This will be my last post in this long, long series. I have been writing about this case for six months now. This post will be post #60. It will carry the total word count for the series beyond 90,000 words.
I write this post without enthusiasm, without passion. I will write it in perfunctory style. It's time for this series to come to an end.
This post, however, will not be the end of my effort to save Preston Hughes. Tomorrow, or the next day, or the next, I will begin another series of posts, and then another. One will be the The News of Preston Hughes III. The other will be the Trial of Preston Hughes III.
But right now, I have this series to finish.
After Preston Hughes signed the first confession under the pretense that he would be allowed to go home if he did, he was locked up rather than released. When the first shift of homicide officers came in to work after 7:00 AM, they were briefed on the case and Preston's first confession. They claim they simply asked Preston if he would be willing to sign a second confession describing how he stabbed Marcell. From the report of Sgt. D.A. Ferguson:
Sgt.'s re-viewed the suspect's written statement that was obtained by Sgt. Gafford. In the statement the suspect did not describe how the #2 compl. (boy) was stabbed. Sgt.'s then decided to reinterview the suspect about the stabbing of the #2 compl. Sgt. Ferguson went to the 5th floor men's jail and checked the suspect out ... Sgt.'s informed the suspect that he did not relate in his first statement about the stabbing of the #2 compl. Sgt.'s then asked the suspect if he would be willing to give a second statement de-scribing the stabbing of the stabbing the #2 compl. The suspect then agreed to give a second statement about the stabbing of the #2 compl.
Once again, the HPD reports seem to be pretty much full of crap. Preston Hughes wasn't asked if he would be willing to sign a second confession. He was told he had to sign a second confession. I will prove that assertion just as I proved my assertion that Preston signed the first confession because they told him he could go home if he did.
Once Preston was jailed rather than released, he no longer called his boss to make sure he would not lose his job. He no longer called his parole officer to make sure that his parole would not be revoked. He began trying to call his mother. Using the pay phone at the jail, he placed a series of collect calls to The Men's Wearhouse, where his mother worked. Each of his calls was accepted by Elizabeth Stroman.
Preston was no longer calm, as he was when he called his boss and when he called his parole officer. And no wonder. He was beginning to realize he may have been set up. Something was terribly wrong. He wasn't being released. He was still in jail. He needed to speak to his mother. He needed someone to get him help.
From Elizabeth Stroman's testimony:
He was upset and I couldn't carry on a conversation with him because it was off and on, I had to put him on hold and on and off. He was -- I remember the fact that he was upset and I was asking him if he had contacted his mother. He had called looking for his mother. I told him that he needed to call her at home, that she wasn't at work.
He was telling me that he had to change his statement and I was asking him, "You gave a statement?" And he said, "They're telling me to change my statement. I have to go to change my statement." ... I was asking him why. "Why are you going to go change your statement?" And he said, "Because they told me I had to." ... And as we were talking, he had to get off the phone because they were ready to take him. He said, "They're here. I have to go."
That's pretty ominous, actually. What leverage could they have possibly had to force him to change his statement?
I suggest they used the same leverage they used to get the first confession.
"Look, we'd like to allow you to go home, but you haven't been completely truthful with us. You described only how you accidentally killed Shandra. But there were two dead children out there, and Shandra's pants were pulled part way down her hips. If you can't give us an innocent explanation of how Shandra's pants came to be pulled part way down, and of how the boy came to be accidentally killed, then there is no way we can let you go home. Surely you understand that."
So Preston gave them exactly what they asked for. The second confession, like the first, reveals that Preston had no idea what happened to Shandra and Marcell that night. He didn't know they were each stabbed only twice, each in the same precise manner. He didn't know they were found no where near one another. He had only been told they were stabbed, and he winged it from there.
I now end this series with the second confession of Preston Hughes III, the one in which he put a needle in his arm by confessing to a double murder, a capital offense.
Earlier this morning I gave a statement to Sgt. Gafford. Some of the things that I told Sgt. Gafford in the written statement was not the complete truth. I am giving this second statement to Sgt. Ferguson on my own free will and voluntarily. I was not threatened to give this statement.
Everything in the first statement is correct except what happened when I met Shawn on the trail between Puddruckers and the apt. complex. Shawn did not come up behind me and tap me on the shoulder. I was walking with my dog from from the Lakehurst Apts. toward Fuddruckers on the trail. As I was walking down the trail I saw Shawn walking down the trail from Fuddruckers toward the apt. complex. She was walking with a little boy. I did not know who he was. We then met in the middle of the trail. Shawn spoke first and she told me that she was on the way to my house. I then asked her what for. She told me that she was coming to use my contacts. I told her that she was a damn fool, that she was not wearing my contacts. She then gave me a kiss. She then started rubbing by crotch. She then unbuttoned my jeans. She then pulled her zipper down on her shorts. Shawn then placed my penis in the slit of her vagina. We call that "grinding" if you don't put it in the hole. We did that for about 30 seconds. While we were grinding" the zipper on her shorts rubbed against the sore on my penis. I then pulled away and buttoned up my jeans. The little boy that was with her was standing next to us.
I then said, "Fuck this shit", because I hurt the sore. She then asked me if l had some money. I told her I keeps money. She then asked me for $50.00 and I told her no. She then started telling me that she was going to have me arrested for rape. I told her that I never forced her to do nothing with me. She then raised her hand and hit me. I then blocked her with my left hand. I hit her in the throat. She then came back at me with her hand open. She was coming at my face. I had my knife in a sheath on the right side of my pants on my belt. I then pulled my knife and stabbed at her six or eight or ten times. I'm not sure, I just started stabbing.
I'm not sure how many times I stabbed her. As I was stabbing her the little boy looked up at me and started crying. He then ran in between us and I stabbed him. I don't know how many times I stabbed him. I stopped and looked at Shawn and she was looking at me. I then put the knife in my sheath and ran home. When I got home I looked at the knife to see if there was any blood on it. I did not see any and put it in a box in the closet. I then turned on the TV to see what the score was on the football game. When I got home I also took my clothes off in the bedroom. I then went outside to get my dog. I got my dog and then took her back in the apartment. I then went to bed and got woke up about 2:30am by the police.
Last night was the first time that I had seen Shawn since June or July. I first met her back in October of 1987. She used to date my cousin, Shawn Graham. On three different times Shawn came over to my apartment. She came over wearing her two piece bathing suit. This was sometime in May or June because it was hot. She would pull down the top of her swim suit and show me her breasts. She also pulled down her bottom and showed me her vagina. I just touched her on the vagina. We never did have sex. I have never had sex with Shawn.
I had one cigarette while giving this statment. My rights were read to me by Sgt. Ferguson and I understood them.<-- Previous Table of Contents