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Did Investigators Stack the Deck When Finding Accusers? – Be The Rain

Did Investigators Stack the Deck When Finding Accusers?


08.18.2017 by @WinterwoodGrace


Jannie Ligons was the first in what was to become a long line of accusers for Daniel Holtzclaw. The detectives working this case latched onto her story like a drowning man clutches at a life preserver, and set out to destroy Daniel’s life. And so far, they have managed to do just that. Starting from that first report on June 18, there were a total of 21 accusers claiming sexual assault. Of those 21 accusers, 20 were female and 1 was a male. Of those original 21, 8 were found to be baseless and without merit. That means the detectives determined that those 8 accusers were lying. It begs the question of why those 8 would lie, but Jannie Ligons wouldn’t, doesn’t it? To be fair, the first press coverage occurred on June 23, which would tend to draw out the scammers. However, to believe that no one would attempt to scam prior to news coverage is simplistic thinking. As long as there are people, there will be those looking for a quick way to beat the system and profit at the same time. Why should Jannie Ligons be exempt from that investigatory thought process?

It has been widely reported that there were 3 accusers that came forward on their own. This is not entirely accurate. Jannie Ligons did indeed initially come forward. (Daniel was convicted of 2 counts of sexual assault and given 21 years for Ligons.) Terri Morris had complained in the weeks prior to Ligons complaint, but Morris’ complaint initially gave detectives no reason to think it was Daniel Holtzclaw. Her complaint originally indicated a different car, different description of the officer, and an area where Daniel didn’t patrol. It took several tellings before she was finally spoon fed the “facts” that detectives needed to hear to charge Daniel. Another thing to note is that Terri Morris was a known drug addict with severe mental issues. This information was naturally excluded from any reports by the media. Daniel was found not guilty of any charges in regard to Terri Morris. The third person to come forward voluntarily was Shardayreon Hill on September 19, 2014. This was most definitely after the media had taken this story and ran with it. Hill  accused Daniel of sexually assaulting her in the recovery room of the hospital where she was receiving care for an intentional overdose of PCP. She also claims he came to her home in his personal vehicle on his off day and assaulted her there. Hill may be one of the most controversial accusers because there is the suspicion that not only did she lie, but also that Detective Gregory was aware that she was lying and proceeded anyway. Daniel was found not guilty of the charges associated with Hill as well.

The month of July brought Kala Lyles and Sherry Ellis to the attention of  the detectives in Daniel’s case. Both women claim that Daniel had taken them to the “abandoned schoolyard” where they were assaulted. Kala Lyles’ claim is that her assault occurred on June 18, the same day as Jannie Ligons. Remember Ligons’ claim is that her assault occurred around 2 in the morning. Therefore, if Lyles was to be believed, he assaulted her shortly before assaulting Ligons. Fortunately, the jury did not believe, and Daniel was found not guilty of the charges associated with Lyles. Sherry Ellis claims she was assaulted on May 7 by Daniel, a man she described as a short, black male. Daniel’s GPS  information did not support her account either, yet he was convicted of 4 counts and given 62 years.

The majority of Daniel’s accusers were found in August of 2014. Detectives made contact with 5 accusers in a 3 day span, from August 13 through August 15. Florene Mathis, Carla Johnson, Tabitha Barnes, Carla Raines and Rosetta Grate all accused Daniel of varying degrees of sexual assault. Of these 5 women, 2 women were unsuccessful, and Daniel was found not guilty of charges related to Florene Mathis and Carla Raines. Charges related to the complaint from Carla Johnson netted 16 years, while charges stemming from the complaint filed by Barnes netted 18 years, and charges relating to the complaint by Grate added 20 years.


The final 3 accusers were found in October. The most notable of these is Adaira Gardner, a troubled 17 year old girl that told her mother she had met a “hot cop” and they were going to date. Her mother denied this in court, even though her statement was presented. Her mother also denied filing a complaint against Gardner for battery, even though the complaint was also presented in court. Gardner is the only accuser that has any suggestion of physical evidence to support her claims. Minute amounts of her DNA was located on Daniel’s pants. While more suggestive of secondary transfer or “touch” DNA, it was nevertheless misrepresented by the prosecution in the most derogatory, inflammatory way possible. Daniel received 50 years for charges stemming from her complaint. He received 46 years for charges stemming from the complaint filed by Syrita Bowen, and 30 years for the charges in regards to the complaint filed by Regina Copeland. Totaled together, Daniel Holtzclaw received 263 years. The math is pretty straightforward.

What is perhaps not so obvious, unless you do the math, is that over 60% of Daniel’s accusers were found to be untruthful or not believable. Of the original 21 complaints, he was only tried on 13, and only received convictions from 8. That comes out to 62%.  In the grand scheme of things, 62% is a pretty large margin. What made the other 38% believable? According to jurors, the misrepresented DNA evidence is what convinced them. Let that soak in. DNA evidence intentionally misrepresented by the prosecutor convicted Daniel Holtzclaw. No other evidence, because there was no other evidence.


Added to that is the simple fact that the prosecution overwhelmed the jury with the sheer number of accusers and complaints handled within a single trial. With 13 accusers and 36 charges, they gambled on the law of averages for a conviction. It was a gamble that they won.


We cannot tell you what to believe in this case, or in any other case, for that matter. We ask you to look at the facts for yourself, do the research, read the information available and make an informed decision. Would you be comfortable if it was your husband, brother, or son on trial in Daniel’s place? How confident are you that the complaints, and ultimately the convictions were valid and fair? Do you see reasonable doubt? Ask yourself if there is something more that needs to be done. We are doing our small part to help Daniel Holtzclaw, by bringing you information on his case. We hope you decide to help in the fight to free Daniel Holtzclaw. You have a voice. Make it heard.

Please check back soon for more on the ongoing @WinterwoodGrace #BeTheRain series on the Daniel Holtzclaw case.


  • mm
    Grace Winterwood

    Freelance Journalist

    Journalist at http://betherain.org/ Outspoken conservative hoping for a better life for my children and a new AC system by spring! Contact me at gwinterwood@bethereain.org and @winterwoodgrace on Twitter.

  • Show Comments (2)

  • Patricia Walton

    awesome response! Free Daniel Holtzclaw innocent Officer sentenced to 263 year’s for a crime he didn’t commit.

  • John C Bailiff

    What did the city have in a choice at the time? Be cause of the racial unrest at the time, had this investigation and trial been conducted upon the evidence and witness/victim statements it would have never come to a conviction. Upon that innocent ruling the town would have burned. I believe that this city plotted to get a conviction by any means. They now have conducted secret meetings without the defense. They know they have been had and are still trying to manipulate this mans future.
    Retired Toledo Police Office J C Bailiff.

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