like I said I do remember it coming down to the point that he was not a reliable witness reliable or not George Hale never testified in the murder trial lawyers defending David thorne say they were never even told about Hale David thorne and Joe Wilkes were convicted in what prosecutors called a murder-for-hire plot I'm going they don't see me what do they come out of sight I'm out of mind I was just a number to them once it was done but is it ever leave the place let alone sue glass a postal clerk turned investigator hasn't given up she's devoted seven years to uncovering the truth in the hope of freeing two men and that's my goal is to get two innocent men out of prison sue glass isn't alone he didn't do this why he did not do this linda mclaughlin says David thorne did not do it and neither did Jo Wilkes mcLaughlin the mother of Avon's boyfriend says if von Lane was using sex to extort money before her death she slept with everybody yes 10 Devon lanes on mother testified an alliance police officer Quentin artists was repeatedly badgering Yvonne Wayne he says Yvonne promised me a back rub if I would burn her license to her McLaughlin says she was at a Vaughn's house when officer artists showed up demanding sex did he say sex yes he did officer artists is no longer a cop but in inmate in Marion serving a sentence for sexual battery and gross sexual imposition after he was convicted in another case involving a child those who have closely examined this case from a forensics expert so my opinion I'm hard-pressed to find a reason why they shouldn't get into trial to an amateur investigators say there is only one answer here the system did convict the wrong man I'd stake my life on it and I probably am Ohio's public defender's office is dealing with this case and based on what I've uncovered we're told and appeal a federal appeal is imminent while police stand by their investigation an overwhelming number of you agree that these two men do indeed deserve a new trial

32 thoughts on “Injustice in Alliance, Ohio – The Wrongful Conviction of David Thorne and Joe Wilkes

  • David Thorne is so innocent it is crazy he has spent 20 years in prison for absolutely nothing. This case is a complete cover up. The person the witness saw coming out of Yvonne's house was a police officer before murder discovered with a bag. This is a complete cover up of one of their own. Maybe those that put these two away will get their karma and these two men get exonerated.

  • 2018 and David Thorne & Joe Wilkes are still stuck in prison, innocent – shameful miscarriage of justice

  • I hope both these guys fry. Its funny how stupid americans are and will believe everything they see on tv

  • They didn’t say was the cop that was harassing her that later went to jail for an other case. Was he the cop that the witness identified?

  • Another corrupt police force… I'd believe criminals over police… No one trusts the police anymore because they know if you want to be a criminal but ain't got the balls to be a real one join the police force…. You can get away with murder because your fellow police force will back you up plant falsify and blatantly lie to get a conviction. At least criminals are honest

  • All interrogations will be filmed and recorded or they are terrorized out of the wo/man…PERIOD!

    Any hidden, lost exonerative evidence automatic 2 decades in a cage felony…..

    No physical evidence backing eyewitnesses, NO conviction…..

    1$ a second payment for every false imprisonment…..

  • My boyfriend lives in this house right now. It’s so scary to know someone was murdered in his house.

  • This is why we need to abolish the death penalty – we simply cannot GUARANTEE that innocent people will NEVER be convicted.

  • I correspond weekly with Joseph. He doesn't talk about this nor have I or will I ever ask. I'm just a friend to him. He's been in pastoral service work. I feel bad for him like his whole life has been taken away. He has a very positive attitude. I really like him.💋

  • Same shit, different country. Youtube; 
    Brendon O'Connell – ''Corruption in the wild wild west''  
    Brendon O’Connell – ''BTV 1 – A Chat With Brendon O'Connell'

  • they had a rceipt for the knife LIE lol these criminals plant evidence and claim people keep receipt for knives LOLOLOL also they said initially the knife found in her apartment did it, these cops are totally evil and need bullets in their satanic heads

  • 50% of their conviction prima facie are false and in fact 90% of their phony charges are bullshit and the illegal criminal injustice system


  • Please share the following link with anyone who may be eligible. I am recruiting men who were charged as adults while minors and falsely convicted. I am specifically interested in talking to men who continue to live with the record – the records have not been expunged, exonerated, or pardoned. Thanks for sharing the link to the screening questions.

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  • They deserve a new trial!!!! But it seems the cop will get away with it if he did that crime just because he's a cop!

  • I hope the post office worker doesn't give up on this case. It looks to me like it is another cover-up and wrong men have been convicted. Happens all the time. They just need a body to sit in a jail/prison to show the case has been "solved." Prosecutors do not care who it is… if this is your son, do not give up!

  • That Leech guy is lying. This story is entirely typical. The police destroy innocent people's lives just to get a conviction. They are Nazi pigs. Leech was also trying to protect the cop who likely killed the woman. Even if it weren't a cop, they KNEW about the Hale testimony and didn't even tell the defense lawyers. That's a smoking gun right there. Leech forced a confession out of the young scared Wilkes. That happens all the time. They feed them the words.

  • How horrific. It was the cop that did it. Not surprised. Police are the most corrupt people on the planet. And the other bastard cop had an answer for everything. All liars. All criminals. Pure evil.

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