Crown Heights (2017) - full transcript

When Colin Warner is wrongfully convicted of murder, his best friend Carl King devotes his life to proving Colin's innocence.

One up to three, four,
five, six, seven, eight, nine.

Two up to three, four, five,
six, seven, eight, nine.

One up to three, four, five,
six, seven, eight, nine.

Two up to three, four,
five, six, seven, eight, nine.

Partly cloudy
and 64 degrees today.

- -In other news,

mayor koch vowed to put
more police on the street

as the city's
murder rate soars.

- Last year the city
set a new record. -

a felony every four minutes.


Don't come sneaking in here
in the middle of the night.

Hey, what's going on?
-Just go back to sleep.

Who's that?

None of your business.

Oh, and the TV is in the shop.

Go and pick it up
this afternoon.

I got to go to class.

I got to go.

Don't let my mother
see you leave.

Let's work together,
let's work together. All right.

I'm telling you,
it was a real thing.

I call it bullshit, dread.

It was called
the black star line.

What I going to Africa for?

Me come from the west indies
just like you.

No, man.
That's where we ended up.

But we all came over
on slave ships.

Imagine if all the policemen,

all the politicians

and all the businessmen
were your people.

What are you talking about?

Marcus garvey.

I can't get the man
to go to Harlem,

and he want to go back
to Africa.

Hey! None of you

are gonna be graduating
if you keep fucking up!


Your man still paying for cars?

Yeah. Same as always.

-Just bring anything off the
street to the back. -All right.


That's my car!
Where you going!

I'm gonna kill this fool.

Yo! I'm gonna break your face!

Hey, antoinette.
Let me help you.

Hey, Colin. Thank you.

-I haven't seen you in a while.

How's your mom doing?

She's good. I had to get
this TV fixed for her.

Oh. Well, say hi for me.

Um, right there is fine.

Can I help you with something?

Will you go out with me

Antoinette, is that you?




I'll think about it.

-Colin Warner?
-Nothing funny!

-Watch him. There we go.
-Whoa, what are you doing?

-Get him to the car!
-Come on! -Hey!

-Get off me, man.
-Cuff this guy.

What are you doing?

They always think
they're gonna get away.

Okay. There we go.

Nice and easy.


All the way in.

Look, the best thing
you could possibly do

for yourself right now

is tell me what happened.

This is not gonna go away.

It was in the middle
of the fucking afternoon,

for Christ's sake.

So go ahead.

Why did you shoot Marvin?

-Excuse me?
-Did he owe you money?

Is that why you shot him?

I didn't shoot anybody.

We have an eyewitness who
picked you out of a photo I.D.

I'm sorry, sir,

you guys have made a mistake.

Do you know
what's gonna happen to you

if you don't start cooperating?

This is a statement

acknowledging your involvement

in the shooting
of Marvin Grant.

Everything in here
has been corroborated

by an eyewitness.

You understand what that means?

I'm not signing that.

I ain't no killer.

All right, let's go!

- You real cute!
- Put your hands...

St-stand back!

Let's go. Come on.

Kc, phone for you.

I'll call them back, please.

It's something about Colin.

They said it's urgent.

-What's the prisoner's name?
-Colin Warner.

All right.

Uh, nope.
He's been denied bail.

For how long?

Till he goes to trial, unless
the judge rules otherwise.

-All right, thank you.

I'm sorry, dread.

So, where's my mother?

She had to go to work.

Something with her boss.

You all right, man?

It's fucked up in here.

And no matter what I say,
nobody want to listen to me.

Not even my own mother.

Brethren, the truth
is going to come out.

All right?

Just hang in there
until the trial start.

Them whitey have
killed enough people out there.

Yo, pass that shit!

Y-you're worried about
those shooters in flatbush?

I heard they grabbed some dread

that had nothing to do with it.

Yeah, man,
them cats are harassing them.

Yo! It's me
you're talking about!

Hey! Shut the fuck up in there!

Hey, uh...

Did you hear that guy

that was talking about
those shootings in flatbush?

- Nah.
-What about you?

I heard your wife, she
came in to see you yesterday.

Hey, uh...

Do you know a guy
named Marvin Grant?

He used to live in my building.

The police are saying
i killed him.

They're saying I shot him.

He shot a guy named Spangler

couple days
before he was murdered.

So Spangler cousin
was out for revenge., eight, nine.

Two up to three, four,

- five, six, seven, eight...


This is a collect call

from the department
of corrections.

-Do you accept the charges?
-Yeah, I accept.

-Hello? -Colin:
Kc, listen, there's a guy

named Anthony Gibson
killed Marvin.

There's a guy in here
who knows what happened.

I need you to go down
to the 67th precinct.

Tell them this guy
is willing to talk.

- I got to go.
- -All right. -

-who was that?
-It was Colin.

He found out
about the shooting.

I got to go to the precinct.

--Excuse me.

I-i need to speak
to a detective

about the Marvin Grant

You got to come back tomorrow.

-No one's here right now.
-No, I have information

about a homicide.

It can't wait till tomorrow.

I'm telling you
no one's here now.

...a first place tie.

That's your badge number there?

You want to make the call,

or you want me
to file a complaint?

I have all night
to fill out paperwork.

-Ain't that right, baby?
-Damn straight.

-How you doing?
-What's up, Jimmy?

So, let me get this straight.

You're saying this guy Anthony
was the shooter and not Colin?

That's right.

-So, Colin was the driver?

Colin had nothing
to do with it.

Who told you this?

Some people.

Some people?

They're not going to talk
to the police.

They know the people involved.

--The whole neighborhood

know what happened.

The whole neighborhood know
you grabbed the wrong guy.

Well, unless the whole
neighborhood wants to testify,

you're wasting my time.

Let's go.

Where you going?

To get a piece of cake
from the store.

Get me one, too.

Please don't let it be a cell.

Let's go! On your gate!
On your count!

This is docket 7442.

Your honor, the people
are going to try Colin Warner

and Anthony Gibson together
for the murder of Marvin Grant.

I'm requesting that these cases
be consolidated

under the original indictment.

Request is granted.

Are you the guy
that killed Marvin?

Don't be asking me that.

Ain't no concern of yours.

But they're saying
i did it, man.

You got to tell them
I'm innocent.

I ain't saying
nothing like that.

If they want to say
that I did it,

they're gonna have to prove it.

But they got me in here
for it, man.

I don't know why you're here,

but it ain't got nothing
to do with me.

Come on, let's go!

Five, four, three...

Happy new year!

Crime today is

an American epidemic.

The American people
are reasserting

the belief that
right and wrong do matter

and that retribution must be
swift and sure for those

who decide to make a career

of preying on the innocent.

We move to adjourn for a month.

Where are the attorneys
for the defense?

They're never here, your honor.

What's going on with this case?

We're preparing for trial.

We've been unable
to locate the witness.

You're referring
to Clarence Lewis?

Yes, your honor.

When was the last contact
with Mr. Lewis?

18 months ago.

18 months?

That's correct.

Well, you have two weeks
to be ready for trial,

or I'm giving the defendants
a drastically low bail.

Yes, your honor.

Get the fuck down.
Get the fuck down.

Open the fucking cash register!

Open the fucking register!

- Open...


Bruce regenstreich.

The court appointed me
to represent you at trial.

So they have the, uh,
the eyewitness in custody,

and they want to move quickly
'cause of this judge.

So the first hearing
is gonna be set for next week.

They found our witness?

Yeah. Yeah,
he was, uh, picked up

on a robbery charge last night.

Any idea why
he's implicating you?

Nah. I don't even know him.

And they got
the guy who did it.

-Oh, you mean Anthony?

-And you didn't know him?

I don't know any of these guys.

I'm telling you,
i had nothing to do with this.

All right, look, um...

These guys, they're stuck with
an impossible number of cases,

and they just want convictions.

And they'll throw
whatever they can at you.

But right now they don't have
a lot to work with.

Other than the eyewitness,
there's nothing.

There's no motive, no weapon,

there's no physical evidence.

So this is a case
we can actually win.

You've done
murder cases before?

I used to be a homicide d.A.

That's all I did,
just for the other side.

How old are you, Clarence?

-How old do you want to be

when you get sent back
to Haiti?

You understand what he means?

You're getting deported
when you get out of prison.

You're not going back
to Brooklyn.

Want to start your life over

when you're 18
or when you're 40?

We can make either of those
happen, but you got to pick.

Your honor,
the people call Clarence Lewis

to the stand.

who was driving the car?

-And who else was in the car?

Anthony was
in the passenger seat.

And what happened
when they stopped the car?

Anthony shot him.

You mean Colin?



Are you sure about that?


No further questions.

Uh, presently, Mr. Lewis,

you're being charged with
armed robbery, is that correct?


And did you know
you can receive

up to 25 years in prison
if you're convicted?

-And, Mr. Lewis,

did anybody from
the district attorney's office

advise you that
if you testified in this case,

that you'd receive
only two years?

Were you ever advised of that?


So, by testifying
against Mr. Warner,

you're receiving a dramatically
lower jail sentence.

-Objection, your honor!

Mr. Lewis, when you first
spoke to detective cassel,

did you tell him that
Colin Warner shot Marvin Grant?


But that wasn't true, was it?

-You lied to detective cassel?

-Yes. -And when you
went before the grand jury,

you knew in your mind,

did you not, that Colin Warner
never shot Marvin Grant?

Is that right?


So you lied to the grand jury?

- Yes.

No further questions.

They're willing

to offer you two to five years.

If you take this deal,

they'll drop all the charges
against Colin.

You understand?
You can't possibly get

a lighter sentence
for second-degree murder.

And Colin will walk free
right now.

You want time
to think about it?


have you made a decision?

Your honor, my client
has refused the offer

and maintains his plea
of not guilty before the court.

--I should be
going home right now!

That kid didn't see nothing.

He don't know shit!

If you have the guts
to take a man's life,

have the guts
to pay the penalty for it!

What's your relationship

to the victim?

He was my brother.

And were you close?

Very. Yes.

So it's safe to say you knew

who your brother
was hanging around with?

-Did you know Colin Warner

and Anthony Gibson
before your brother was killed?


Did you ever see them
with your brother Marvin?

Yes, yes,
i had seen them around.

And do you have reason
to believe

they wanted to kill
your brother?

- Yes.

Colin Warner

and Anthony Gibson set out,

on April 10, 1980,
to kill Marvin Grant.

It doesn't matter
who was driving the car.

This was not
a random act of violence,

this was premeditated murder.

The defendants
were out for revenge,

and when they gunned down
Marvin Grant in broad daylight,

people saw them do it.

Has the jury reached a verdict?

Yes, your honor.

The parties will please rise.

And what is your finding?

We find the defendant,
Anthony Gibson,

guilty of murder
in the second degree.

We find the defendant,
Colin Warner,

guilty of murder
in the second degree.

Is this verdict true?

I don't pretend to know.

I don't have the capacity

to actually know.

A life has been taken.

The jury has spoken.

In the case of Anthony Gibson,

the court will give
the maximum juvenile sentence

of nine years to life.

In the case of Colin Warner,

the court will give
the minimum allowable sentence

of 15 years to life.

You are hereby sentenced.



Arms out.

Turn around.


Arms out.

Arms out!

Turn around!


Please don't let it be a cell.

Ah, shit.

Who's down? Who's down?
Need a medic up here. E-block.

E-block. Get a stretcher
up here, please.

You never know

how sacred your freedom is
until it's jeopardized.

It feels like
I wasn't even a person.

You feel unloved.

You want it to stop,

but my life
was not in my hands anymore.

Kc dropped off some money
for your commissary.

I'll make sure
you don't run out.

You okay?

I just thought
they would be fair.

I never thought they would do
this if you didn't do anything.

I don't know you the way
a mother should know her son.

I wanted to know you better,
i really wanted that.

It's not your fault.

It's okay.

Come on, come on, come on.


You and I are friends,

but if something happens,
i can't protect you.


You got to be with the other
west Indians for that.

They eat out in the courts.

You from Brooklyn?

Yeah, from crown heights.

We from brownsville.

You ain't taste anything
like that in a while?


Not since my grandmother
cook it.

She come over with you?

She never flew on a airplane.

She never ride a bike.

She never even wore pants.

But she raised me like her son.

Thank you.

Uh, Colin, I, uh,

I filed the initial appeal.

I just, uh, wanted to let
you know that it went in.

When will they notify us?

it-it could take years.

Let's pick up the pace, guys.

Come on, man, keep it going.
Come on.

Hey, I told you, keep moving.

Come on.

I said fucking go!

Hey, hey, hey!

Hey, I got it,
i got it, I got it.

Stay the fuck off me!

- Calm down!
- You understand me?

I'm not one
of your prisoners, man!

You got to go back
to your cell right now.

Go back to your cell right now.

No, I'm an innocent man!

Mr. Warner,
got to go back to your cell.

-I'm an innocent man!
-If you don't start walking,

he's gonna make your life hell
right now,

and I don't want to see
nothing bad happen.

to be careful with the guards.

They're small-minded.

They'll never cut you no slack,
especially no killer like you.

- I'm not no killer, man.

I'm serious.
I never killed nobody.

You had everyone saying
you did something.

After a while,
you start to question yourself.


-He's a fucking...
-Whoa, whoa! Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Hey! Let go!

Shut the fuck up.

Yeah, try to catch me
in the shower, motherfucker.

-Fucking faggot.

-Yo, what the fuck was that?
-That shit, man,

don't pay it no mind.

Trini maric?n gonna
fucking die.

It's payback time,

Who did that to you?

You don't know?

You got something
you want to say to me?

Look, I can't be associated
with the things you do.

I could get killed for that.

Then go inside and eat.

You ain't have no more friends
in the courts.


--It's a girl.

I wish you could see her, man.

She gonna know her uncle Colin,
all right?

I promise you that.

Congratulations, brethren.

Thanks, man.


What's up, man?

I wanted to tell you this
in person, that, uh...

...the appeal was denied.

They admitted
the evidence was weak.

"Far from overwhelming."
That's the way they put it.

But they still ruled
against us.

Well, there's potentially
other grounds for appeal,

but you should find
an appellate attorney

who does this
on a regular basis.

Sorry to bother you,

-but we're raising money
for Colin's appeal. -Oh.

So anything you
could contribute would help.

Here you are. Good luck.

Thank you so much.

Here, take this.


--When'd you get back?

I just got off active duty
last month.


-This is my daughter, Sasha.
-Nice to meet you.

What are you doing here?

Uh, you remember Colin?

Yeah, of course.

He got arrested
for a murder he didn't do,

and he's been upstate since.

How long has he been in jail?

Going on six years now.

And he's innocent?

They found the guy that did it,
but they still sent Colin away.

You remember antoinette?

It's nice to see you.

Been a long time.

When the police arrested me
that night, that was it,

I haven't been back home since.

My life...

Ended right there.

You know,
my family in Trinidad,

I haven't seen any of them.

Most of these prisoners,

they know deep down
they put themselves here.

But I don't have that comfort.


-Hi, grandma. It's Colin.

Oh, my god, Colin.

I miss you so much.

Yeah, I miss you, too.

I called to, uh,
wish you a happy birthday.

Another year older.

Not sure I feel like
celebrating it.

How is everyone?

Everyone is doing fine.

Your father's been working
at the school,

coaching the teams
and all that.

-He talk about you all the
time. -Come on, you're done.

- Let's go. Time's up. Come on,
let's go. - Hello?

Please, I...
I just need one moment.

-That's a direct order.

Get off the fucking phone,
or you're getting written up.

Are you still there?

Is everything okay?

Yeah, everything is fine,

But... but...

What's that noise?

I got to go.

But, um,
i just want you to know

that I love you and I miss you.

I love you, too.

I'll tell your father
that you called.

Any holdup?
Come on.

Fuck you!

Stand up.

Remove your clothes.

I said,
remove your fucking clothes.

Mr. Warner, we will not
tolerate attacks on the staff.

You're being sentenced to two
years in solitary confinement.


I want you to know that
I believe in your innocence.

It's hard to accept
that I don't have the power

to take you out of there,

that the best thing
I can hope for

is peace of mind.

If you focus on your breathing,

it'll bring you out of your
mind and back into your body.

Just know
that you are not alone.

Come on. Come on.

Okay, let's go. Come on.

Come on.

I will keep
America moving forward,

always forward,

for a better America,

for an endless enduring dream

and a thousand points of light.

This is my mission,

and I will complete it.

I get to realize now

that prison
is more mental than physical.

I have the power
to at least control

certain little things.

I refuse to become
what they label me.

That wasn't part of me.

I tell myself,
go back and fight,

get out.

I need to go
to the law library.

Okay. I'll put you down.


The truth
cannot be hidden forever.

My goal was: Clear my name.

And I know I have to live
to clear my name.

I was looking through

these old photo albums, and...

I found these.

Oh, my god.

Look at this.

Do you remember that day, um,

I fell off my bike?

It was right by Kingston park,
and I was lying there

all banged up, and you saw me,

and you took me by the arm,

and you carried my bike
all the way home.

I always knew
you were a good kid.

I spoke to the lawyer,

but they're
not gonna take the case.

They read over
the brief you wrote,

but they don't think
there's enough for an appeal.

But listen, man,
i got another lawyer

who gonna take a look at it,
all right?


Colin, I know in my heart

there's justice for you.

There is good in this world.

And there are people out here
who love you.

If nothing else,
have faith in us.

And when you walk
out of those prison gates,

I'll be waiting.

Yours, antoinette.

People in Colin's situation

rarely get a competent defense
at trial.

The system doesn't work
for people who can't afford

to defend themselves.

-So what we do is

look for mistakes
that were made at trial

that could invalidate
a conviction.

And what if you don't find
any mistakes?

We already found several
in our preliminary review.

There's more than enough
to work with here.

All right.

Well, I'm gonna need some time
to put the money together.

Here's $2,000
from the church groups.

That just puts us

over $10,000.

We're still five short.

I can float the rest.

Are you sure about that?


Lead story:
Today president Clinton signed

the crime bill into law,
closing the chapter

on his largest
legislative victory to date.

Longer sentences,

three strikes and you're out,

60 new capital punishment

more prisons, more prevention,

a hundred thousand more police.


What's this
$5,000 line of credit?

We didn't take this out?

I had to pull some funds
for the appeal.

How are we gonna afford this?

There's about to be
four of us soon,

and we're already behind
on everything as it is.

I picked up extra hours
at work.

And I'm gonna work weekends
at the other garage.

When were you gonna tell me
about this?

Babe, I didn't want you
to worry.

You have enough to think about.

It's this one right here.

Congratulations, son.

Your honor, uh,
the, uh, first lawyer

made several motions.

I-if you'll just,
uh, bear with me.

Your honor, we-we did find,
uh, two instances

in which the trial lawyer,

appropriately, uh,
called for a mistrial. Um...

Mr. Logan,
would you please proceed?


I think, uh...

I think I might have it.

I'm sorry.

I don't... think we'll get
any traction with this judge.

How do you expect him to listen

when you don't have
the facts of the case down?

This is a man's life
you're dealing with.

We presented the strongest
grounds for appeal.

If you don't agree, feel free
to seek other counsel.

With what money?

I'll let you know
when I receive a formal ruling.


Hey. How'd it go?

They ain't hearing it.

I'm sorry, dread.

We're gonna keep fighting
for you.

Whatever it takes.

I should get going.

Thank you, brethren.

I will be putting before

the legislature measures
to eliminate work release

and abolish parole
for violent felons.

- Violent felons belong in jail.

Let me also note,

I will ask
the legislature to pass

and I will sign and enforce
the death penalty.

Hey, kc!

Let me get a ride downtown.
My car broke down.

-Yeah, sure.
-All right.

All right.

Got to go to the courthouse
by cadman Plaza.

Got a case?

Nah, man. Not for me.

I'm a process server.
I serve legal documents.

You meet a lot of lawyers
doing that?


That's all I meet.

Hi, I'd like to take
the process server exam.

Fill out these forms and bring
'em back when you're done.

Thank you.

You're welcome. Next.

Process server.

-Process server.
-Thank you.

Process server. Fair prices.

You know south Brooklyn well?

I know all of Brooklyn well.

Why don't you come by tomorrow?

-Hey. Come on in.

I'm kc.

Oh, nice to meet you, kc.

I'm Shirley.

Where are you from?

Ireland. How 'bout yourself?


Oh. Fellow islander.

- That's right.

These are going
to Brooklyn superior.

We'll be finding a real office

- once we're a little more up
and running. -

got it. Thanks.

Thank you.

It's over now.

As soon as you go
before that parole board,

you're gonna be a free man.

And I'm gonna take you home.

It's just a matter of time.

Do you take this man

to be your husband, to have and
to hold from this day forward,

for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,

in sickness and in health,
until death do you part?

I do.

By virtue of the authority
vested in me

under the laws
of the state of New York,

I now pronounce you
husband and wife.

It's time.

Morning. You're Colin Warner?

Yes, sir.

You were found guilty
of murder, second degree,

by a jury verdict,
is that right?

Yes, sir.

You've now done 15 years?


Why the shooting, Mr. Warner?

Mr. rafello,
i didn't commit this crime.

I've been wrongfully
incarcerated for 15 years,

and all I want is my freedom...

But-- I'm sorry
to interrupt you--

your criminal record
goes back to 1979.

And in your disciplinary

you've been written up
for assaults

on both inmates and staff,
possession of weapons,

and a host of other charges,
all of which would indicate

that you are, in fact,
a very violent person.

I was arrested
when I was 18 years old.

And being that I was innocent,
it was just very difficult

for me to adjust to...
Prison life.

But I've since addressed
that issue.

I got my ged. I got two years
of community college.

I'm helping guys get
their geds down.

I'm a teacher's aide.

You've addressed a problem
by accumulating

1,284 days
in solitary confinement,

where it was recommended
that you lose

two years of good time.

Sir, I didn't ask to be here.

I didn't even commit a crime
to put me here.

Mr. Warner,

a jury in a court
of competent jurisdiction

says you did,

and that's what we follow.

You want to continue
to fight this issue,

by all means,
get yourself an attorney,

take it to the court
of appeals,

take it
to the U.S. supreme court,

take it to wherever you will.

But until a court
of higher jurisdiction says

that you are innocent,
as far as we're concerned,

you are guilty of murder.

So I need you to be aware that
your protestations of innocence

fall on deaf ears.

Now, can you explain
your violent behavior

while you were in prison?

You don't accept my reasons?

That's quite right.

I don't accept those reasons.

They may be excuses--
damn poor ones, at that--

but they're
certainly not reasons.

And if you don't know
the difference between a reason

and an excuse, then, sir,
i suggest you look it up

in a dictionary.

For this panel
to Grant parole now would

so diminish the gravity
of the crime

as to undermine respect
for the law.

Mr. Warner is denied parole.

- You know, we can
find another way. - No.

-We can. We're gonna...
-They're not gonna let me out.

I won't accept it.

You have to accept it.

You got to stop coming up here.

You asked me to be your wife.

You don't just give up on that.

What do I have to give up on?

They took everything from me!

And they gonna keep me in here
until I say I killed that man.

You know I will die
before I do that!


you have to stop all of this.

You got to stop trying
to get me out.

-You need to just forget
about this. -Listen...

We got to stop it, all right?
I cannot keep stringing

antoinette along
in this either.

Just stop coming up here.

You're never gonna get me out.
All right?

-Do you understand me?!

I said stop! Just stop this!

- Brethren, listen...

I'm gonna do
the next appeal myself.

i know what to do now.

If we keep reaching
for legal technicalities,

we ain't gonna get no rhythm.

There's not a judge in Brooklyn

who's gonna let you out
on murder charges

unless he thinks
you're innocent.

But we have to do
our own investigation

and show them
what really happened.

you didn't kill that man.

We should be able to prove it.

Why you still at this, man?

You got your family,
you got your job,

you got your life.

You know? Why you... why you
keep wasting your time on me?

It's not just about you.

It's bigger than that.

It could be me in here.

Sometimes I feel like it is me.

I need to talk to you.

Come on in.

I have a friend who's in jail
for a murder he didn't commit.

He's been locked up
for more than 15 years now,

and we can't get no justice
for him.

Everything we do
comes up short.

And he's got no fight left
in him.

I'll work for free
if you take a look at his case.

Do you have his court records?



Bring everything you have
next time you come.

I got it all in my car
right now.

Look here.

The witness mentioned Anthony

Anthony actually told people
he was going to kill Marvin.

There's no murder weapon,

no forensics.

The autopsy report
doesn't make any sense.

How could the bullet have
a downward trajectory

if it was a drive-by shooting?

If this is all they had, the
prosecution's work is sloppy

to the point
of being unethical.

I found a release record

for Anthony Gibson.

First time he was up
for parole, they let him out.

The eyewitness,
Clarence Lewis, was deported

back to Haiti after serving
six years for armed robbery.

We have a statement from
the victim's brother, Leon,

who says he was on the scene
moments after the shooting.

Now, the other potential
witness who stands out,

Clayton Benton,
goes by "massup,"

told the police he was there

when Marvin was shot,
but he didn't see anything.


Whatever the truth is,

these kids know it.

Come on.

You gonna be good today?

- Huh? Huh?

All right.

So serious.

Could I have a kiss?

-Bye, baby.

I'll pick you up after school.


I need you to pull
someone's record.

I pulled his criminal record.

Ins, dmv.

It's all in there.

He's got a warrant on a grand
larceny charge in Brooklyn,

and ins has an open
deportation order against him.

He didn't show for any of
his court dates, and he skipped

on his bond.

Hold the door, please.

Where you been all day?



What's wrong with you?

What you talking about?

Your daughter waited outside
for an hour

before the school called me
at work.

You think that's safe?

Our little girl
standing outside

on the street like that?

You can't tell me
you care more about Colin

-than you do your own children.
-You know that ain't true.

Then why you do things
like this?

You know what my mother thinks?

She thinks you killed that guy
and Colin get caught for it.

She can't think
of any other reason

why you would keep this up
for so long.

What you want me to do, Briana?
You want me to leave him?

I can't just pretend
this situation doesn't exist.

Yeah, well,
this situation exists, too.

You better hurry up
and figure that out.

I'm sorry.

Hello. You have reached the law
offices of William s. Robedee.

- Please leave a message

- and we'll return your call.

Uh, hey, this is,
uh, Leon Grant.

Look, I'm not gonna be able
to help you with your case.

Uh... I just wanted to...

Reach out and respond
to your letter.

Leon, don't hang up.

Leon, are you there?


Thank you so much for calling.

Look, look, I'm sorry, but I'm
not gonna be able to help you.

I wouldn't remember anything
anyway, that was so long ago.

Please, just hear me out.

I'm very sorry
about your brother,

and I don't want to drudge
this up for you, but...

They have the wrong guy
in prison.

Colin Warner didn't do it.

If you look
at the autopsy report,

this wasn't a drive-by;
It couldn't have been.

It didn't happen
the way the police said it did.

Clarence Lewis lied,

and an innocent man
is doing a life sentence.

I can't imagine what you and
your family have gone through,

but this doesn't help
your brother.

I was around the corner

from my high school...

...when, um, Clarence Lewis
came up on his bike,

and he said,

"your brother got shot!

Your brother Marvin,
he got shot!"

He said, "i saw what happened."

I thought I was outside
of my body, 'cause...

I couldn't believe that
my brother had got shot.

Police asked me
if I knew anybody

who might want
to kill my brother,

and I said,
"no, but my friend here said

he saw what happened."

From that moment on,

they held on to Clarence Lewis
as a witness.

Were you present
when they interviewed him?

Yeah. They took us
down to the precinct, and...

I sat in the hallway
while they interviewed him.

They showed him mug shots
for hours.

Eventually, he just...

Pointed at somebody's picture.

You mean Colin Warner?


I remember detective cassel

raising his voice at Clarence.

"Did you see him with a gun?!"

Clarence said,
"no, I... I don't see no gun."

And he said...
"What do you mean

"you don't see a gun?!

"If he killed him,
he had to have a gun!

Did you see a gun?!"

Clarence, you could hear his...

Voice quivering.

"I-i-i guess.

"I-i guess, yeah.

Yeah, i-i guess he had a gun."

But I think at that point
he just wanted to go home.

-Were you ever questioned
by detective cassel? -Yeah.

He came by my house
the next day,

and he laid out four photos
on the table,

and he said, "do you know
any of these guys?"

And I said, "no, I don't know
any of these guys."

And then he pushed
Colin Warner's photo

out of the lineup.

"You don't know this guy?

You never seen
this guy before?"

And I said...

"I might have."

You know,
"i might have seen him before."

I... the only reason

I said that was
'cause he was badgering me.

I wanted him to stop, so I told
him what he wanted to hear.

And then he said,

"well, that's the guy
who shot your brother."

And then he...

Took up the photos
and walked out the house.

I need to track
down a Haitian citizen.

His name is Clarence Lewis.

This is his deportation record.

He was sent back to Haiti
in 1988

when he was released from jail.

Are you a relative?

No, but I'm investigating
a case he's involved with.

I'm sorry.

We cannot give that information
out to non-relative

-without authorization.
-This is incredibly important.

Can you please just see
if there's an address for him?

-I'm sorry, I really can't.
-Listen, this man lied

and put my husband in jail
for 20 years,

and I need him to come forward.


He's listed as deceased.

It says he was murdered
in port-au-prince in 1994.

I'm so sorry.

Thank you.

-This is Anthony Gibson.

I got your letter
about Colin Warner.

Could you hang on one second?



It's Anthony.

Do you remember
the events of April 10, 1980?

I remember it
like it was yesterday.

And my cousin had been shot
a few days before.

When you left the house
with a gun,

what were you intending to do?

I had every intention
of killing Marvin.

Or anybody else
who was involved

with killing my cousin.

- Yo, Marvin, wait up.

Yo, Marvin!

I heard Spangler's dead, man.

You know who did it?

Can you show us
how you shot him?

I touched the back
of Marvin's head with the gun.

And that was that.

Was Clarence Lewis present?

No, he was not.

He lied at the trial.

What about his testimony
was a lie?


He wasn't there.

You know, the real witnesses,
they never took the stand.

When was it you first heard
of Colin Warner?

You know,
right after my arrest,

they showed me his picture
at the precinct...

And asked me if I knew him.

And I tell them I never seen
this man before in my life.

I want to talk to you
about the case.

-Anthony show up?
-Yeah, he came in today.

Then that's it, then, right?
You got everything you need.

That's... that's what
i want to talk to you about.

We need a witness
to come forward.

You really need to keep
dragging people into this?

No, it's not that simple.

You see, Anthony's statement
doesn't have any legal merit.

You can't try someone twice
for the same crime.

A judge will just look at it
and say...

He's just trying to get
his friend out of jail.

You got to understand.

We're asking the state to admit
that they were wrong.

If they can find a way out,
they're gonna take it.

Look, this was 20 years ago.

I lost touch with those guys.

I don't know none of them guys
no more.

What about massup?


I haven't seen that guy
since my brother died.

I mean, I saw him
in the street one time.

H-he wouldn't even look at me.

I wouldn't know
where to find him.

He lives in the Bronx.

I know his apartment.

Okay, give me a kiss.

No, no, hoppy stays with me.

I'll pick you up at 3:00, okay?


There he go, right there.

Yo, massup.

Who are you?

You not remember me?


Me Marvin brother.

You not remember Marvin?

Me can't forget Marvin, man.

Marvin me brethren.

Marvin was the first man me walk
with when me come to New York.

He was the first man I see
get killed in front of me.

If you was there,
why you do nothin'?!

what could I have done, huh?

I live amongst them.

And they'd come after me, too.

You got to remember, man,
back then we were young.

We thought we were men,
but we were just kids.

Why you here, man?

That man Colin
is still in jail.

Aw, man...

I got too many problems to be
getting involved with that.

Now, you know he had nothing
to do with it!

Do not come back here!


Hello. You've reached Briana
at the right number

but the wrong time.

Hello. You've reached Briana
at the right number

but the wrong time.

Leave a message.

Nine, eight, seven,

six, five, four,

three, two...

Happy new year, 2001!

I wanted to tell you that

I didn't know your brother,
but there were nights

where I would just stay up
thinking about him.

I don't know what I did
to put me here,


I would pray to him
at night, man...

And hope that he was at peace.

Hello. -Yeah,
I'm sorry to call you so late,

but I found something.

Have you ever come across
a witness named Hassan wilton?

No. Who's that?

I found a transcript
from his grand jury testimony

that says
he was with Clarence Lewis

at the time of the shooting.

-So that means he...
-He saw whatever Clarence saw.

That's right.


I got no records
for Hassan wilton.

-You sure?
-There's nothing there.


I'm trying to track down
someone you might know.


This is a friend
of Colin Warner's.

Whatever you're
gonna do to me, do it.

I'll go with you, but...

I want you to tell Colin
I'm sorry.

Those cops, they used me.

I'm 15 years old.

I didn't have the brains
to analyze shit,

and it fucked me up, now.

Brethren, brethren...

He's not here to hurt you.

We're gonna get him out.

That man's still in jail?

20 years now.

Can you walk me through

what happened
on April 10, 1980?

Yeah. I was, um...

Hanging around
erasmus high school.

I was with Clarence Lewis

and a couple other kids
from the neighborhood.

...six, seven, eight, nine.
Two up to three, four, five...

Were you close enough

to see where the shot
was fired?

No, we were not.

We were around the corner.

Did the police

ever come to talk to you?

Two weeks after the shooting,
they came to my house.

They gave me, uh...

Orange juice and a candy bar.

Then they showed me a photo
of Colin Warner

and said that he was the one
that shot Marvin Grant.

Then they said we had to go
down to the precinct, but...

We never made it
to the precinct.

The next thing I knew,
i was being questioned

in front of a grand jury.

Do you remember
what you testified to

in front of the grand jury?

I said
what they told me to say.

What does that mean, exactly?

It means I said
that Colin was the shooter.

That I saw him do it.

And, you know,
i never seen Colin.

I-i don't know Colin.

And the way they
was questioning me, like...

Like I was the shooter,
like I did something wrong.

They told me what to say.

So that's what I said.

It's all in there, brethren.

There's no way
anyone could look at this

and deny your innocence now.

We finally have
everything we need.

we got to take a picture

for the press real quick.

For who?

I have a media strategy.

Yo, stop looking
like you killed someone.

Hello. New York 1 news.

I have some new information

about a murder case,
and I would like

to speak to a reporter, please.

Thank you.

Uh, let me call you back.

Kings county.

Yes, this is Diane cardwell
from the New York times.

Can you connect me
to the Brooklyn d.A.'S office?

Ten seconds.
Scene center? -Scene center, go.

Four, three, two, one.

Joining us now by phone from
Clinton correctional facility

is Colin Warner.

Now, I understand
you were arrested in 1980.

Once you're convicted,
there's no longer

a presumption of innocence,
if there ever was.

There's a presumption of guilt,

and the state will try to knock
you down until you give up.

--So you have
to have a strong foundation

to stand firm and fight.

I was arrested
when I was 18 years old...

Brooklyn d.A.'S office.

- Yeah, Barry paged me.

Bob, uh, we've got an appeal

I want you to investigate.

Colin Warner?

You got to be kidding me.

He's on New York 1 right now.

I've been
wrongfully incarcerated

for over 21 years now.

My life was taken
from me unjustly,

and we're finally able
to prove it.

Now, I understand
you were denied parole.

They won't let me out
unless I express remorse

for a crime
that I did not commit.

And I'm not willing to do that.

So I remain in prison.

"In the spring of 1980,

"Leon Grant's brother
was murdered in the flatbush

"section of Brooklyn.
Years later,

"Grant now says he helped put
an innocent man in jail.

"Mr. Warner's codefendant,
Anthony Gibson,

"has also come forward
with the startling admission

"that he acted alone.

The Brooklyn d.A.'S office
is reviewing the case."

You had your blood
pressure taken before, right?

-Yeah. Same thing.

Now, you know,
if you lie to me,

your buddy's gonna stay
in prison.

You understand?


Were you with Clarence Lewis
at the time of the shooting?


Did you see the shooting
take place?

No, we were, uh,
several blocks away.

Let me ask this another way.

Is there any way that

Clarence Lewis could have
witnessed the shooting?


We've been called back
to the court tomorrow.

I thought we were set for may.

We were.

The court is in session.

Please rise.

Counsel is present.

Go ahead, Mr. snyder.

Your honor,
based on our findings,

the people join in application
with the defense

to dismiss the indictment
and vacate the conviction

- of Colin Warner.

Thank you.

After 21 years in prison

for a crime he did not commit,

Colin Warner
will now be a free man.

There's some things
we might not be able

to correct in life, but as far
as leaving an innocent man

in jail,
we can't let that stand.

This never
should have happened.

If Colin Warner

had lived in Texas

or Florida or Louisiana,

he would have been executed
long ago.

Congratulations, dread.

Just saw the news.

Peace be, brethren.

Sign here.

I knew it.

I love you so much.

Please don't let it be a cell.

- Daddy, wake up.

I'm not angry at nobody.

Everybody has a burden to bear.

This is my burden.

And, hopefully,
i can become strong from this

and move on with my life.

It has been a long battle,

but I have finally won.

And I would like to tell

all those guys
who are in prison,

who are claiming that they're
innocent not to stop fighting.