Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Cornell McKay Attorney: Police Framed Man For Robbery, Ignored Megan Boken's Killer

Posted By on Mon, Mar 3, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Page 3 of 4

Cornell McKay (center) with Pastor Chris Douglas and his wife Tayra in August 2012. - FACEBOOK/JUSTICE FOR CORNELL MCKAY

McKay recalls how detectives spent "two days straight" interrogating him after his August 21, 2012 arrest. The arrest warrant was based on a police database search that loosely linked him to another individual called from the stolen cell phone.

"They was trying to get it out of me," McKay says, "They thought with all their heart that I was the dude who is good for this robbery."

McKay remembers how cops told him they had cell phone photos of him that proved his guilt.

"They said, 'We got pictures of you on the phone.' I was like, show me this phone....And they said, 'Oh, the camera was blurry'."

McKay's lawyers want to know for certain if photos were deleted from the victim's cell phone after police recovered it. In the motion, Ramsey points to two conflicting reports written by a parole officer revoking McKay's parole from a previous burglary conviction.

On August 24, 2012, the parole officer noted in his report that he had been informed by prosecutors that McKay's photo was found on the victim's recovered cell phone. But in a "redacted" report, filed a year later, the officer wrote that he had made an error and that, "Police did not find a picture of McKay" on the cell phone.

Ramsey suggests that there could have been photos of Esters on the stolen phone.

"The redacted report does not fully resolve the question of what was found on the cell phone, only stating that there was no picture of 'McKay' on the phone," the motion reads. "The circumstances suggest that there were photographs on the cell phone destroyed or deleted while in possession of the police."

The motion continues: "Any such action would be consistent with evidence suggesting that police framed Defendant to deflect attention from their actions and omissions which resulted in the death of Megan Boken."

click to enlarge McKay was baptized by Pastor Chris Douglas  in early August 2012, as shown in this photo. He was arrested just a few weeks later. - JUSTICE FOR CORNELL MCKAY
  • Justice for Cornell McKay
  • McKay was baptized by Pastor Chris Douglas in early August 2012, as shown in this photo. He was arrested just a few weeks later.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department declined to comment on the motion or the allegations.

McKay's lawyers want to postpone his March 20 sentencing in order to challenge his conviction for armed robbery. As for McKay, he just wishes Esters would step up and admit the truth.

Both Esters and McKay spent more than year locked up in City Justice Center, though it appears Esters was recently moved to another facility. When RFT spoke with McKay last month, he said he attempted sending word to Esters, who was located on a different floor of the Justice Center at the time.

"I'm just telling him, 'Free me up. You're finna get 50 years, man. Just let me go.'"

He says this was Esters' response: "My case ain't your case."

McKay claims he did meet Esters in-person, in a holding cell, days before his trial.

"He said, 'You didn't do it anyway. So if you go to trial you won't even lose out because you didn't do it.'"

But McKay did lose, and now he's facing 10 to 30 years in prison. He still can't wrap his head around it.

"Esters had the phone; his girlfriend got up there [testified] and said he robbed someone for this phone. Esters said 'I was in the immediate area'. We know he did three or four robberies in August.

"When everyone said I was guilty," he continues, "I didn't even have an emotional response. I didn't cry. It really just made me stronger. It let me know how the government really feels about us, for real. Man, they really don't care."

Update: Megan Boken's sister penned a strongly critical letter-to-the editor on the Post-Dispatch's website yesterday. Annie Boken Palazzolo, a New York based lawyer, accuses Ramsey of using her sister's murder "to orchestrate a media circus and gain sympathy for his client."

Palazzolo writes:

There are days when I wish I could turn back time and do something -- anything -- to change Megan's story so she would still be here with us. Dealing with those thoughts is part of the complicated grieving process that follows the sudden, violent loss of a loved one. Ramsey's claim is both traumatizing to our family and disrespectful to Megan's memory. It's time to let my sister rest in peace.

Continue to read the motions made by McKay's lawyers this week to delay sentencing.

Tags: ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

July 28, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation