I received charges of Aggravated Murder, forgery, burglary with gun specs and misuse of a credit card. NO ONE else involved in the use of that credit card received any charges. And it goes without saying NO ONE to this day has been correctly charged and sentenced for the murder of Mr Bertram Thomas and the burglary of his home.
There were 5 of us on the 4th December 1996 willingly partaking in the crime of credit card fraud. All 5 of us involved in this admit to using Mr Thomas credit card and handling stolen goods (1st trip to the Mall included myself, Keith Donohue and Mike Enis. The 2nd trip to the mall on instructions to do so by Bridgette Johnson included myself, Mike, Hasheem Stevens and Terry Portman). Yet I am the ONLY one who received charges for these crimes. I believe a deal was made between the police and the above to testify against me/give false testimonies in exchange for a ‘no charge’ deal in relation to ALL charges that they should (by Law) have faced. It is my belief that this investigation hinged on Police Coercing/Influencing of witnesses to get them (the police) the result they wanted. All the people thst testified against me in trial lied to save their own skins. The police knew they had NO evidence to prove I killed Mr Thomas. They were desperate to close the case as quickly as possible. They ignored all physical evidence because all of it proved me innocent, they failed to collect vast amounts of evidence available to them (or carry out a full crime scene investigation) and they coerced the witnesses to get the statements they required enabling them to close the case and move on to the next. Sloppy, incomplete,unprofessional police work!
Additionally to the credit card fraud. Reggie Gilbert and Anthony Eldridge also got caught by police trying to cash forged checks from Mr Thomas check book. Both boys admitted to doing this, both boys were caught doing it yet both boys got away with any fraud charges and guess what? They too testified against me in court claming I had told them I had killed Mr Thomas. Utter garbage. What hurts the most is that Reggie is my step brother – it hurts to hear your own family chose to save their own skin over facing a punishment they know they deserved and by doing so, telling the truth. Reggie was a juvenile – if he had told the truth (that I at no time told him I had killed Mr Thomas) he would have faced a minimum charge for cashing a forged check (he had no previous convictions). Why he and his best friend Anthony chose to lie and to add the final nails to my coffin over facing up to their own small minimum charge for check fraud I will never know nor will I ever understand. There were so many lies told during trial but Reggies and Hasheems (who was my closest friend) hurt me the most.
I have always maintained that I am guilty of using the victims stolen credit card. The credit card was given to me by Mike Enis and Terry Portman . Mike, Keith and myself went to the Shopping Mall to Foot Locker and purchased a variety of items using this card. We ALL participated in this criminal act. We ALL agreed to do this. No one was doing so against their will. We ALL left with these stolen items and we ALL were happy with our ‘purchases’. Mike, myself, Terry and Hasheem went back to the Mall that same day to purchase more stolen goods because Mike and Terrys Aunt (Bridgette Johnson) asked that we did so on her behalf (she even leant me her car enabling us). Part of my sentence is for that credit card fraud. Part of my sentence is for being held responsible for MY part in that act. NONE OF THEM have been held responsible for their part in credit card fraud/handling stolen goods or forgery. I did NOT steal the victims credit card. I did NOT murder him or rob his home. I have never met the victim. However I DID use his stolen credit card in that store as did all those other boys. So it stands to reason that ALL involved in these acts would be charged accordingly. In fact would Bridgette Johnson herself be open to charges too, she willingly asked that we (3 youths) use that card to purchase gifts for her kids? Should we not ALL be held responsible for our part in the use of that credit card? NO! Only I Jermane Scott received the blame for that. Only I received charges for using that credit card. Only I received any punishment. As far as I am concerned I have been given a LIFE sentence (without parole) for the past 20 years for nothing more than credit card fraud because that is the only law I’ve broken. So how is it that the other culprits using the victims credit card/handling stolen goods/cashing forged checks weren’t charged? They admitted to using it, they admitted their part (just as I did) and they were all identified by Footlocker and Key bank staff (just as I was). We ALL drove to that store together with the same idea in mind (to spend money on that credit card). We ALL knew it was stolen. However ONLY 2 of us that day (Mike Enis and Terry Portman) knew the credit card belonged to a murdered man.
Court Transcript Statements: Mike Ennis in trial regarding the charges he faced for his part in the misuse of the Victims Credit Card. Note how confident he appears to be that there are no charges against him and he claims he doesn’t know what charges there would even be against him. He admitted to using that credit card, he admitted to handling stolen goods and he was identified as doing so. He should be very aware of what charges he should have been facing if this investigation had been done by the book and fairly.
**Note that the statement ‘You be cool and you won’t be charged’ was heard being said by police on tape to the witnesses before their statements had been taken. This was said to a State Star Witness before they had even given their side of events. Does this not conclude that even before the witnesses had even given their statements (of their side of events) I had already been classed as the GUILTY ONE by police. Already the police had decided I was the only one who would be charged for this horrific crime and Mike and Terry just needed to ‘be cool ‘ and they would be fine. No matter what these 2 witnesses had said in their statements the police wanted ME to face ALL charges ALONE. ‘Be Cool and you won’t be charged’ – what does that mean? What does that imply to you? Why was that comment never investigated by the Justice system as potential police misconduct? Why was quite obvious police coercing/influencing NOT investigated? This comment is just one comment caught on tape, how many more comments like that one were whispered in those witnesses ears (without a tape to record it)? The police state a deal was NOT made between them and the witnesses so how is it that 5 individuals used a stolen credit card/handled stolen goods, 2 more got caught red handed cashing forged checks belonging to the victim and ALL involved in that crime were NOT ALL charged? Does it not strike you odd that they all got away without even as much as a slapped wrist or a fine and they all conveniently got called to testify against me all claiming I had either admitted to the killing or they had seen me do it (bearing in mind there is and was absolutely no forensic or physical evidence to link me to Mr Thomas murder or his home yet plenty of evidence to link Mike and Terry to both). Its ridiculous! If NO deals had been made then ALL of us would have been charged accordingly. And I can assure you Keith, Reggie, Hasheem and Anthony would not have told those lies in court if a deal or police threats had not been dangled in front of them.
During trial Footlocker and Key bank staff testified in court and openly identified all involved in purchasing goods/cashing forged checks in police reports. To view their statements to police and their testimonies click on the drop box link below. Also in the police files you will see copies of the actual forged checks that Reggie Gilbert and Anthony Eldridge drew up and tried to cash. None of us just admitted to fraud and forgery we were ALL positively identified and the police had actual evidence to show them who was guilty of what. The evidence and statements from these staff members did not just prove I was guilty of credit card fraud/forgery of checks. It proved we ALL were. Also in police files you will see what could appear to be potential evidence of witness coercing in relation to Keith Donohue. Shockingly there is a scrap piece of paper found in the police file suggesting a girl (she is unnamed in the police file) had come forward half way through Keith giving his statement to the police (which at this point his statement made no suggestion I had admitted killing Mr Thomas nor that Keith for one second thought I had any involvement in it). The police file suggests this mystery girl told police Keith had sexually assaulted her. The police failed to take her name/address or official statement. However by the time Keith testified in court his story had changed. He testified I had told him I had killed Mr Thomas. And whats more alarming is that if police knew a young girl had accused a man of sexually assaulting her why was Keith not charged with such an awful crime? Because the girl doesnt exist thats why.