Aurora sued over false conviction

Man found guilty of slaying in 2002 and freed last year

By: Clifford Ward, Chicago Tribune: March 7th, 2013

A man freed after spending more than a decade wrongly imprisoned for murder has sued Aurora, alleging police manipulated evidence that resulted in his conviction.

The federal civil suit was filed Tuesday in Chicago on behalf of Jonathan Grayson of Aurora, who was formerly known as Jonathan Moore.

It names Aurora, along with eight police detectives involved in the investigation of the gang slaying for which Grayson was imprisoned.

Grayson was released from prison last March after police and Kane County prosecutors learned of new evidence that suggested Grayson was wrongly convicted. Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon had the murder charge vacated, freeing Grayson.

The suit alleges serious flaws in the initial investigation.

“Mr. Grayson’s wrongful conviction rested solely on fabricated evidence and false testimony that the defendants secured through manipulation and coercion,” according to the suit.

Aurora officials declined to comment Wednesday.

Grayson was convicted in 2002 of killing Shawn Miller of Montgomery, who was shot to death outside an Aurora laundromat on Aug. 24, 2000.

Police arrested Grayson, then known as Moore, within 48 hours, based partly on eyewitness reports. Grayson admitted being at the scene, though he denied the shooting, according to police.

In April 2011, an informant told Aurora police he was at the scene and that Grayson was not the gunman. That led police to reopen the case.

Grayson, 31, is currently facing criminal charges in Kane County, where he was charged last month with two counts of felony aggravated battery.

According to court records, he is free on $500 cash bond.

There has not been an arrest in Miller’s slaying.

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