July 22, 2011

Your Honor,

There is no doubt that the prosecutor, Ms. Leventis, misled the jury during the course of my trial. She was injecting into the proceeding prejudice against me. She is very manipulative, unethical, and unprofessional.

She even willfully induced her witnesses to commit perjury in order to win her case. There is no question or doubt that she committed subornation of perjury.

Particularly egregious was the way she maneuvered law enforcement officers such as Officer Frye, Sgt. Morris, and Inspector Beal into testifying falsely under oath. Thus, not only did the Meharis commit perjury, so too did law enforcement officials. Such prosecutorial misconduct is of great concern because it undermines the credibility of the judiciary itself.

Consider the conflicting testimony of Angesom and Inspector Beal given under oath as examples. Initially Angesom and his family claimed Angesom was at work in the early morning of March 1, 2006 to cover up the fact that he was at Abraham’s house participating in Abraham’s murder. During the preliminary hearing, however, Angesom changed his story and he deliberately lied on the witness stand while he was under oath, saying that he was at a bar in San Francisco at the time of Abraham’s death. He changed his account because he knew investigators would find out that he was not at work. During the trial, he came up with a different story and he deliberatley testified falsely under oath that he was at a club that played hip-hop music, drinking beer and partying there. Furthermore, he testified that he had been to that particular club over 100 times in the past. He said the club was located on California street around the Immigration office. Click here

Your Honor, if Angesom had been to that club as often as he claimed, then he should know where it is located. The truth is, there was no club on California street around the Immigration office on March 1, 2006, and there is no club at all on that location right now.Click here. Thus, it’s obvious that Angesom was not at a nightclub on California street as he stated under oath. So he committed perjury when he deliberately testified falsely under oath that he was at a nightclub on California street at the time of Abraham’s death.

Since the prosecutor knew Angesom lied about being at a non-existent club on California street, she fabricated the story that he was at a strip club called Roaring 20s on Broadway, and she put Inspector Beal on the witness stand to testify under oath that Angesom was there at the time of Abraham’s death.

Your Honor, if Angesom had been at Roaring 20s strip club, he could not have been drinking beer as he testified he had been doing because Roaring 20s did not, and still does not serve alcohol at all. Click here. So his own testimony tells you unequivocally that he was not at Roaring 20s strip club at the time of Abraham’s death. Besides, he testified that he was at a hip-hop nightclub on California street. He did not say that he was at a strip club on Broadway. If he was at a strip club, he would have said that he was at a strip club.Click here. So it’s obvious that the prosecutor and her inspector lied when they claimed Angesom was at Roaring 20s strip club. They lied to cover up Abraham's murder in order to obtain a conviction and advance their career. What they did is a crime because covering up murder is a crime. It is a felony.

The bottom line is, at the time of Abraham’s death Angesom was not at work; he was not at a bar; he was not at a nightclub; he was not at a strip club. Click here. He was at Abraham’s house participating in Abraham’s murder.

Your Honor, Hailu Gtsadek, a professional Amharic translator and expert witness, testified under oath that he heard someone whispering "Gelagliw" to Winta during her audio-recorded 911 call. This is of great concern because Winta told the investigators that she was alone with Abraham and Isaac when she made the 911 call. This is clear evidence that Winta lied to investigators during their investigation of Abraham’s death. The voice whispering "Gelagliw" is one of the twins voice. It’s either Merhawi or Angesom’s voice.

Still of great concern, Your Honor, is the meaning of "Gelagliw" and what it indicates about how events unfolded the night Abraham died. Mr. Gtsadek confirmed that "Gelagliw" means to separate people who are fighting, to relieve someone who is in distress; that is to commit a mercy killing, or to finish someone off. Click here. During the trial, the prosecutor acknowledged that someone whispered "Gelagliw" to Winta during her 911 call. She further conceded that Winta Killed Abraham because he was in distress and suffering.

Your Honor, Abraham was in excellent physical shape up to the day he died. He was strong, vigorous, fit and healthy. Indeed Dr. Rogers who was in charge of Abraham’s autopsy stated that all of Abraham’s vital organs were healthy and did not contribute to his death. And he classified Abraham’s death as undetermined.Click here. Clearly Winta was not performing a mercy killing on a long-suffering husband or comatose spouse. So what the prosecutor conceded Winta did was an act of homicide, not an act of mercy killing. Even if it had been a mercy killing, it would have been homicide because mercy killing or enthanasia is illegal in California. It is murder, pure and simple. This is clear evidence that Winta murdered Abraham with the aid of her brothers.

According to Mr. Gtsadek's testimony the word "Gelagliw" comes from the third person. So it is obvious that at least one of Winta’s brothers was there with her. And I know for sure the voice is either Merhawi or Angesom’s voice. But why did Winta lie to the investigators by saying no one was at her house except Abraham and Isaac when she made 911 call? She lied because she had something to hide. She lied to hide the fact that she and her brothers murdered Abraham.

Your Honor, despite these facts coming to light in your courtroom during trial, neither Angesom nor Merhawi nor Yehferom has been arrested; why? Their own testimony clearly tells you that they had a hand in Abraham’s death. Angesom’s testimony clearly tells you that he was not where he claimed he was at the time of Abraham’s death. Clearly there are numerous holes in the prosecutor’s account about Angesom’s where abouts at the time of Abraham’s death. But why falsify testimony if Angesom has nothing to hide; if he is not guilty of something? Why did the prosecutor choose to cover up Angesom’s perjury? She knew that Angesom committed perjury when he deliberately lied on the witness stand while he was under oath, saying that he was at a club that played hip-hop music on California street at the time of Abraham’s death. She also knew that Angesom committed perjury when he deliberately testified falsely under oath that he was unemployed at the time of Abraham’s death.

Your Honor, as you know, the prosecution's duty to correct perjury by its witnesses is not discharged merely because defense counsel knows, and the jury may figure it out, that the testimony is false. Where the prosecutor knows that her witnesses has lied, she has a constitutional duty to correct the false impression of the facts. Many prosecutors, when this occurs, interrupt their own questioning, and work out in a bench conference with the judge and defense counsel how to inform the jury immediately that the testimony is false. (United States V. LaPage (9 th cir. 2000) 231 F.3d 488, 492.) By contrast, in this case, the prosecutor chose to cover up Angesom’s perjury in order to obtain a conviction and advance her career.

Your Honor, Angesom was not where he claimed he was at the time of Abraham’s death. Instead of informing the jury that Angesom's testimony is false, the prosecutor came up with fabricated story that Angesom was at a strip club at the time of Abraham’s death, and let her inspector testify about it. Your Honor, justice demands that the prosecutor and her inspector be investigated for perpetuating such falsehoods and related criminal misconduct. I am respectfully asking you to do whatever is in your power to see that they are investigated and appropriately punished for the crime they committed. I have already reported all these things to the State Bar Association. It is my understanding that Ms. Leventis is currently under investigation. But more remains to be done if justice is to prevail.

Your Honor, there is no doubt that my conviction rested wholly on perjured testimony. As you know, there is no case where a conviction has been sustained where the key prosecution witness committed perjury relevant to the case.

You may be familiar with the adage that it is better to let 100 guilty people go free than to convict one innocent person. All I know is, the verdict is contrary to the evidence. Let the evidence speak for itself. Evidence, Your Honor, not speculation.

Sincerely,                                                            Asmerom T. Gebreselassie