On August 25, 2014, Kareem was tried yet again. With no new evidence, Kareem and his family endured the entire process a second time. This time, all jurors unanimously declared him an innocent man! Finally free to tell the entire story, we will work to update the site to share Kareem's experience and the long road to victory.
Jury selection in Kareem's case began on the 27th of August (taking four days). On September 4, the trial to free Kareem Lane began. After two weeks of testimony and several days of jury deliberation, a unanimous decision could not be reached. However it's worth noting that 10 jurors out of 12 believed in Kareem's innocence. The judge declared a mistrial and finally Kareem received a fair bond of $30,000. Family and friends pulled together to bring Kareem home, freeing him on September 20th. Although he still faces uncertainty due to the District Attorney hesitating to drop the charges, Kareem is finally home, working to reclaim his life.
Kareem Lane was arrested in Alabama on May 3, 2010, and later extradited to Columbus, Georgia. Kareem was in jail in Columbus, Georgia for 2 YEARS and 4 months before his case went to trial. The Columbus "justice" system took its time throughout the years, even waiting to indict 1 day shy of the 1 year anniversary of his arrest. It took 2 years before a date was even set. All of Kareem's supporters anxiously awaited their chance to stand by his side as he fought this complete injustice. Kareem's supports will continue to work and bring attention to Kareem’s case.
In 1992, Kareem was seventeen years old when he was stopped by Columbus police officers that contended that Kareem’s vehicle fit the description of a truck that was seen leaving the scene of a crime that had recently taken place. Kareem was subsequently taken to the local police station where he was questioned for hours without an attorney or his parents, who were not notified of the detention until Kareem returned home. Kareem cooperated with police and was ultimately released. No charges were filed.
In 1995, while Kareem was stationed at Camp LeJune, North Carolina as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps, detectives from the Columbus Police Department again visited Kareem and questioned him in regards to the 1992 burglary and murder. Similarly to his previous encounters with the Columbus Police Department, Kareem cooperated by answering their questions. Kareem did, however, decline to take a polygraph test, a test which also is not admissible in court, because the detectives did not have a warrant or subpoena. Once again, no charges were filed.
Thirteen year later, in 2008, detectives from the Columbus Police Department again sought Kareem out for questioning. This time, the officers came to Kareem’s home that he shared with is wife in Pell City, Alabama, where they issued a warrant for a DNA sample. Again, he cooperated with their requests and supplied the detectives with a saliva sample. Two years later, the Columbus Police Department asserts that it received a phone call from technicians at the for-profit agency stating that there was a possible match to the DNA sample Kareem provided and DNA that was found at the murder site.
Nonetheless, based on the informal telephone call, the officers from Columbus Police Department were granted a warrant for Kareem’s arrest. On May 3, 2010, at 9:30PM, an armed SWAT team invaded Kareem’s home and took Kareem to the Pell City jail. On May 4, 2010, he was extradited, with no resistance, to the Muscogee County Jail.
Where's the Justice? What about Bond?
The injustices done to Kareem continue to mount. Kareem was given his first bond hearing on June 29, 2010, which resulted in the Assistant District Attorney requesting that the bail be set at $1,000,000. The judge reduced the bond to $750,000, however the amount is excessive considering in Columbus, Georgia, bonds are rarely set at more than $100,000, for even the most heinous criminal cases. This amount was set despite Kareem’s attorney, Stacey Jackson, stating that Kareem would be willing to wear an ankle monitor and relocate from his home in Alabama, away from his wife, and reside in Georgia for the duration of the case. Whether the bond was set at a million dollars or remains at $750,000, our family does not have the means to pay for a bond at this amount.
Our family has fought through two additional bond hearings requesting a bond reduction. Despite having character witnesses that ranged from co-workers, sports teammates, and family members, our request was denied. Why would even the slightest reduction be denied you might ask? The prosecution feels that Kareem is a “flight risk,” not because of any criminal record but because of several factors: his military training to supposedly elude capture (he was in food service), paying late on 2 speeding tickets, religious beliefs, recording music, not having any children, and renting a home versus owning one. Kareem is a man that has been denied a lower bond because of reasons that have nothing to do with determining a fair bond.
Kareem has maintained his entire life as an upstanding citizen. He has coached and refereed soccer for adults and children in the community and also played in many community soccer leagues. He has maintained a stable work history, participated in community events, and dutifully served his country. Kareem has no criminal record. Most people would describe him as possessing a mild and pleasant disposition, humble, and family oriented. For 18 years, Kareem has cooperated with the Columbus police, whenever questioned or approached. However, since May 3, 2010, the media and prosecution was demonized Kareem based on out right false information and. His rights to due process as an American citizen were violated.
Please spread the word of this injustice and join in the fight! We want the District Attorney to stop their persecution of this innocent man and drop all charges.
**This site was created in January 2011 in support of Kareem Lane.