“Clinton Avenue Five” case nearing its conclusion

The jury is deliberating as to whether to convict Lee Evans of murdering Melvin Pittman, Randy Johnson, Michael McDowell, Alvin Turner and Ernest Taylor, five teenage boys who disappeared together from Newark, New Jersey back in 1978. Evans and two accomplices, Philander Hampton and Maurice Woody-Olds (they were cousins), allegedly trapped them in a house and set it on fire.

Woody-Olds, being dead, is beyond the reach of our justice. Hampton pleaded guilty and testified against Evans in exchange for a ten-year sentence AND the promise of $15k once he gets out!

Evans chose to represent himself, which is really a terrible idea — there’s an old adage that a person who represents himself at a trial has a fool for a client. But he did have an actual lawyer “assisting” his case. We shall see how this plays out.

Articles:
Man Accused of Burning 5 Boys Alive: I’m Innocent
Jury weighing charges in 1978 deaths of 5 NJ teens
Closing arguments expected Friday in trial of NJ man accused of burning 5 teens alive in 1978
Jurors Weigh Five Deaths and One Unpredictable Defendant’s Fate
New Jersey Star-Ledger coverage of the whole trial