48 Hours on ID are investigating a possible miscarriage of justice from Brevard County, Florida, where Charles Flynn was murdered in 1989.
The police arrested, charged, and convicted Crosley Green of the crime, and he has spent the last three decades behind bars; however, there is now compelling evidence that he is an innocent man.
In the early hours of April 4, 1989, the police received a call that 22-year-old Charles “Chip” Flynn had been shot in a secluded orange grove in Brevard County. They were told that before Flynn had been shot, he and his ex-girlfriend, Kim Hallock, had been kidnapped and robbed by a Black man.
Hallock would later explain that she and Flynn had been hanging out in his pick-up truck when Crosley Green appeared armed with a gun and forced them to drive to the orange grove. According to Hallock, she was able to escape just after Green shot Flynn.
Hallock managed to flee the scene and then drove three miles past a hospital, a payphone, and her parent’s home before she reached the home of a friend and eventually dialed 911.
The first two cops on the scene found Flynn still alive; when questioned, he didn’t mention who had attacked him and simply asked to be taken home. Tragically, he died a short time later.
The officers questioned Hallock and were suspicious of her story, which they thought contained numerous discrepancies. They didn’t like her demeanor and began to suspect she was the killer and had just invented the story of a Black man.
However, statements by Hallock and a friend of Flynn’s led the police investigation to focus on Crosley Green. After Hallock picked Green out of a photographic lineup, the police formally arrested him and charged him with murder, robbery, and kidnapping.
During the trial, the prosecution offered Green a plea deal; admit he was the killer and get just 22 years, but he refused and continued to maintain his innocence.
In September 1990, an all-White jury convicted Green of murder, and he was sentenced to death. The death sentence was later commuted to life in prison.
Was Crosley Green a victim of a ‘racial hoax’?
However, today, Green’s attorney, Keith Harrison, says he believes his client was the victim of “a classic case of a racial hoax,” which is where a White criminal simply claims “a Black guy did it.”
The conviction was always controversial, and plenty of doubt was placed on the process on numerous occasions over the years.
One problem concerns the fact, every single one of the state’s witnesses has since recanted their testimony claiming they were coerced and threatened by the state’s prosecutors.
The prosecution also made a big deal about how a dog tracker traced a pair of sneakers left at the crime scene to Green’s house, but the fact the footwear didn’t actually belong to Green has never been adequately addressed.
It’s also been noted that none of the fingerprints found in the truck matched Green. Not one.
In 2018, there was a victory for Green and his attorney Harrison when they learned that the views of the responding officers had been ignored in the original trial. The attorney also discovered that the prosecution had known of the officers’ suspicions surrounding Hallock but had hidden them from Green’s attorneys.
As a result of this discovery, the Middle District Court of Florida ruled in July 2018 that Green’s conviction should be overturned and that he should either face a retrial or be released.
The state has appealed this decision to the US Court of Appeals, which is expected to review the case at some point this year, but Green remains behind bars until that time.
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48 Hours on ID airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.