Exhibit A

IN THE THIRTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRUIT COURT

IN AND FOR HILLSBOROUGH COUNTRY, FLORIDA.

STATE OF FLORIDA

vs CASE: 86-1462

LEON A. TORRES

_______________________/

 

AFFIDAVIT

STATE OF FLORIDA

COUNTRY OF HILLSBOROUGH

Affiant: JOHN SCOTT LEHMAN

I John Scott Lehman, Affiant, being first duly sworn, depose and state:

  1. In 1985, I was a heavy user of marijuana. Sometime around June or July 1985, I met a man who was sitting on the park bench at the intersection of Bush Blvd. and Nebraska Ave. in Tampa, Florida named William Moore. I use to ride my bicycle to the Matterhorn Restaurant where I worked as a dishwasher. Almost every afternoon around 3 to 4 PM I would see Moore on horn for robbing, which was across the street from where he always sat. One day he asked me if I wanted a drink and I accepted. From then on, everyday I would come early to drink and talk before going to work. He asked me a lot of questions about the operation of the restaurant and later asked me to help him but not to tell anyone that he was going to rob it. When the robbery occurred, I acted as if I did not know what was going on nor did I assist him. When Mr. Frischknecht challenged Moore, he shot Mr. Frischknecht who later died. I was arrested the next day as an accopmlice to the unknown robber.

  2. As a result of several hours of intensive interrogation and threats of being charged with first degree murder and receiving the sentence of death by electrocution and after giving false testimony against James Steward, I again gave false testimony to the Tampa Police Department against Leon A. Torres. Said false testimony was later given by me, twice, to a judge and jury during the murder/robbery trial in the Hillsborough Country Courthouse in the above styled case due to threats and misconceptions.

  3. I was the only suspect the Tampa Police knew who could positively name and identify the man who wore the mask, gloves and hat wneb he robbed the Matterhorn, shooting and killing the owner Hans Frischknecht, on August 31, 1985.

  4. At first, I truthfully stated to the Tampa Police that I was involved in the robbery but I did not shoot anyone, and the man who committed the robbery and murder was William Moore, whom I described and also provided an almost exact description of his vehicle.

  5. After about two weeks, the Tampa Police said they could not find William Moore and refused to believe me that Moore committed the robbery. I again was pressured by the Police to give them another name. At this time, the Police themselves mentioned the name James Steward whom I barely knew. Due to the fear of a death sentence, I agreed that it was James Stewart. Stewart was subsequently arrested and confined in the country jail for almost four months, before it was realized that Stewart was not my accomplice.

  6. After Steward was released, the Police approached me and again threatened me into giving them another name. Out of sheer desperation, I told them that my sister’s boyfriend, Leon Torres, was the owner of the weapon used in the robbery/murder, and that Torres was masked robber who committed the murder and was my accomplice.

  7. I also told the Police that Torres, with my sister and I, has purchased ammunition for the weapon during Torres’ lunch break on August 31st. I told the Police that the ammo had been purchased for target shooting if the weather cleared.

  8. Because of my false allegation and testimony, Torres was arrested and brought to trial for the robbery/murder charges. Torres was then found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

  9. I am now willfully doing what I wanted at first to do as I did not forgive the murderer of my employer nor was such planned. I am now trying to correct a great wrong which I committed against an innocent man.

  10. I often took Leon’s weapon and ammunition from his and my sister’s apartment while he was at work. On August 31, 1985, I gave the weapon to William Moore who then committed the robbery/murder. I did not inform Torres I was talking his weapon nor did I tell him about the planned robbery that night.

  11. I do not want to live with the thought of an innocent man spending his life in prison for a crime that William Moore and I committed. I greatly regret the pressure that made me falsely testify against Torres. However, due to my mental state, my heavy drug use, my limited education and young age, the pressure and threats being applied to me by the Police and the State Attorney’s Office, which was overwhelming. I felt that I had not choice but to blame someone to avoid the electric chair, as the truth was not believed. The reason I implicated James Stewart and then Leon Torres is the Police would not believe me when I stated the truth the first time. After Stewart, I implicated Torres because he was the owner of the gun and I felt sure the Police would believe that he committed the murder/robbery, especially after they could not find Moore, and Steward had been released.

  12. As a result of my false testimony, I was given a plea agreement for a lesser sentence. Only within the past year have I satisfied that agreement. Before now, I was always afraid of informing anyone of the truth for fear the plea agreement would be withdrawn by the State and I would be taken to trial for the murder and receive the death penalty which they continually promised. Now that my sentence is completed, I step forward willingly, and gave the truth for the purpose of clearing my conscience and attempting to rectify the wrong which I committed. I should now be allowed to testify to these truths stated herein without being prosecuted further.

  13. Further, Affiant, sayent nought.

Before me, the undersigned authority, personally appeared John Scott Lehman, who was sworn and says that he is the affiant, he has read the foregoing affidavit, and the contents are true and correct.

SWORN AND SUBSCRIBED TO BEFORE me this 19th day of May, 1996.

A # L550-477-67-225-0 (Florida ID Card) was produced as identification.

9/4/96

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