This man wrote a desperate letter from prison and he was writing to tell a judge the same thing he has been saying for years: “I am innocent.” He begged the civil court judge to drop the wrongful death lawsuit filed against him by the family of the teenager he was convicted of killing.
In the six-page letter he filed, he criticized the homicide detectives and local attorney who helped put him in jail. He said that he was wrongfully accused and the mayor of Lancaster California has abused his power. Read on for the whole story.
1. War Veteran Living Peacefully
An Army National Guardsman and Iraq war veteran named Raymond Jennings was a quiet, unassuming man who had gotten a job at a local Park n’ Ride in California’s Antelope Valley. He had seen enough combat for a lifetime and just wanted to work his job without hassle.
He was just living a quiet and ordinary life until one chilly February night, a shocking event would change Raymond’s life forever.
2. Working Student
The beautiful and popular 19-year-old college student, Michelle O’ Keefe had everything going right in her life. In the morning of February 22nd, she had driven out to Los Angeles in her brand new blue Mustang, a gift from her parents, to appear in Kid Rock’s music video.
She dropped her car off at the local Park n’ Ride then rode in her girlfriend’s car for the rest of the trip to L.A. When the two arrived at L.A.’s Olympic Auditorium, they changed into club outfits required for the video. They got to work dancing as Kid Rock’s “Bawitdaba” blasted through the speakers. Michelle and her friend got a few seconds of fame as they had a camera close up, right in front.
3. Stalked By A Creep
On their way back from L.A., Michelle’s friend dropped her off at the Park n’ Ride to pick up her car. Initially, she thought that her friend was right behind her, accompanying her out of the parking lot, but she left right away. Michelle drove to a darker area to change. She still had a night class to go to and her revealing music video outfit was not exactly school appropriate.
As she sat in her car, changing her outfit, someone approached the driver’s side window. The man, as witnesses would come to describe the attacker who shot Michelle four times before getting into a car and driving off. It appeared that the only other person in the parking lot that night was security guard Raymond Jennings.
4. Helplessly Attacked
Security guard Raymond Jennings was at the bus stop just outside Park n’ Ride when the attack happened. He suddenly heard a car alarm go off on the west end and then a gunshot. So he immediately knelt down behind his car because he’d been used to too many firefights in Iraq to panic. Not long, the car alarm went silent and he heard an engine start.
He tried to get up to go in the direction of the sound in case someone needed help. But more gunshots echoed and again ducked for cover. He jumped back behind his vehicle and looked around to see what might be happening. He then saw Michelle’s blue Mustang rolling backward on its own. The driver was unconscious and knew immediately something was very wrong.
5. The Aftermath
Raymond Jennings was shaken but decided to see if he could help whoever had been shot and assumed it must have been the driver of the Mustang. He wasn’t wearing his glasses but he could see that the driver was not looking good. He was quick to think and knew there was a procedure to follow so he called his supervisor.
After calling his supervisor, Iris Malone, to inform her what had happened, she arrived at Raymond’s location and he pointed out the Mustang to her. He told her that he had waited for her to arrive before investigating further. Raymond told his supervisor several times that they should call the police first and not go to the crime scene on their own. She insisted and they couldn’t believe what they saw when they came near.