CHICAGO (CBS) — Lawyers are questioning witnesses in court today and tomorrow in their bid to get a new trial for one of the men convicted of the gruesome 1995 slayings of a pregnant woman and her two kids.
Fedell Caffey was convicted of killing Debra Evans and two of her children, and cutting her unborn child from her womb in 1995.
His attorneys are hoping a drug dealer will bolster their assertion that DuPage County prosecutors focused on Caffey, instead of another murder suspect, because that other suspect threatened to talk about a prosecutor’s drug use.
Dwight Pruitt testified against Caffey at his murder trial, and says he told the truth at the trial, but in later depositions, things appear to get fuzzier.
“Truth and falsehood are strangely mixed,” he says.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports
Caffey’s attorneys called Pruitt to say he sold drugs to a DuPage County prosecutor, who they claim did not charge another suspect in the murders, fearing the woman would go public about the drug deal.
Pruitt said, while someone who worked for him has claimed to have sold drugs to the prosecutor, he personally never saw it.
Pruitt also admitted he told people what they wanted to hear in depositions, saying “I told certain people certain things because the money was good.”
Prosecutors in this case say such a scheme was concocted by a now-convicted ex-investigator, who planted the prosecutor’s name with witnesses. They also say there was no agreement to deflect attention away or toward anyone.
Amanda Raskow was among those in court listening to the evidentiary hearing. She was just 9 years old when Samantha Evans was murdered.
Raskow brought her 7-month-old daughter, who’s named (middle name) after her former best friend.
Outside of court Raskow said “Sam’s not here but someone has to be, to fight for her.”
Former prosecutors, including a sitting judge, are expected to testify tomorrow.
According to prosecutors, on Nov. 16, 1995, Caffey and his girlfriend’s cousin, Levern Ward, killed Debra Evans, her 10-year-old daughter, Samantha, and her 7-year-old son, Joshua. Afterward, they cut Evans’ full-term fetus from her womb. The baby, named Elijah, survived and is now a teenager, living downstate with his grandfather.
Immediately following the murders, Caffey’s cousins claimed he wasn’t even there, and that Williams planned and carried out the murders on her own. Caffey’s family said Williams had told him she was pregnant, and needed to produce a baby so he wouldn’t leave, CBS 2 reported in 1995.
That baby was allegedly the one cut from Debra Evans.
Caffey’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison when then-Gov. George Ryan cleared Death Row in 2003.