JUSTICE FOR MICHAEL GAINES
Michael Gaines is a Chickasaw American Indian, at the age of 18 years old in 2003 who was unlawfully charged and wrongfully convicted of felony murder. Michael was unjustly sentenced to life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) in Lawton, Oklahoma.
During his daily life, Michael experienced cognitive difficulties that interfered with his ability to learn and function well in a school environment. Unfortunately, Michael did not graduate from High School. The Lawton Police Department (LPD), Comanche County District Attorney's Office (DA), and Comanche County District Court (CCDC) all assisted in taking advantage of a young 18-year-old who did not have the full capability to understand the legal justice system.
Prosecutorial misconduct plays a significant role in Michael's case. The DA did not allow Michael to have an adult advocate or a lawyer present during interrogations although Michael is alleged to have mental disability and/or cognitive impairment. This case is an example of CCDC failure to implement policies and practices to ensure induvial with disabilities would receive fair and equal justice under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The case against Michael is one that deserves a second look based on the totality of the circumstance.
1. There was false statements given to the police by the mastermind Diontay Perry and one of the shooters Daniel Moore.
2. Diontay Perry lived in the same apartment complex building as the victim, Chris Kopsky.
3. The victim Chris Kopsky was a local drug dealer, and Diontay was one of his regular customers.
4. It was reported and later proven that the wounded victim, Chris Kopsky, was holding a coffee table that belonged to Diontay as collateral for money he owed him from a previous drug deal.
5. Diontay and his two friends, Daniel Moore and Calvin Barnett, willingly, with malice and forethought, drugged Michael Gaines and Timothy Tabon, they then drove them to Diontay's apartment so they could assist with the confiscation of Diontay's coffee table that was inside of Chris' apartment.
6. Once inside the victims' apartment, Daniel and Timothy pulled out their weapons and shot Chris and his friend Travis.
7. Chris survived his gunshot wounds, however Travis was less fortunate in which he passed away.
8. Several days after the crime, Diontay, Daniel and Timothy were apprehended. At the time, they gave inconsistent statements to the detectives about what happened.
9. At one point during the interview, Daniel (the shooter) Moore was advised that this crime carried a penalty of death and that the DA would be filing a bill of particulars.
10. It was during this interrogation process that Daniel Moore shifted gears and implemented Michael Gaines as a fourth possible suspect and accused him of the unlawful role he himself played that led to the shooting death of Travis and the wounding Chris.
11. Daniel (the shooter) Moore and Diontay (the mastermind) Perry received a 20- year
deal for their premeditated role in this crime.
12. Diontay and Daniel were able to manipulate Lawton, Oklahoma, Justice Department into believing that Michael Gaines was the mastermind behind the problems that was clearly between Diontay (the mastermind) Perry and Chris Kopsky.
After reading the facts of the case I ask that you please ask yourself these questions:
Q1. Is it fair that Lawton, Oklahoma sentenced 18-year old Michael Gaines to life without the possibility of parole while Diontay (27 years old, mastermind) Perry and Daniel (22 year old shooter) Moore was only sentenced to 20 years for their premeditated role in this crime?
Q2. Why were the courts lenient with Diontay Perry and Daniel Moore?
Q3. Why didn't Michael Gaines who didn't have a weapon nor did he have apart in the premeditation of this crime get the same 20 year sentence as Daniel (the shooter) and Diontay (the mastermind) Perry?