In Thursday’s paper I wrote about Walter Lomax, who was finally cleared of murder charges that kept him in jail for almost 40 years.
Below is the petition for writ of actual innocence filed by Lomax’s lawyers. It’s a remarkable document for the attention to detail of events that happened back in 1967 but a sad one because of all the opportunities missed to prove Lomax’s innocence at trial. Toward the end is a summary of items pointing to the fact Walter Lomax did not kill Robert Brewer at the Giles Food Market on Dec. 2, 1967, including:
— Lomax was physically incapacitated at the time of the shooting because of a fight he got into a few weeks earlier. He could do no more than “hobble around like an old man” and “had no use of his fractured right hand,” so he could not have fired a pistol or eluded a chasing police cruiser
— Lomax spent every night between Nov. 24 and Dec. 12, including the night of the shooting, recovering from his injuries at the home of his sister, who was not called to testify
— Lomax did not have a car or other forms of transportation to make the 20-mile trip from his sister’s home in East Baltimore to Giles in South Baltimore
— Police never found any forensic evidence connecting Lomax to the Giles shooting
— Eight of 13 eyewitnesses, including two clerks “who closely observed and interacted with the perpetrator” prior to the shooting, either were unable to identify Lomax or not asked to do so
You would think Lomax would be angry for spending most of his life behind bars for a crime he did not commit. But at least on Wednesday he was all smiles both inside the courtroom and outside meeting with the media. Asked to describe his emotions throughout his whole ordeal, he faux protested because he wanted to go eat lunch.
All the while, Lomax was wearing a black button on the lapel of his suit jacket. It read simply, “I didn’t do it.”