The following is an exclusive Interview, that I did with Edward Lang. Edward fights for his life, but no one gives him the chance to tell his version of the story. Edward is currently doing a lot to prove his innocence.
He felt betrayed by his friends at that time, his accomplice accepted a deal to escape the death penalty. Also, many things are unclear, no one was ever really been able to prove that Edward has murdered the two people. The whole case is based solely on circumstantial evidence. Because Edward had already robbed people, he had to be the perpetrator, according to the prosecutor’s office. No one has examined the witnesses, no one has examined their past. In my opinion, Ohio has sent the wrong man to death row.
Q: How is life on Death Row? Can you briefly describe your day?
EL: : Life on Death-Row is very slow and sometimes can be very depressing. There are limited programs in Ohio for us due to our status. There are 3 Housing units for us. Each housing unit houses roughly 44 prisoners, 22 upstairs (Top range) and 22 downstairs (Bottom range). We are allowed out of our cells for nearly 10 hours each day to interact with others on our range within our housing unit. Each housing unit are allowed outside recreation for roughly 2 hours increments three times a day twice a week with a total of 15 prisoners mixed between the top and bottom ranges. As well as Gym time for the same amount of time and allotted prisoners twice a week. Because of the lack of programs and outside recreation we are allowed TV’s in our cells if we are able to afford them as well as radios, and other property to keep us occupied throughout our time.
Q: Since you are here, what kind of hobbies do you do, what is it, that keeps you occupied?
EL: My time is spent reading, writing and drawing. I also play basketball and listen to music. My job status is a Barber. I attend Bible study group and Kairos each Thursday. I am currently working on a BA in theology courses through Nations University.
Q: That’s really great, that the Prison gives you a variety of options…
EL: I am working on publishing several books one being an autobiography, books of poetry as well as other projects soon. I am a beloved father of two beautiful daughters who’s lives I’m active in everyday. I have received both my GED and High school diploma since been I prison, currently taking college courses ve completely several programs as well.
Q: You moved from Baltimore to the Canton area, did you know your co-deffendant Antonio Walker, before you moved there?
EL: I moved to Ohio in July of 2006. I met Antonio Walker soon after through my sons mother Tamia Horton. Antonio lived across from us in the apartment complex that we stayed in. Antonio and I would speak in passing, but we never really shared a friendship with each other due to him being a drug dealer and me being known for robbing drug dealers in the area. It wasn’t until October of 2006 when Antonio and I began to become acquainted.
Q: So he knew, that you was known for robbing drug dealers and he probably thought that it would be a good partnership? Him, knowing the drug dealers in the area, that you could rob and then sharing the money?
EL: He approached me several times about commiting robberies with me due to him being short on money.
Q: And on October 22nd 2006 you finally agreed to his plans. Edward, i know you are a very protective person, and you don’t want to but would you let us know, what really happened on October 22nd 2006?
EL: On Oct 22, 2006 Antonio came to Tamia’s home where I was at and after a while we agreed to rob a local drug dealer that he had once been in prison with. We set up a drug transaction with this guy and agreed to meet him. As we waited on the guy Antonio began to panic in fear that the guy may retaliate against him if he knew that he had been involved in the robbery. After convincing him to cover his face with his hood we preceded to go along with the robbery, As soon as we entered the car to rob the guy Antonio immediately shot and killed the drug dealer and his girlfriend without warning. We Both ran seperate ways and eventually met back up at my house then eventually went to his house where he was supposed to dispose of the gun and phone that was used to lure the victim to the drug deal. His reasons for murdering them was that he had panicked and assumed the guy was reaching for a gun. The next day i met up with a mutual friend named Teddy Serry. Teddy asked me if I knew anything about the murders and I denied it. He asked this because these murders happened on the same street that I lived on. That same day Teddy was questioned by detectives about him possibly being involved in these murders due to his number being called by the same phone used to call the victims before and after the murders. Initially he denied knowing anything about the murders but after being threatened to be charged with involvement he implicated me saying that I admitted to him that I committed the murders. He claimed to not really remember exactly what I told him to due being high on cold medicine with codine in it but after further pressure gave a statement saying that I told him I murdered these two during a robbery. Teddy would tell a private investigator that he didn’t want to testify against me and that he only implicated me to keep from being involved. Shortly after I was arrested Teddy caught a drug charge and agreed to testify against me for the charges to be dropped against him. His trial statement didn’t match his initial statement. I was arrested while pulling up to Antonio’s house trying to help him get rid of the murder weapon. I initially gave the police a false statement saying that someone named Tony Moore (Who don’t exist) used my gun to rob and kill these victims and that I had nothing to do with the murders only the robbery. It was through Tamia Horton that they discovered that I was lying and protecting Antonio and found out who he was and where he lived and they put out a warrant for his arrest. Antonio turned himself into authorities and put everything on me.
Q: Did authorities offer you something in exchange for information about the murders?
EL: I was offered life without parole to testify against Antonio but I refused.
Q: They offered Antonio the same basically, but he accepted. So either of you was offered a deal in exchange for Information, and in this case, Antonio took it. He deceided to testify against you?
EL: Antonio took a plea deal for 49 years to life for his role in these murders but after the state seen that they had no real case agaisnt me; no DNA,fingerprints, blood found on my clothes was my own and not my victims, no gun powder residue found on any of my clothing they agreed to allow Antonio to testify against me for 18 years to life for complicity to man slaughter. It must be be noted that I’m charged with aggravated Murder not Man Slaughter so him having complicity to man slaughter if he complicited in an aggravated murder makes no sense.
Q: That means Antonio changed his story in order to ger a deal?
EL: Antonio’s trial statement is different from his initial statement to the police, he admits to lying on the stand several times and agreed that he would do what ever it took to avoid the death penalty which included lying. I was convicted on merely testimony alone and the two who testified committed perjury several times and only testified to get charges dropped and their time reduced. My story has remained the same since day one. I have all the statements given by Teddy and Antonio to show their inconsistencies as well as transcripts of their testimony and plea agreements which can verify my claims.
Q: Well, it came in handy for them to charge you and convince a Jury, this started all very early on, you have robbed people as a child. This was a major fact in this case, they turned your past against you, because they had no evidence in the murder case.
EL: If I may be honest with you all, I am no saint or an angel nor do I claim to be. I take full accountability for my role in what led up to these murders but I didn’t murder anyone. I grew up amidst drugs and gangs on the westside of Baltimore, Maryland in the Edmondson Village area. I got involved in the streets at the tender age of 10 and I got involved in drug dealing and gangs at the age of 12. I’m not proud of this, and I’ve done a lot of wrong in my life and I’ve made choices out of pure survival and some that I didn’t have to make, but I’m am on death row for something that someone else did and I want to bring light to not only my situation but other circumstances and situations similar than mine. Before you began to judge me look through all the facts in my case. what’s put in the media about my case is not 100% truth. What’s wrote in my appeal documents is the prosecution version of events and I can prove the contrary to.
Q: You was talking about, that the Prosecution had no to little evidence, and that there were many errors in the case, what exactly do you mean by that?
EL: The prosecution only confiscated a blue hoody and a pair a shoes from Antonio to test for DNA and gun powder residue. He admitted to having on a black sweat shirt not a blue and Tamia Horton and his girlfriend Amber Walls both gave statements confirming this which I have both of. The police recovered the exact clothing that I was wearing during these murders and took Several pieces of clothing from my home; multiple shirts, jackets, shoes, and pants and none had any blood, DNA or Gun powder residue on them. My then girlfriend Rayna G. gave an affidavit saying that the clothes that I wore the night of these murders were never washed and I immediately placed them in the dirty clothes hampter after coming home that night. She never saw any blood splatter, or smelled any traces of Gun shot residue on me or my clothing. Before recovering my clothing the detectives took photos of them inside the dirty clothes hampter showing that they have never been washed. I have the photos and affidavit confirming this. This is significant because photos of the crime scene show large amounts of blood splatter in the car which mean that the murderer would have DNA on their clothing.None was on mine, but Antonio’s clothing was never recovered. Unfortunately a polygraph test was never offered to me and I will take one at will, however it must be understood that in court a polygraph is only valuable if you fail not pass. One of the victims family attempted to sit on my jury and lied about knowing me or anything about the case. After she was discovered, (after the trial started) she was just simply removed from the jury without incident though she attempted to sabotage my conviction and showed a strong connection and loose association with other jurors. My lawyers failed to call for a mistrial which should have been done.
Q: What would you like to say to Antonio Walker, if you had the chance?
EL: I refused to testify against Antonio and never implicated him directly because I didn’t want to be viewed as a snitch. I wish he had been honest about His involvement in this case which could have kept me from begin incarcerated but the circumstances of the situation remains as is.
Q: What would you like the Families of Jaron Burditte and Marnell Cheek to know?
EL: I would like to tell the victims family that I deeply regret having been involved in this case, and that I apologize for my roles in these murderes and that I didn’t take their their loved ones lifes. It’s hard to have remorse for something that I didn’t do, but I am deeply sorry for my roles which led up to these murders. This case has greatly affected my family and loved ones as well is it did for you all.
Q: You do have alot of support around you, and your case was recently moved to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in which all your trust of justice lies. Who else is working close to you or do you want to mention?
EL: I have two private lawyers representing me (court appointed), myself, my mother as well as Mrs. T. James are doing all we can to bring awareness to my case and situation. Special thanks to Mrs. James for her help and love and support as well as my family and support team. The release dates of my books will be posted via Facebook.com/Malik Sincere or Facebook. com/Tek Miller. You can contact me for more additional information at Edward Lang #532018, Chilicothe Correctional Institution, P. O. Box #5500
Chillicothe, Ohio 45601