KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A judge began hearing evidence Thursday in the case of a Kansas City, Kan., man who's spent the last 23 years behind bars for a double murder he says he didn't commit.
The unusual hearing for LaMonte McIntyre is taking place at the Wyandotte County Courthouse.
Attorneys for the Midwest Innocence Project say they have spent seven years investigating McIntyre's case.
They are expected to present evidence during the next two weeks to justify their claim that McIntyre, 41, should be exonerated and released from prison.
A court convicted McIntyre of killing Donald Ewing, 34, and Doniel Quinn, 21, in April of 1994. Both men were shot to death as they sat inside a car.
The Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity rallied in support of McIntyre's release Thursday morning, claiming that the case against him is built on false testimony, the product of police coercion.
"Just looking through the documents and things like that, there’s definitely seems like there was some foul play in the investigation that led up to the incarceration of Lamonte McIntyre," said Tarence Maddox, a former Unified Government commissioner. "It’s only right that the community comes out and supports or stands with the family at a time like this, if there’s been injustices that have been dealt through the courts."
During this hearing, witnesses are expected to recant their testimony against McIntyre, claiming that they lied under pressure from KCK police to falsely identify him as the murderer.
Already Thursday morning a relative of the victims' testified that she notified the prosecutor that a witness told her she was lying, but nothing was done about it.
This hearing is expected to raise questions about the actions of a KCK police detective, who's now retired, and the prosecutor of the case.
A retired chief judge from Hays, Kan., is hearing the evidence.