Malicious Prosecution: Children Fighting an Adult System for Justice

It’s been over 2 1/2 years since Leon County Sheriff’s Detectives were called to a townhouse in NW Tallahassee, Florida regarding a double homicide. On the morning of January 27, 2011 the bodies of pregnant 20-year-old single mother, Laqecia Herring & her 17-year-old brother, Sterling Conner Jr. who was diagnosed as bipolar were found by their mother, 16-year-old brother & their mother’s girlfriend (significant other). Despite the victims’ family members providing Det. with a laundry list of possible suspects (their residence was recently burglarized; both victims was in debited to others of $350 to $400; the male victim recently purchased drugs w/fake money) LCSO Det. chose to ignore those leads and create their own theory. Their theory–focus on a 17-year-old black male child by the name of DeShon Thomas. DeShon was in his freshman year at Tallahassee Community College & working over 35 hours a week part-time at a fast-food restaurant.
DeShon & Laqecia had dated for about 6 to 8 weeks. In late Sept. 2010 (shortly after DeShon’s 17th Bday) DeShon & his mother got into an argument; DeShon moved in w/Laqecia. DeShon & Laqecia had only been dating for 2 weeks. When DeShon’s mother found out that he was living with Laqecia, she drove to Laqecia’s residence to force him to come home. When he wouldn’t come on his own, she called LCSO, a deputy arrived. To DeShon’s mother’s disappointment, the deputy thought the situation was comical. Instead of coming as a mature adult LEO, he came as a high school-boyish LEO. He seemed to think that it was cute for a 17yo boy to be with a 19yo young woman, who was already the mother of a toddler. The deputy told DeShon’s mother that there was nothing that he could do since DeShon was over the age of 16. In less than 6 weeks, DeShon was back home. Like most teenage boys—it didn’t take long for the flame to go out. However, Laqecia told DeShon that she was pregnant & he was the father. (After the murders, DeShon’s mother learned that the residence was not Laqecia’s residence—it was her mother’s residence. Learning this was very disappointing to DeShon’s mother; thinking back she could’ve spoken with Laqecia’s mother and possibly prevented her son from moving in).
We would all love to trust LEO. Sadly, we cannot. DeShon Thomas is now 19-years-old. When LCSO Det. realized that there was just no way they could win a double murder trial against DeShon, they put a 30-year-old male inmate, who had been charged w/bank robbery, in his path & concocted a way to charge DeShon w/solicitation to commit murder. This charge came simultaneous to DeShon’s mother firing his private attorney, Greg Cummings, who seemed to be just too cozy with State Prosecutor, Jack Campbell—who by the way is the son of Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell. The Campbell’s—the father & son duo—are both fully in charge of the investigation & the prosecution of DeShon. DeShon’s mother has been advocating for her son since she voluntarily took him to the LCSO after he came home and told her that he felt like he was under police surveillance (DeShon’s mother would later learn hours after the bodies were found, LCSO Det. obtained a court order to have DeShon’s cell phone GPS tracked via his cell phone carrier—when Det. located him as he was a backseat passenger in a car w/friends, among other things—Det. took photos of his shoes—in the end he was free to go. If Det. had made contact with DeShon’s mother—they could’ve saved taxpayers money, judge’s time, etc.).
The 2nd lead det. Don Odham was fired; $30k paid to criminal defense attorney Greg Cummings who never so much as filed a defense witness list; about 4 court-appointed attorney; 6 days ago a new judge was assigned to DeShon’s case—trial date set for October 14, 2013. All in all, DeShon has been charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of 1st Degree Murder, and solicitation to commit 1st Degree Murder—he has pled not guilty. DeShon is Innocent! In the cultivation of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of 1st Degree Murder—there are no sworn witness statements, there is no physical evidence, no material evidence, and no circumstantial linking him to the crimes. Nothing! The evidence that can exonerate DeShon is being kept under Sealed court order, his cell phone records were immediately Sealed by the State Attorney’s Office. Also, the victims’ autopsy reports have not been made public record—the State Attorney’s Office will not allow the Medical Examiner’s Office to release any information about the victims. DeShon & his mother want to know the victims’ time of death.
The solicitation to commit murder was an inside the jail plan, with Det. saying that DeShon solicited a “Hit man.” DeShon had been in jail for over a year & half when this charge came about. DeShon had no money to pay a hit man—let alone know the whereabouts of the person (witness) to whom Det. say DeShon ordered the hit on. DeShon pled not guilty to the charge. As punishment for his mother firing his private attorney (solicitation so they say), DeShon has been in solitary confinement for nearly 10 months where he is unable to call home and he cannot have visitors. All of DeShon & his mother’s special request for visitation have been ignored.
Although DeShon & Laqecia had ended their relationship, they remained friends. There was no animosity between them. When Laqecia & her brother, Sterling were found murdered, Laqecia & DeShon had been broken up for about 3 months. Laqecia had gotten back with her on again off again boyfriend, who he told Det. that Laqecia told him that he was the father of her unborn baby.
Laqecia’s family members did not name DeShon as a suspect– so why did detectives focus all of their attention on DeShon? DeShon did not have a history of violence—so what is the problem?
This question remains today. Whenever a black male child is involved with law enforcement and the family hollers “Foul”—people on the outside always asks—why? Why—would experienced law enforcement agents lie? Why would they want to falsely accuse a child—set them up?
This question is being asked in Valdosta, GA in the investigation of a 17-year-old black male child by the name of Kendrick Johnson. The community is asking, why would the sheriff’s office and the GBI cover up what happened to Kendrick Johnson? What is the problem?
A question being asked by the community to news media outlets about another 17-year-old black male child by the name of Trayvon Martin is– why are they (the media) using old pictures of Trayvon Martin? Why are they trying to portray Trayvon as a much younger child? Why are they not showing more recent pictures? What is the problem?
The problem is—law enforcement officers LIE and the State Attorney’s Office will support their local LEO. That’s the problem.
In the Kendrick Johnson case, the FBI has come in to investigate. In Trayvon Martin’s case, a special prosecutor (outsider) had to come in to prosecute the case.
In an attempt to promote their lies, State Attorney Willie Meggs and Chief State Attorney Georgia Cappleman ignored FBI and FDLE lab reports. Assistant State Attorney Eric Trombley input his lies to have DeShon charged as an adult in the cultivation of marijuana charges. LCSO continue to LIE. On the Leon County Sheriff’s Office website, they have DeShon Thomas’ mug shot from when he was 17-years-old; they have his age listed as 20 years-old. DeShon is 19-years-old. DeShon has since cut his hair and goatee—in which he now actually looks younger than 19-years-old. However, Sheriff Larry Campbell & his son, State Prosecutor Jack Campbell are desperate. Deception seems to be in their blood.
DeShon & his mother continue to pray for fair and equal justice.