Two law schools are asking a judge to overturn the perjury conviction of a man who was repeatedly hounded by police during an investigation of a girl’s killing in a small town in southwestern Michigan.
Raymond McCann II pleaded no contest in 2015 and served 20 months in jail and prison. He was accused of making false statements about his whereabouts years earlier, in 2007, when Jodi Parrack’s body was found in a Constantine cemetery.
McCann consistently denied any role in the 11-year-old’s slaying but was interviewed more than 20 times by police. Another man, Daniel Furlong, confessed in 2015 and was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison.
The Innocence Clinic at University of Michigan law school and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University law school filed a 119-page document Thursday in St. Joseph County court.
They said McCann was pressured into pleading no contest to perjury because he feared a long prison sentence if prosecutor John McDonough took him to trial.
“Investigators turned Mr. McCann’s hometown and even some of his family against him,” lawyers said.
The law schools said a key piece of evidence against McCann was coercive and bogus. McCann, who was a reserve police officer in Constantine, was accused of lying about meeting an officer at a path that leads to a dam during the search for Jodi.
Police said security video from a creamery showed McCann didn’t show up at the path that night. But the law schools filed an affidavit from the creamery manager, Dave Davis, who said the camera wasn’t aimed at the path entrance.
“I have no incentive to lie,” Davis said.
McDonough didn’t return an email Thursday seeking comment on the effort to clear McCann.
“I don’t think there’s anything egregious with what happened in his case,” he told the Sturgis Journal last year.
McCann clearly was a target in Jodi’s death. The law schools quoted transcripts of police interviews in 2011 in which an investigator said, “The evidence against you is insurmountable.”