Thursday, February 25, 2010

Help Us Over Turn the Wrongful Conviction of Kerry Baxter Senior

Kerry Baxter Senior was thirty-two years old when he was sentenced to sixty-six years in Prison, in December of 2003. Prior to this incident sometime around 1994, Kerry and several black males were peppered sprayed, by Oakland Police Officers, at Lake Merritt in Oakland California.There was a trial held in which Kerry testified against the Officers and the City paid out a large some to the men involved. Kerry did not receive a settlement although he was pepper sprayed, but this may be why he was the scapegoated in 2001. 

His Wrongful Conviction was for the 2nd Degree Murder of an innocent bystander in Oakland California. Most Americans believe that the Police, Courts, and District Attorney's are here to represent the people. But that is not true especially in the case of people of color. So far the system has allowed the killing of Oscar Grant, with a slap on the wrist to his killer, Johannes Mesherle, Trayvon Martin with the jury finding him Not Guilty, in the case of Michael Brown, and Eric Garner, where no charges were filed. These cases took place all over this country, not just in one City or State. There is a case of James Rivera Junior, who was shot over 40 times by San Joaquin Sheriffs and Stockton Police, when he was 16 years old, in 2011. There is another unsolved case in Oakland, the shooting death of Kerry Baxter Junior, who was killed in January of 2011, when he was 19 years old. The same officer who perjured himself to have Kerry Senior convicted, was overseeing the shooting death of Kerry Baxter Junior. 

Why would the Oakland Police, District Attorney, and Courts allow the wrongful conviction of a taxpaying Citizen? Why would a Newspaper like the Oakland Tribune spew out negative, unchecked information about Kerry Baxter Senior? The star witness against Kerry Senior, was given Blanket Immunity to testify against, him and allowed to perjury himself without fear of prosecution. Why would the DA and Oakland Police give Jones, Blanket Immunity to testify against Kerry Baxter Senior? Why did they hide the fact that Jones was a convicted Felon, and on Probation in Merced County at the time of the incident? Why did the DA and Oakland Police Department not prosecute Jones when he was committing Armed Robbery and Assaults after his Blanket Immunity Deal? Some of the answers are covered in this blog.

Following is my understanding of the events of March 30, 2001:

            On Friday, March 30, 2001, Kerry Baxter Senior was at the Martinique Bar which is located at MacArthur Blvd. (which runs East and West), and Maple Street (which runs North and South), in East Oakland California. The rainy season was about to end and he was headed back to work on the Bay Bridge. Kerry was a Journey Level Carpenter and a member of the Carpenters Union. Kerry enjoyed the older crowd and had a good relationship with the Bar Owner and his wife. As Kerry sat at a table he was approached by Jahmani Jones and several of his friends, including Stevie Day, and White Boy.  Jahmani motioned for Kerry to come outside and the group headed South on Maple Street, across MacArthur Blvd, a main thoroughfare in Oakland.

They were almost to Georgia (which runs East and West), which crosses Maple, before stopping. Jahmani believed that Kerry was, "talking about him" saying that he (Jahmni), shot out the window of his (Kerry's SUV).  That incident took place in November of 2000 and the window was long since repaired. At some point Jahmani pulled out a gun and shot at Kerry, missing him. Then Kerry pulled out a gun and shot at Jahmani, and the bullet hit the young man in his left foot. Both turned and ran, Kerry South on Maple towards Georgia and Jahmani North on Maple towards MacArthur Blvd.

According to witness depositions simultaneous to Jahmani and Kerry's altercation, a Yellow Cadillac drove South on Maple (by the Martinique), and made a left hand turn and four shots were fired in the direction of the Martinique. There are at least two witness statements and others who heard four shots, before seeing Jahmani running East on MacArthur Blvd. The car sped East on MacArthur Blvd., after the shooting. The 911 calls to OPD, gave different accounts of what happened. Yet there were no eyewitnesses to the shooting itself and the closest description was the one given by those who described a drive-by shooting.

The person hit was Anthony Blake a fifty-two year old African American male, who had stepped outside for a cigarette. It is not clear whether he was standing at the door of the bar, or next to the bar when he was hit. However, the Coroner's report states that the bullet hit him in his left clavicle at a downward projectile and nicked his heart.  Kerry and Jahmani were across the street, more than a block away, from where the victim stood. He was outside on the ground by the front door for quite a while before anyone noticed him. 

Jahmani Jones had just turned twenty-one years old in March of 2001, and on probation in Merced County. About 11:20 that night the Police found Jahmani at Highland Hospital being treated for a gunshot wound to the left foot. Jones first testimony to Sgt. Madeira and Sgt. Green was that he and Stevie Day (a friend), were standing outside of the Martinique when they heard five gunshots.  He then fled on foot having been hit in the foot by one of the shots and ran down MacArthur Blvd. He denied that he was a part of the shooting, or that he had ever fired a gun (he was on probation for a Gun offense). A Sergeant Nolan administered a CVSA Test (Lie Detector Test), which showed deception. Early the next morning after taking a GSR Test  and failing the Lie Detector Test, Jones said, "Cash" (Kerry Baxter) did it. It is not clear from the record if Jones was questioned all night (from 11:20 pm - 7:00 am), but the police were present when he stated that, "Cash" did it! There is no mention of Lt. Longmires' report in which Jones was a suspect. There was not a lot of love lost between the African American Officer (eg., Longmire), and the White Officers (eg., Madeira). It appears that at this point Madeira and his team refocused on Kerry Baxter Senior and made the evidence fit their version of events.   

When the focus turned to Kerry a warrant stating he was armed and dangerous was issued. For his part Kerry believed that he would be shot on site by OPD. The Knight Riders had just been all over the news for beating up black men and all of the Officers charged were acquitted. There were some high level Officers involved who were not even charged and they roamed the streets of Oakland. Kerry holed up in a Motel and in desperation thought about taking his own life, rather than being killed by the OPD. However, his mother arranged a peaceful surrender and Kerry turned himself in with the assistance of an attorney, on April 7, 2001.  He was charged with Murder, attempted Murder (of Jahmani Jones), and a ex-felon in possession of a gun.  According to Officer Brian Maderia, the one bullet Kerry shot into Jahmani Jones left foot (which shattered), ricocheted across the street and killed Anthony Blake. The White Sergeant in charge, Brian Madeira has numerous complaints of Civil Rights violation, and almost all are African American. In one case, the city paid out upwards of $73,000.00, to settle an abuse claim.

The criminal charges in the Oakland Rider case arose out of arrests made by three Oakland police officers between June 14 and July 3, 2000, and centered around eight separate incidents during this time frame. The case involved 26 separate felony charges, six separate counts alleging a criminal conspiracy, 40 overt acts alleged in furtherance of the conspiracy, and the introduction of numerous “uncharged” offenses to establish the defendants intent, or alleged similar modus operandi. The charges basically alleged that the officers conspired to falsely arrest and charge suspects during a series of arrests made of suspected drug dealers. The charges alleged that the officers wrote false police reports to support the arrests, and in several instances, engaged in excessive force either during or immediately following the arrests.

The Judge who oversaw the trial was the well connected, Jeffrey Horner, who is currently serving on the Alameda County Superior Court (Oakland). He was Appointed by then Governor George Deukmejian in 1990.  He was previously appointed a judge, in the Oakland Municipal Court, by Gov. George Deukmejian, (in 1986). Previous to that he was a Deputy District Attorney  in Alameda County from 1982-86. He was also a Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County, from 1966-81. He oversaw the Riders Trial, and recently the trial of Ernest Scherer III, a white male, who murdered his parents.  Unlike his black counterparts, Ernest Scherer was given two life sentences, even though he committed premeditated murder.

None of the witnesses who gave depositions were called to testify by the Prosecutor or Defense. Initially Kerry was represented by the same attorney as Jahmani Jones. At least until Jones was given an Immunity Deal to Testify against Kerry.  The Public Defender suggested that he accept a plea deal to serve forty years, which Kerry refused. By then Kerry was fully aware that he was not guilty of Second Degree Murder or the Attempted Murder of Jahmani Jones. Once Jones received an immunity deal no evidence against him could be admitted at trial. Under Blanket Immunity Jones was allowed to terrorize the Oakland Community. He committed Armed Robbery, Assaults, and Battery. He was arrested, taken to Santa Rita (the County Jail), and released each time. At no time did he receive a strike for the crimes he committed while under Blanket Immunity. Even after testifying against Kerry in 2003, he committed crimes and spent time in County Jail. For committing Grave Bodily Harm on his then wife, he received two years in jail (in San Joaquin County). Not one strike, no State Time, just in and out, almost as if he is still under Blanket Immunity.

The trial was nothing short of a lynching, with Kerry's attorney, Richard Hove launching an ineffective defense. Richard Hove was well connected and a friend of Judge Horner, as was his father Judge Hove. At the time he was defending Kerry, Hove was being disbarred by the California Bar Association. This fact was not disclosed to Kerry's family, or Kerry during or after his trial. At least part of the time he was representing Kerry, Hove was suspended by the California Bar Association. The family asked for the money they paid Hove to be returned and were denied. By that time Hove was disbarred (in 2008), and there was no sanction by the courts or California Bar Association.

The All White Jury received instructions from the Judge regarding the testimony of Sergeant Brian Maderia, who gave deceptive testimony. The courts allowed him to show a, "Replica" of the gun Kerry was supposed to have used.  The bullet that hit Jahmani Jones left foot was in fragments as was the bullet that killed Anthony Blake. There were shell casings found in the area where the witnesses said the drive-by shooting occurred.  The expert testimony was from Sergeant Madeira and Jahmani Jones (the star witness). The District Attorney portrayed Kerry as a drug dealer, Gang Member, and all around thug. The courts were not happy that Kerry turned down the forty year plea deal and continued to profess his innocence. It is no surprise that the jury came back with a guilty verdict (but even that took four days). Judge Horner would not allow Kerry's family to present any information about being a loving father or Taxpayer. The Oakland Tribune made claims that he was not employed which were untrue. They refused to run any information contrary to statements the District Attorney made.

Judge Horner sentenced him to sixty-six years to life under California's Three Strikes Law in December of 2003. He was sent first to San Quentin, then to High Desert 350 miles away, then to New Folsom, about 100 miles away, then to Corcoran, about 300 miles away, and now he is at California State Prison in Los Angeles County, in Lancaster California, about 350 miles away. From the time he was arrested, he did not get to touch his oldest son, Kerry Junior.  On January 16, 2011, Kerry Junior was shot and killed in East Oakland. He saw his dad twice since his arrest in 2001, when he was twelve. Both times the visits only lasted one hour, although it took all day to get there (High Desert).  The youngest son, Kmani finally saw and hugged his dad for the first time in twelve years in March of 2013. He went in to prison a healthy man and now has Kidney Disease, which is currently not being treated.

After all was said and done, Officer Madeira’s was given a promotion to Lieutenant of Homicide.  He is now an, “Expert” on Gangs in Oakland, and received funding to participate in a Documentary on Oakland Street Gangs. In Kerry's case, there were no cameras, high priced attorneys, or audience to bear witness. However, there are depositions, and records, which contradict what Madeira and Jones said at trial. My hope is that the citizens will take peaceful action, against this hostile force. I say that because my belief (and I hope to be proven wrong), is that they would love a riot, and a chance to shoot Civilians. They have the support of organizations like, the Tea Party, District Attorney's Office, and the Courts, even when they lie. It is not just about race, it is a mentality, in which they (the Police), are the Good Guys, and any action taken is right. There is Nepotism, even though it is against the Policy's stated by the Federal Government, State of California (where no one is enforcing Citizens Rights), the County of Alameda, or The City of Oakland. The DA and Justice System allow the Police to lie, but will prosecute a citizen for lying to the Police.

Neither Kerry nor Jahmani Jones were responsible for the death of Anthony Blake. The trial itself was a Travesty of Justice and a waste of taxpayers money. Jim Crow is alive in America these days with the imprisonment of African American Males at an all time high. Not because they commit more or even the most heinous of crimes, no it is Institutionalized Racism.  An African American, (and also Hispanic), even one that is employed and productive is more valuable in Prison. After all the Private Prisons need able bodied men to provide cheap labor. The reason Jahmani will not spend a lot of time in jail is he is valuable as an informant. Unless and until he injures or kills a Policemen, he will be roaming the streets.


There are flaws in the U.S. justice system that have resulted in over 1,000 wrongful convictions. The response to this problem has been the creation of innocence projects throughout the country to investigate and litigate claims of wrongful conviction. There are 48 innocence projects located throughout the United States that are affiliated through the. The Innocence Network also includes international organizations in Australia, Canada, and Europe.

             Governor Pete Wilson signed a "Three Strikes, You're Out" bill into law on March 7, 1994, which doubled sentences for those convicted of a second felony offense, and imposed life sentences for those convicted a third time. This law is primarily used to imprison blacks and Hispanics. 

We have a Legal Defense Fund for Kerry Senior - Your Donations are appreciated
Legal Defense Fund - Kerry Baxter Senior 

Big Kerry and Little Kerry

Little Andre, Kerry Junior, and Erin At Grand-mom's

 Kerry Baxter Senior

Police Blotter

Arrest Warrant for Kerry Baxter Senior
Testimony by witnesses stating, "Jones" had a Gun
and was out to get Kerry.
None of this evidence was presented in court.

Arrest Warrant For Jahmani Jones

Coroners report of injury - Coroner description is of bullet entering Neck Above Left Clavicle, and lodging on the Left side of his Heart. That would seem to be a downward projectile, and not a bullet hitting him straight in the heart (as OPD stated). It is more consistent with a witness who stated that Blake was sitting in a car when he was shot,  and not the Police account of him standing in front of the Martinique Bar.

Rickey Lee Statement

Witness Testimony points to more than one shooting that night in the area of MacArthur and Maple Street.  It appears that there were simultaneous shootings which were connected by the Police.

Evidence - Jahmani Jones
Witness Testimony of Drive by Shooting

Left to Right Cousin Ron - Uncle Anthony


  1. I moved from Oakland in 1995 after living there since the late 70's. I could never raise children in a city that the Mayor and the state of California has left to die. What I don't understand is....WHY no one is doing anything to rebuild and clean up Oakland. Oakland Economic Politics at play.'s going to get WORSE before it gets BETTER.

  2. This is so true! The good citizens are leaving Oakland and other Urban areas. Most African Americans left southern states looking for opportunities in Big Cities. I do not live in Oakland, but I have children and grandchildren living there. My daughter and son in law are Middle class working people, but after this, they said they are leaving. I am so very sad about my grandson, and the other young people whose lives were lost. God Help Us All!

  3. Anita you are doing a great job advocating, im gonna help and share this..