CROWN POINT, Indiana — A Gary man whose murder confession was thrown out because a police detective had told him he might not get a fair trial because he is black has been sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to reckless homicide.
The state Supreme Court tossed McLynnerd Bond Jr.'s confession in May, ruling that the detective violated his right to equal access to justice by "intentionally misleading a suspect as to his constitutionally guaranteed rights to a fair trial and an impartial jury" because of his race.
Court documents say the ruling means officers cannot obtain a confession by misleading suspects into believing they won't receive a fair trial because of their race.
Bond, who was sentenced Thursday, pleaded guilty in July to reckless homicide in the fatal shooting of Kadmiel Mahone in 2007. He will receive credit for nearly six years and nine months in prison. The Lake County prosecutor's office dismissed the murder charge Bond was previously facing.
Deputy prosecutor Eric Randall told The Times of Munster (http://bit.ly/VrxybJ ) the agreement was fair considering the court's ruling. Defense attorney Thomas Vanes agreed the plea agreement was fair, and asked that the paragraph about Bond's alleged confession be removed from court records.
Though the confession was tossed out, Bond admitted to being in Mahone's house the day of the homicide and to recklessly firing a gun at Mahone, according to the plea agreement.
Mahone's mother, Janet Allen, told the court Thursday that Bond took her son away from many family members.
"You hurt me," she said while walking from the stand.
Bond apologized to Allen and said he wished she understood the two sides of the story.
Information from: The Times, http://www.thetimesonline.com