2 Investigators: Was Father Of Three Wrongfully Convicted Of Murder?
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Two families were speaking out Tuesday night, saying a serial killer was allowed to keep killing because of bad work done by police and prosecutors.
They said the alleged killer bought life insurance policies, then shot his victims and collected the cash.
CBS 2’s Dave Savini spoke with the families who are fighting to have a cold case re-opened, and a wrongful conviction overturned.
Micaela Soto was 10 years old when her school-teacher mother Michelle Soto was murdered in 1995. Micaela said she believes the killer was her mother’s boyfriend Marshall Morgan Sr.
“I was just hoping that she would walk through the door,” she said.
Months before Soto’s murder, Morgan Sr. took out a life insurance policy on her. When she was killed, he collected $107,000.
“She knew her life was in danger,” Micaela said.
She said she believes her mother was killed for the money.
Two years before her murder, Marshall Morgan Sr. was struggling financially, and took out a $50,000 life insurance policy on his son, 20-year-old Marshall Morgan Jr. – a basketball star at the Illinois Institute of Technology who, months later, was shot to death inside his car.
Despite similarities in these cases, police never zeroed in on Morgan Sr.
Two years later Michelle Soto was murdered, and her case went unsolved.
“If he did it, it needs to be known that he did it,” Micaela said.
Morgan Jr.’s murder was pinned on another man – Tyrone Hood, who was a complete stranger and father of three.
Hood’s older brother Thomas, his sister Theresa, and his niece Angela Hood Jordan all said police and prosecutors got it wrong. They said police basically framed him.
Hood’s fingerprints reportedly were found on two beer bottles in Morgan Jr.’s car, but defense attorneys said there was other trash from complete strangers in the car, and a fingerprint from another man on a beer can.
Like Hood, those people all had one thing in common: they all lived near Corliss High School, where Morgan Sr. was a janitor.
Attorneys for Hood said the real killer grabbed random trash from the area around Corliss High School, and dumped it in the car where the body was found to throw police off the trail. Hood lived just down the street from the school.
Attorneys Karl Leonard and Jon Loevy have been fighting to get Hood freed, after nearly two decades behind bars.
“We have a client who is pretty clearly innocent,” Leonard said.
They said Hood never confessed, witnesses against him recanted, and detectives involved had a history of bad arrests.
“These particular detectives have been accused for a long, long time,” Loevy said. “They’ve been dogged by allegations of making bad cases.”
“My mom deserved justice,” Micaela said.
“Unfortunately, the justice system has failed not just my family, but a lot of families” said Angela Hood, Tyrone Hood’s niece.
Marshall Morgan Sr. served time in the 1970s for killing a friend over money. He is in prison now for murdering a girlfriend in 2001.
Micaela said she believes her mother and the other murdered girlfriend would be alive today had Morgan Sr. been investigated for his son’s earlier murder.
A Chicago Police Department spokesman said Michelle Soto’s murder investigation remains open, while Marshall Morgan Jr.’s case is closed.
Tyrone Hood’s case is being reviewed by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit. They are back in court next week, and Hood’s lawyers are hoping he will be granted a new trial.
A state’s attorney’s office spokesman said the Hood case is in the final stages of investigation, and they cannot comment further now.