Sunday, May 24, 2009

Monitoring device shows up mistaken eyewitness evidence

Lucky for the wearer

The electronic monitoring device Andrew Lorenzana wears on his ankle lets authorities know where he is at all times. It also proved that he could not have taken part in a robbery earlier this month. The Lorain County prosecutor dropped robbery, assault and kidnapping charges this week against the 19-year-old Lorain man. He had been arrested after the victim of a May 10 robbery identified him as one of the attackers. But surveillance records showed he was nowhere near the Sheffield Township home.

Lorenzana's attorney, Anthony Rich, said the device is tamper-proof, so it could not have been removed. That would have sent out an alert. The incident should serve as a cautionary tale, he said, against reliance on eyewitness identification. "I think this just proves eyewitness identification isn't as great as people think it is," he said. The woman told police three times that Lorenzana was on the scene, said Rich, "And she was absolutely wrong."

Lorenzana was fitted with the ankle bracelet - which works off the Global Positioning System - when he was released on bond in a murder case. Lorenzana and Avery Taylor, 19, of Lorain, are charged with murder in the Feb. 4 death of Christopher Lundberg. The 35-year-old Lorain man died the day after he was shot by two men during a drug deal in Lorain, police said.

In late February, Lorenzana and Taylor were released from Lorain County Jail after their bonds were lowered from $1 million to $50,000. Both had to wear the GPS devices.

The victim of the May 10 robbery said four or five men banged on her door, claiming to be police officers. She said Taylor pushed her onto a couch, put a pillowcase over her head and put a gun to her head, according to the police report. The robbers took $1,350. She fingered Lorenzana in the crime.

Lorain County Sheriff's Capt. John Reiber said he cannot explain what happened. "I was shocked," he said. "She identified him by name, but I guess it was a case of mistaken identity. "I can't explain what happened. But the GPS showed he was not there."

Police are looking for several other suspects in the robbery.

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

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