STATE OF MICHIGAN
IN THE SEVENTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT COURT
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN
CASE NO. 85-37049-FC
Plaintiff, Honorable Judge Donald A. Johnston vs. Harry Bout, Defendant,
AFFIDAVIT of ELVIN WILLIAM SHAVER, JR.
STATE OF MICHIGAN }
COUNTY OF KENT }
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
FURTHER AFFIANT SAYETH NOT.
ELVIN WILLIAM SHAVER, JR.
Subscribed and sworn to before me this ____ day of _______ 2007, appeared
Elvin William Shaver, Jr. whose signature appears as affixed above.
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.