Help Us Free A Wrongfully Convicted Man
Marlin Lewis Confesses to Wass that He Was the Shooter
Laura Wass, Central California Director of the American Indian Movement at the time, assisted Marlin Lewis in securing tribal membership into the Table Mountain Rancheria Tribe from 1998 to 2000.
On the day Lewis was to be accepted into the tribe, Lewis came to Wass's house. Chief's brother, William (who Wass also assisted), called Wass and a telephone exchange between William and Marlin Lewis occurred.
Shortly after the call, Marlin confessed to Wass that he was the one who shot Graybeal, adding that he was sorry that Chief has been paying for his actions.
Ms. Wass confirmed the admission to the Fresno Bee in a 2013 article. Until 2020 when she signed a declaration, none of Chief’s previous legal counsel ever contacted her to confirm the admission.
Read the full declaration below
The Gun Holster
The gun holster in evidence, along with the alleged murder weapon, has the inscriptions of "TL III" and the date "7-25-73."
The Gun Trace Report
The gun trace report, run by Fresno Sheriff’s Office Detective Thomas Lean III, shows that the gun was recovered June 7, 1973 and in the possession of Det. Lean from then through February 10, 1978 (2 days after the murder).
Sole Testifying Witness Brown: Threatened into Lying
In this 1993 declaration by Billy Brown (who was 14 and 20 during the first and second trials), Brown claims that he was threatened with homicide charges if he did not lie on the stand.
According to Brown, DDA James Ardaiz would spend weekends "schooling" him on what to say on the stand. He was also given alcohol as a minor.
Marlin Lewis' Jacket he wore on the night of the shooting.
Lewis' jacket was removed from evidence by Detective Allen Boudreau and never returned.
Expert and former Los Angeles Sheriff Roger Clark wrote in a declaration that, "Detective Boudreau probably took Marlin Lewis’ jacket because he saw the victim’s blood on it and realized that it was exculpatory for Stankewitz.”
Chief Was Not The Shooter
The Post-Mortem (autopsy report) shows that the height of the victim was 160 cm, approximately 5'3”
tall. It also shows that the bullet trajectory is 10 degrees upwards. Chief is 6’1”; Marlin Lewis was 5’3”;
Tina Topping was 5’1”. According to experts, given the height of the victim and the bullet trajectory,
Chief was not the shooter.
Picture, taken June 1978, of Prosecutor James Ardaiz with Billy in the back of the KMart parking lot in Modesto.
The photo of Billy and Ardaiz together in the parking lot compliments Billy's statements in his declaration that Ardaiz would spend weekends with Billy to practice his false testimony.
A number of pictures were taken of other locations
Video was recorded the same day the photo of Ardaiz and Billy in the KMart parking lot was taken.
Mysteriously, the video tape taken the same day was not presented at trial because this specific video "did not work." The videotape is not in evidence.
Missing Tapes Days After the Murder Show Chief's Innocence
From the night of to the days leading after the murder, the interview tapes of all co-defendants and Jesus Meras are missing.
The tapes would show clear evidence that Chief was not the shooter, would demonstrate that Billy Brown was coerced snd made inconsistent statements, and would ultimately reveal that Marlin Lewis was the shooter.
To download a PDF file of all exhibits and available evidence in the case, click below
EXHIBITS VOLUME 1_Claim 1_p 1-110 with cover and TOC (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 2_Claim 1_p 111-189 (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 3_Claim 2_p 190-380 (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 4_Claim 3_p 381-761 (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 5_Claim 4_p 762-997 (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 6_Claim 4_p 998-1337 (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 7_Claim 4_p 1338-1634 (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 8_Claim 5_p 1635-1772 (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 9_Claim 5_p 1773-1861 (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 10_Claim 6_p 1862-2176 (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 11_Claim 6_p 2172-2413 (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 12_Claim 7_p 2414-2554 (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 13_Claim 7_p 2555-2566 (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 14_Claim 8_p 2567-2594 (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 15_Claim 9_p 2595-2782 (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 16_Claim 10_p 2783-2898 (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 17_Claim 11_p 2899-3019 (pdf)Download
EXHIBITS VOLUME 18_Claims 12-18_p 3020-end (pdf)Download