LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - As four men arrested for mob violence downtown get closer to seeing their case headed to a grand jury, more evidence points to the possibility they were not involved at all. Supporters of the so-called "Misidentified Four" are looking for justice.
When you are a mother, you are supposed to fight for your children. That's what Angela Montgomery and Cheri Allen say they are doing for their sons, Craig Dean and Shaquazz Allen, plus their friends Jerron Bush and Tyrone Booker.
"They're missing out on a lot," Cheri Allen said. "It's something they worked hard to achieve."
Since late March, all four men have been sitting in jail, accused of robbing a woman at a bus stop. Booker and Shaquazz Allen also are charged with beating a woman in a wave of waterfront violence. The two were supposed to graduate with the rest of the Waggener High School senior class on June 6.
"They had so much planned for getting out of high school," said Cheri Allen. "Tyrone was supposed to go on to attend JCC once he got out of high school and Shaquazz was recruited to go to the Navy once he finished high school and these were dreams and admirations that were stolen from them."
Before you write these women off as mothers who will stop at nothing to defend their children and are turning a blind eye to their actions, attorney Jan Waddell said you should look at the surveillance video he has. He says it shows Booker at a store in St. Matthews at around 8:31 to 8:33 the night of the violence. The crime downtown he said was in the 8:40 to 8:55 p.m. time frame.
In addition, cell phone records throughout the night track Booker, Allen and Dean's movements and Waddell said his expert says they show the boys were not near the beating or the armed robbery they're accused of.
"His opinion is that the three guys, my clients Booker, Allen and Dean, didn't arrive in the area in which the robbery occurred until about five or six minutes after the robbery occurred," Waddell said.
The video has just convinced a judge to put Booker and Allen on home incarceration with a provision to let them go to school while they await trial. Cheri Allen said the school told her it was too late.
"Their response was it was too late for them to graduate, that they had already been withdrawn and considered dropouts on May 5 of 2014."
Reverend Larry Sykes, who works with CLOUT or Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together, says a degree is important. "Children who don't graduate from high school are three times more likely to end up in prison."
Given the charges, the possibility is real that a conviction could put all four men there, although supporters are hopeful that their case is finished well before that due to lack of evidence.
"They have been traumatized enough and we want all charges to be dropped," said Kathleen Parks, with the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and the National Action Network in Louisville.
Supporters say the only evidence against the four men is eyewitness identifications which are shaky and have been unreliable in other case.
Waddell added that police are now reviewing his cell phone evidence.
A spokesman for the Commonwealths attorney's office said they are gathering as much information as they can before they present the case to a grand jury.
JCPS spokesman Ben Jackey said, in general, if a student is shy of credits needed to graduate, the school system will do whatever it can to help them meet those needs.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the defense fund for the four men can click here for the group's account on gofundme.com or mail checks to:
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