Actual innocence didn't save Byron Case from a first-degree murder conviction in Missouri. His two concurrent life sentences for the 1997 death of Anastasia WitbolsFeugen aren't based on evidence but on the claim of his spurned, crack-addicted ex-girlfriend who said she witnessed the shooting when the three friends were teenagers.
Anastasia's on-and-off boyfriend, Justin Bruton, killed himself with a shotgun before authorities could question him, and no evidence connects Byron to her death. Jackson County law enforcement, though, thought Byron's all-black clothing and dramatic appearance signified something sinister. That Anastasia's body was found in a cemetery also sparked rumors among the teens' coffeehouse acquaintances, who fed investigators conspiracy theories involving goth suicide pacts, games of Russian roulette, and rituals performed by black-clad cults.
The stage was set. Three years on, Byron's ex, Kelly Moffett, suddenly produced a story about a merciless thrill-kill — Byron's "favor" to Justin, who felt pressured by Anastasia's romantic dreams. Byron's taste in music and dark wardrobe motivated prosecutors to put him on trial; Kelly's accusation persuaded a jury to hand down his wrongful conviction.
Almost twenty years after Anastasia WitbolsFeugen's tragic death, Byron Case's unjust imprisonment goes on and on. Won't you add your voice to the rising chorus calling for this travesty's end?
Evelyn Case has worked tirelessly to free her innocent son
"Singing to Free Byron Case," by Mike Meyers