Sunday, September 20, 2020
Sunday, September 20, 2020

Snoop Dogg joins SVU star Ice-T in calling for Delaware County District Attorney to allow DNA testing that could overturn murder conviction

Your Content is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland (left) & rapper Snoop Dogg (right). Photo by: © Getty Images/Delaware County District Attorney's Office Montage
Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland (left) & rapper Snoop Dogg (right). Photo by: © Getty Images/Delaware County District Attorney’s Office Montage

One of America’s most recognizable faces, Snoop Dogg, sent a powerful message to Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland Monday, intensifying the push to give a Chester man who has been sitting in prison for over 39 years a DNA test.

We broke the storyLaw & Order SVU star Ice-T called on Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland last week to test evidence with modern technology in an 1980 murder case in a video to & The Blast.

- Advertisement -

“Leroy Evans what up this [is] big Snoop Dog, keep your head up,” Snoop Dogg said in a video to The Blast & “That DNA evidence is going to come through for you loved one.”

Leroy Evans, 61, was found guilty in 1980 of killing Emily Leo on no evidence other than the word of his co-defendant, Anthony Jones, who recanted his statement in 2016.

Emily Leo was lured to a home under the guise that she would be selling some of her Avon beauty products. However, she was bludgeoned and strangled with a clothing line.

- Advertisement -

Nearly 39 years after the notorious ‘Avon Lady’ murder in Chester, Delaware County, celebrities have joined forces to call on the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office to test DNA that could exonerate Leroy Evans from the murder.

If Evans is exonerated, he would have spent more years behind bars than any other wrongfully imprisoned person in American history, according to the Innocence Project.

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 01: (L-R) Snoop Dogg, Mariska Hargitay, Ice T, and Director Alex Chapple are seen filming “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” on April 01, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

According to the findings of Evans’ defense attorney, Michael J. Malloy, the case again him was built singularly on eyewitness testimony that was recanted in an hour-long confession conducted by Malloy on July 26, 2016 at SCI Forest in Marienville, Pennsylvania.

“As I began to read the trial testimony, certain facts made no sense,” Evans’ defense attorney, Michael J. Malloy told us. “First of all, why was there no blood present at a brutal, bloody crime scene.”

More than 30 years later, Malloy believes he found that evidence — and that it clears Evans’ name. In 2016, Jones gave a nearly 70-page sworn statement, recanting his trial testimony that implicated Evans.

“This case is more than about justice. This is a case about a kind, gentle man who holds no grudges against the person or people that have taken away his life for nearly 40 years,” Malloy told us. “I don’t believe I can live with myself unless I fight this to the end.”

Copeland, a longtime Republican, was appointed in January 2018 to serve out the remainder of former District Attorney Jack Whelan’s term when he was elected to serve as a judge at the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.

“The Delaware County Court of Common Pleas has ruled that any results from DNA testing of the 39-year-old evidence would be inconclusive and not prove the defendant’s innocence,” District Attorney Katayoun Copeland told us. “The evidence was collected before DNA analysis existed and stored in conditions that would have resulted in the degradation of any DNA that may or may not have been present.”

However, in 1982, Nicholas Yarris of Chester was convicted of murder, rape, and abduction. He was sentenced to death. In 1989, he became one of Pennsylvania’s first death row inmates to demand postconviction DNA testing to prove his innocence.

All failed to produce conclusive results. With hope waning, a breakthrough occurred in 2003 when Dr. Edward Blake conducted a final round of testing and determined that Yarris had no involvement in the brutal murder.

On September 3rd, 2003, based on Dr. Blake’s results, the court vacated Yarris’s conviction and he became the 140th person in the United States to be exonerated by postconviction DNA testing – the 13th DNA exoneration from death row.

EXCLUSIVE: Nick Yarris, 51, and Jess Stubley, 23, from Spalding in Lincolnshire. Jess met Nick via Facebook after reading his autobiography in which Nick talks about being on death row in the USA for 23 years. The pretty barmaid is set to marry the love of her life – a former Death Row inmate, who spent 23 years in solitary confinement. Nick Yarris, 51, faced the electric chair after being convicted in 1982 for the rape and murder of a woman in the American state of Pennsylvania. He spent 8,057 days in solitary before DNA evidence finally led to him being acquitted and released in 2004. But during his spell in prison he had wrote a book about the torment of being behind bars. More than 3,500 miles away, barmaid Jessica Stubley, 23, became captivated by his story in Moulton, Lincs.

Delaware County District Attorney Copeland added that the evidence in Evans’ case “was collected before DNA analysis existed and stored in conditions that would have resulted in the degradation of any DNA that may or may not have been present.”

“Justice is possible for those who fight,” Yarris told us. “Justice is possible for those who hope. The same prosecuting office told me that there was no DNA to test in my case but my mother launched her own investigation into Delaware County, and after spending over two decades on death row for a crime that I did not commit, I was exonerated.”

American Nick Yarris who spent 22 years on death row and has written a book called The Fear of 13 is pictured in London, England Nick Yarris spent more than two decades on death row in the US after he was wrongly convicted of rape and murder, before a DNA test eventually freed him. Photo: Mirrorpix

“Stay strong,” Snoop continued. “I know you waited 39 years but it’s going to come through for you.”

District Attorney Copeland noted that “calls by candidates and celebrities for DNA testing are acts of self-promotion that show an ignorance of the limits of DNA testing and the law.”

Jack Stollsteimer, a Democratic candidate for Delaware County District Attorney and former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania also chimed in, calling on District Attorney Copeland to reopen the case.

Democratic Delaware County District Attorney candidate Jack Stollsteimer testifying before the Senate.

“As more people like Snoop learn of this case they all ask the same question: why won’t DA Copeland agree to the request for DNA testing?” Stollsteimer told us. “This case calls out for fair justice, an issue that goes beyond politics and to the core of who we are as a society.” 

Delaware County Councilman Kevin Madden also voiced his concern regarding Evans’ fight for DNA testing. “From my understanding of the case, the only evidence implicating Mr. Evans was the testimony of a 16-year-old co-defendant who was being threatened with the death penalty unless he came up with an accomplice – testimony that this man has now admitted was made up,” Madden told us. 

“I join the call to DA Copeland to re-open the case, test for DNA, and perhaps put an end to the gross miscarriage of justice that has cost a man his life.”

Evans’ lawyer, Michael J. Malloy, lost a recent battle in a Delaware County courtroom where he sought DNA testing on the clothesline, the victim’s clothing, two pocketbooks, a date planner and other items allegedly grabbed by Evans during the murder. The murder weapon was never recovered.

During the proceeding, Assistant District Attorney William Toal III argued that the relief being sought is well outside of the statute of limitations for Evans’ case and that there are no “new facts” that would justify reopening the investigation. 

However, the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star strongly urged the district attorney to reconsider her office’s decision.

“You know that DNA has been clearing a lot of people,” Ice-T said. “I think everybody at least deserves a chance to use the new technology – 39 years ago, there wasn’t even DNA testing. I think it’s only right.” 

© 2019 YC THE BLAST. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Protect Independent Journalism

Your Content is a nonprofit newsroom that produces nonpartisan, evidence-based journalism to expose injustice, corruption and wrongdoing.

Spearheading the news revolution for Americans across the nation, Your Content has brought a voice to those the media failed to acknowledge.

This story you’ve just finished was funded by our readers and we hope it inspires you to make a gift to Your Content so that we can publish more reports like this one that holds people in power to account and produces real change.

Your donation will help us ensure that we can continue this critical work. We are busier than ever covering stories you won’t see anywhere else.

Pa. Mall Gunman At-Large After Shooting Up Lehigh Valley Mall, No Injuries Reported

The gunman remains on the loose Sunday morning, hours after dozens of police vehicles surrounded the building.

New York City Man Arrested for Forcing Train Derailment in Manhattan

A man was arrested early Sunday after allegedly forcing an NYC subway train to jump the tracks and derail.

Nancy Pelosi Says She’ll Use Impeachment Resolution to Tie Up Senate Floor to Stop and Snatch RBG Pick

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday refused to rule out pushing forward a privileged impeachment resolution.

Philadelphia Police SCOUR Region for Man Suspected of Attempting to Kill COPS, Considered Armed and Dangerous

If seen dial 911 immediately and do not approach the armed and dangerous cop killer.

Bill Clinton Says Replacing RBG is ‘Hypocritical’ but Doesn’t Address Epstein Island Situation

Bill Clinton says it's "superficially hypocritical" for President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Pennsylvania Family Purchases Six Billboards Reminding People Police Are ‘Your Neighbors, Your Friends, Your Family’

A Pennsylvania woman and her family purchased six billboards in Berks County to support police.

Jenna Ortega and Selena Gomez Cast for Scream 5, Pre-Production Complete with Filming ‘Imminent’

Jenna Ortega will be in the fifth ‘Scream’ installment with Selena Gomez and sources claim the pre-production phase of the project is complete.

Seattle ‘Slime-Ball’ Escaped Justice After 34 Arrest and Releases Finally Found Dead in Tank Full of Bleach

The miscreant appears to have accidentally killed himself while attempting to evade police by drowning in bleach.

Stay Informed & Get Your Content, Daily.

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Your Content is a 501(c)(3) non-profit national American media organization of artists and journalists headquartered in Pennsylvania.