Harry Bout: Dutch prisoner in Michigan enters his 35th year as a wrongfully convicted person

Harry Bout with glasses and hatThis year marks 35 years since the murder of Al Iwuagwu, and Harry Bout is still in prison, wrongfully charged and sentenced for his murder. The alleged murderer has never been convicted.

We hope that Michigan authorities choose to do the only right thing and that is to examine what went wrong in this case, with the judge, the prosecution, the police investigation, and that the authorities will do their best to right the wrongs done. Because this is not called justice. Not for Harry, not for the victim’s family, not for society, which is not any safer if we let the wrong person be prosecuted and convicted.

We also plead to the Dutch authorities to keep supporting Harry Bout, to put in more effort to find a diplomatic solution to gain justice for their subject.

Each year offers new chances for good things. We hope this is Harry’s year for those good things.

affidavits Elvin Shaver witness accounts

Elvin Shaver’s Affidavit (2007)

CASE NO. 85-37049-FC
Plaintiff, Honorable Judge Donald A. Johnston vs. Harry Bout, Defendant,
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I, ELVIN WILLIAM SHAVER, JR., being first duly sworn, deposes and says the following:

1. On or about April 5th, 1985, I was taken into custody by detectives of the
Grand Rapids Police Department, along with my then wife Carol Shaver
(hereinafter Carol) for questioning in connection with the disappearance
of Onunwa A. Iwuagwu (hereinafter Al). At the time I was about 1 year out of federal prison for counterfeit money, and on parole. During questioning the detectives told me they were certain Harry Bout (hereinafter Harry) had something to do with Al’s disappearance and heard Al had been killed. They threatened they would violate my parole and send me back to prison if I didn’t cooperate.

2. During the course of questioning I told the detectives Al was dead, and I
led them to where Al’s body had been buried. By doing this I incriminated myself as being an accessory after the fact of Al’s murder (a felony) violating my own parole on top of being a 4th felony habitual criminal offender (said charge carrying a sentence of life imprisonment).

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3. The detectives and prosecutor offered me a way out of having to spend the rest of my life in prison: I had to implicate Harry and Dawn Bean (hereinafter Dawn) to Al’s murder and say whatever the detectives and prosecutor wanted me to say. At first I tried telling the truth that Harry was not the killer, but they refused to accept this saying it was not likely a 16 year old girl (Dawn) was the killer, and threatened that if I didn’t cooperate I would go to prison for life. Their minds were made up that Harry had to be the killer.

4. The detectives and prosecutor told me what they believed probably happened and gave me some ideas about possible motives. They forced me to lie and commit perjury for them. I had to cooperate in this way or face life imprisonment as a habitual criminal offender. The prosecutor would not dismiss the supplemental felony charge for being a habitual criminal offender until I completed my testimony. Only then would I no longer be facing life imprisonment.

5. At one point during my testimony at Harry’s trial I felt so bad about what I was doing that I tried to tell the truth and expose the detective and prosecutor for forcing me to lie, but the detectives noticed something was wrong when I stopped my eye contact with them and stopped looking at their signals. The detectives immediately came to grab my arm and pull me off the witness stand as the judge spoke up asking if I needed a drink of water. Before I could say a word the detectives already had me out of the courtroom into the hallway. It was obvious that the judge was allowing the prosecutor and detectives to do whatever they wanted with
me, so I had little choice but to continue to lie and commit perjury for them.

6. Everything that Carol testified to at Harry’s trial was also a lie, to back up my lies. The prosecutor and detectives allowed Carol and I to discuss what our stories were going to be way back when we were first taken into custody for questioning. Carol knew nothing but what I told her to back up what I was saying.

7. I knew Harry didn’t kill Al. Harry didn’t even know how many times Al had been shot. Harry had to check the cylinder of the gun to see how many bullets had been used when I asked about this. Dawn also told me that she was alone in the bedroom with Al, and that she shot him 3 times when Al tried to leave.

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8. I admit that I lied and committed perjury, but I did so only because the detectives and prosecutor forced me to, with the threat of life imprisonment if I didn’t. My conscience bothered me so much afterwards that I even made an affidavit dated December 30th, 1986 (see attachment) to try and tell the truth, but the detectives and the prosecutor found out about this and drove all the way up to the prison in the Upper Peninsula (Kinross Correctional Facility, Kincheloe, Michigan) to again threaten me with life imprisonment if I testified at the evidentiary hearing.
The prosecutor and detective threatened that if I said anything at the evidentiary hearing other than “I plead the Fifth Amendment” that they would charge me with felony perjury and then use that felony to again charge me for being a 4th felony habitual criminal offender, and send me back to prison for the rest of my life. Because of that threat I refused to testify at the May 29th, 1987 evidentiary hearing other than to say “I plead the Fifth Amendment”.

9. The prosecutor and detectives had power over my life, my future or fate
in prison, and I had to do whatever they told me to do. They wanted me
to lie, and I so I did. They wanted to convict Harry for Al’s death, and so
I cooperated to give them what they wanted. I regret beyond what words
can say, what I have done. I cannot live with this on my conscience any
longer. I have lived with this for more than 22 years, while Harry has
suffered in prison for something he didn’t do. Harry didn’t kill Al. It was
Dawn who killed him because he tried to leave, and she should face the
consequences for what she did like anyone else.

10. If called as a witness I am competent and willing to testify to the contents
of this affidavit. I swear that the contents of this affidavit are true, factual
and correct.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this ____ day of _______ 2007, appeared
Elvin William Shaver, Jr. whose signature appears as affixed above.
Notary Public
My Commission Expires:_________________________________

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For the scan of the original document, see here.

We had Elvin filmed reading out his Affidavit in 2007. Elvin passed away a few years ago. We are grateful he took the time and effort to help with the truth and for the sake of justice to file and pronounce his Affidavit on behalf of Harry.

witness accounts

Affidavit of Cecil McKinney (2003)

Affidavit of Cecil McKinney

I, Cecil McKinney, being first duly sworn, deposed and state that I am a person of suitable age and discretion and if called upon to testify under oath in a court of law, would state the following: 1. That I personally know Dawn Renee Bean, born December 6 1967, having met her when I lived at 1548 Broadway, N.W. in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

2. That at all times that I have known Ms. Bean, I have known her to be racist, using racial slurs when talking of people of different ethnic background.

3. That at some time in either 1983 or early 1984, I had given Dawn Renee Bean a dark blue .32 caliber hand gun, which Ms. Bean regularly carried in her purse.

4. That I have lived at various addresses for the past 20 years and have been in and out of jail and prison and tried to stay in contact with Dawn Bean.

5. That during one of my releases, I met up with Dawn Renee Bean in the Grand Rapids area and she informed me that she had shot Onunwa Iwuagwu, also known as “Al”, who was originally from Africa.

6. That during this conversation, Dawn Renee Bean boasted and bragged about murdering Mr. Iwuagwu.

7. That I have read and reviewed this affidavit and affirm the contents herein, stating the same to being true, factual and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.

Cecil McKinney
Subscribed and sworn to before me On this 26 day of June, 2003 Thomas Marsh, Notary Public Ionia County, Michigan My Commission Expires August 2, 2007

Scanned from copy of original:

Cecil McKinney Affidavit 26-6-2003 page 1
Cecil McKinney Affidavit 26-6-2003 page 1
Cecil McKinney Affidavit 26-6-2003 page 2
Cecil McKinney Affidavit 26-6-2003 page 2
Harry Bout's Case Details witness accounts

Factual outline from Harry’s Lawyer Lawrence

This comes from the old website (Injusticeline) of attorney James Sterling Lawrence:

A factual outline, explaining how the photographic evidence proves the police lied to frame an innocent person.

The autopsy of the deceased revealed that he had been shot 3 times in the head at point-blank range with a 32 calibre pistol. The coroner’s report indicated that the victim would have dropped dead instantly on the spot where he had been shot after entry of the first bullet.

The only eyewitness not involved in the crime (Evelyn Schneider) had been questioned by the police. Schneider told the police: she was in her bedroom (the bedroom immediately next to the bedroom where the killing took place) when she heard 3 gunshots and looked out of her room to see Harry Bout racing up the stairway carrying a long shotgun.

The police department forensic crime scene technicians thoroughly inspected the crime scene looking for evidence of a shotgun discharge having gone off in the house, AND FOUND NONE. The technicians also removed carpeting from the bedroom where the victim had been shot (Note: blood stains had been found on the carpet backing) to show that the victim had been shot in the bedroom, not on or anywhere near the stairway.

From the evidence the police and prosecutor knew that the gunshots Schneider had heard, came from a 32 calibre pistol, not a shotgun; and that Bout could not have committed the crime while on the stairway when the 3 fatal gunshots were heard.

The police also knew from Dawn Bean’s own admissions that she was in the bedroom with the victim. Bean had originally been charged with premeditated first degree murder until the prosecutor made a deal with her to put blame on Bout, which Bean gladly accepted.

At Bout’s trial the police had to lie and commit perjury to discredit Schneider’s testimony. The police testified it would have been impossible for Schneider to have seen Bout racing up the stairway, and submitted a false diagram of the house showing a wall extending into the way of Schneider’s view.

The police also lied that Schneider’s bedroom door opened inward instead of outward to make it look as though the door would also have blocked her view. The video and photos that can be seen on this website of Attorney James S. Lawrence factually prove that Schneider told the truth about what she could see and conclusively proves that the police lied under oath and even submitted a falsified diagram.

Anyone willing to compare the photographic evidence to the recorded and transcribed testimony of the police officers is invited to do so and see the proof that an innocent man is presently languishing in prison for a crime the police and prosecutor’s office know he could not have committed.

Photographic Evidence by attorney James Sterling Lawrence’s website:

Photo of Evelyn Schneider's bedroom where she looked out onto the hall and stairs
Photo of Evelyn Schneider’s bedroom where she looked out onto the hall and stairs: Could someone in that bed see you?
Photo from Evelyn Schneider's bedroom where you can see someone coming up the stairs
Can you see someone walking up the stairs?
diagram showing the layout of the house where witness saw Harry coming up the stairs after the shooting next to her
diagram showing the layout of the house where witness saw Harry coming up the stairs after the shooting next to her

Letter (2 pages) accompanying the photographic evidence from the Forensic Examination Service, dated 23 Nov. 2000:

Forensic Examination Service letter about photographic evidence 2000-11-23 p1
Forensic Examination Service letter about photographic evidence on 2000-11-23 p1
Forensic Examination Service letter about photographic evidence 2000-11-23 p2
Forensic Examination Service letter about photographic evidence 2000-11-23 p2 of 2


Affidavit Myrtle Ann DeJong (1987)

Affidavit Myrtle Ann DeJong, 29th of May 1987:

Affidavit Myrtle Ann DeJong 29th of May 1987 (PDF)

Affidavit Myrtle Ann DeJong 29th of May 1987
Affidavit Myrtle Ann DeJong 29th of May 1987



Affidavit Joann Mulder (1987)

Affidavit Joann Mulder 28th of May 1987:

Affidavit Joann Mulder 28 May 1987 (PDF)

Affidavit Joann Mulder 28th of May 1987
Affidavit Joann Mulder 28th of May 1987

Affidavit Kathy Campbell (1987)

Affidavit Kathy Campbell 4 May 1987:

Affidavit Kathy Campbell 4 May 1987 (PDF)

Affidavit Kathy Campbell 4th of May 1987
Affidavit Kathy Campbell 4th of May 1987

Affidavit Shirley Eason

Affidavit Shirley Eason 18th April 1987

Affidavit Shirley Eason 18th April 1987 (PDF)

Affidavit Shirley Eason 18th April 1987
Affidavit Shirley Eason 18th April 1987

Affidavit Linda Carter (1987)

Affidavit Linda Carter 3rd of April 1987:

Affidavit Linda Carter 3rd of April 1987 (PDF)

Affidavit Linda Carter (1987)
Affidavit Linda Carter (April 3rd 1987)

Affidavit Loretta A. VanderPloeg

Affidavit Loretta A. VanderPloeg on 1st of April 1987, about the view from the witness’ room.

Affidavit Loretta A VanderPloeg 1st of April 1987 (PDF)

Affidavit Loretta A. VanderPloeg 4-1-1987
Affidavit Loretta A. VanderPloeg 4-1-1987