(PR NewsChannel) / March 3, 2014 / LOS ANGELES
Bishop Leroy Dowd spent more than a year of his life in jail and plead guilty to a crime he says he never committed. Now, nearly five years after he first stepped foot in jail, Dowd tells his story of coercion and conspiracy in a video released this week.
In the 10 minute video, Dowd details his saga, starting with his relationship with Ms. Ola Mae Miller.
Miller is an elderly woman that reports say met Dowd in 2006 and was allegedly forced into signing over the deed to her Claremont, Calif. home to Dowd who then sold it from underneath her.
Dowd holds firm to his claim of innocence and says the realtor involved in the sale maneuvered a real estate scheme without Dowd’s knowledge or written authorization and received the money made from the sale.
Watch the video online at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JT7ezV0zSxI#t=30
“The realtor wrote up the sale as if I sold the house to my secretary and then I would gift him the money I made off the sale totaling over $700,000,”said Dowd.
Leroy Dowd was arrested on June 5, 2008 and spent more than a year between the Twin Towers Correctional Facility Medical Ward in downtown LA and the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail. He explains that he was informed by his legal counsel that in order to be released from jail, he needed to plead guilty.
“I pleaded guilty but when they asked me ‘Who did you send the money to?’ and I told them the truth, my counsel handed me a paper and told me to say what was on that paper in order to be released. I said ‘Lord, forgive me for lying, but if I have to say it to get out, I’ll say it.’ And I said what they told me to say.”
Dowd was charged with one count each of forgery and identity theft, two counts of offering a false or forged instrument for record and grand thief. All charges were dropped except for grand theft, which Dowd plead guilty to.
Dowd claims that a number of reasons played into his admission, namely the ineffectiveness of his counsel, who he points is now disbarred from practicing law in California as well as his deteriorating health while incarcerated.
Prior to being arrested, Bishop Dowd had never experienced any long term health complications but suffered a heart attack while in jail. Dowd suffered a second heart attack when he was released to make restitution that required surgery to insert a heart stint before being readmitted to jail for not being able to make restitution payments.
Dowd’s name was also brought up in a similar case in 2012 where he was accused of being a coconspirator of a real estate scam involving several LAPD officers, including one who was charged as the organizer of the scam.
Dowd was cleared of any wrong doing or involvement but it was the corruption of the charged LAPD officer involved in both instances, as well as the collection of additional evidence, including cashier’s checks and transcripts that supporting his innocence that served as the reason he’s coming forward now.
“I want my name cleared and I don’t want to live with the lies of what I didn’t do,” said Dowd in the video. “Whatever means they have to use to know that I am innocent of this, I want it done.”
For more information or sign a petition to reopen Leroy Dowd’s case, visit www.theleroydowdproject.com
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