United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Illinois law, Anthony
Johnson brings claims arising from his prosecution and two
convictions-both reversed on appeal-for the murder of Brandon
Baity. After filing suit in August 2015, Doc. 1, Johnson was
granted leave to file a first amended complaint, Docs. 24-25.
The court dismissed with prejudice Johnson's federal
claims-the Fourth Amendment false arrest claim and
Miranda claim on statute of limitations grounds, and
the Brady claim for failure to allege the
suppression of material exculpatory information-and
relinquished its supplemental jurisdiction over his state law
claims. Docs. 50-52 (Der-Yeghiayan, J.) (reported at 2016 WL
2937446 (N.D. Ill. May 20, 2016)).
appealed the dismissal of only his Miranda claim.
2016 WL 8540188 (7th Cir. 2016) (Johnson's opening appeal
brief). The Seventh Circuit reversed in part, holding that
the Miranda claim arising from Johnson's second
trial was timely, and remanded for further proceedings. 900
F.3d 428 (7th Cir. 2018). As a result of the Seventh
Circuit's decision and Johnson's settlement with some
defendants, what remains of the amended complaint are a state
law malicious prosecution claim against Chicago police
officers Brian Lutzow, Robert Garza, James Las Cola, Chester
Bach, Dave Evans, and Edward Winstead, and a Miranda
claim against Winstead and Las Cola.
remand, the case was reassigned to the undersigned
judge's calendar, Doc. 63, and the parties asked to put
the case on hold pending resolution of their cross-petitions
for certiorari, Docs. 65, 68, 70, 73. After the
cross-petitions were denied, Johnson moved for leave to file
a second amended complaint to add a due process evidence
fabrication claim and factual allegations pertinent to the
malicious prosecution claim, Doc. 80, and Defendants moved to
dismiss the Miranda and malicious prosecution
claims, Doc. 88. The court in an oral ruling granted
Johnson's motion to add factual allegations for the
malicious prosecution claim, Doc. 84, and now denies
Johnson's motion to add the evidence fabrication claim
and denies Defendants' motion to dismiss.
resolving a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court assumes the truth
of the operative complaint's well-pleaded factual
allegations, though not its legal conclusions. See Zahn
v. N. Am. Power & Gas, LLC, 815 F.3d 1082, 1087 (7th
Cir. 2016). The court must also consider “documents
attached to the complaint, documents that are critical to the
complaint and referred to in it, and information that is
subject to proper judicial notice, ” along with
additional facts set forth in Johnson's brief opposing
dismissal, so long as those additional facts “are
consistent with the pleadings.” Phillips v.
Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 714 F.3d 1017, 1020 (7th
Cir. 2013) (internal quotation marks omitted). The facts are
set forth as favorably to Johnson as those materials allow.
See Pierce v. Zoetis, Inc., 818 F.3d 274, 277 (7th
Cir. 2016). In setting forth the facts at the pleading stage,
the court does not vouch for their accuracy. See Goldberg
v. United States, 881 F.3d 529, 531 (7th Cir. 2018).
was killed on October 1, 2003. Doc. 80-1 at ¶ 11. On
December 4, 2003, Chicago police officers took Johnson, then
seventeen years old, into custody. Id. at ¶ 17.
At various points on December 5, 2003, Las Cola and Winstead
interrogated Johnson without providing Miranda
warnings, and Johnson gave unwarned statements that were
later used against him at trial. Id. at ¶¶
19-23. Johnson was released, id. at ¶¶
26-27, and was taken back into custody on different charges
on January 17, 2004, id. at ¶ 28.
meantime, on December 5, 2003, Garza arrested non-party Nolan
Swain without probable cause, and Winstead interrogated him
about Baity's murder. Id. at ¶ 29. Swain
was rearrested on May 7, 2004 as part of a drug sting.
Id. at ¶ 30. Officers acting in concert with
Bach, Evans, Lutzow, Las Cola, and Winstead beat and coerced
Swain into signing a written statement implicating Johnson in
the Baity murder. Ibid. Lutzow, Evans, Bach, and the
officers who beat Swain promised him leniency on the drug
charges if he implicated Johnson. Id. at ¶ 32.
Bach, Evans, Lutzow, Las Cola, and Winstead were aware of
Swain's mistreatment and that he had falsely implicated
Johnson. Id. at ¶ 31. The next day, Cook County
Assistant State's Attorney Andreana Ann Turano Michiels
interviewed Swain and promised him leniency if he implicated
Johnson. Id. at ¶ 33.
May 7, 2004, Rufus Johnson (“Rufus, ” to avoid
confusion) was arrested in a drug sweep. Id. at
¶ 34. Two unnamed detectives, in the presence of Cook
County Assistant State's Attorney Kevin Hughes, who was
acting in concert with Bach, Evans, Lutzow, Las Cola, and
Winstead, told Rufus that he could “help” himself
by implicating Johnson. Id. at ¶¶ 35-36.
Rufus was transferred to another police station and met with
ASA Turano Michiels, who told him that he had no choice but
to implicate Johnson, which he did in a written statement.
Id. at ¶¶ 38-39. Rufus later implicated
Johnson in grand jury testimony and accepted a plea deal for
the drug charge. Id. at ¶¶ 42-43.
in May 2004, Winstead and Las Cola took Johnson from jail to
the police station to ask him about Baity's murder, but
Johnson refused to engage. Id. at ¶¶
44-47. With Las Cola present, Winstead told Johnson that he
would make sure Johnson was charged. Id. at
¶¶ 48-49. Winstead and Las Cola then fabricated
police reports implicating Johnson in the murder.
Id. at ¶ 50. In concert with Garza, Bach, and
Evans, Winstead and Las Cola then persuaded Cook County
State's Attorney officials to bring false murder charges
against Johnson. Id. at ¶¶ 51-52.
Johnson's first trial, Lutzow, Garza, Las Cola, Bach,
Evans, and Winstead provided false inculpatory testimony and
the jury convicted him of murder. Id. at
¶¶ 12, 53. The Appellate Court of Illinois reversed
the conviction and remanded. People v. Johnson, No.
1-08-0233, 1 N.E.3d 119 ( Ill. App. 2010) (unpublished table
decision) (reproduced at Doc. 88-2).
year after the reversal, on September 4, 2011, Las Cola and
Winstead again interrogated Johnson without giving him
Miranda warnings. Doc. 80-1 at ¶¶ 57, 64.
At his second trial, Johnson's unwarned statements were
introduced through Winstead's and Las Cola's
testimony, and those two officers, Lutzow, Garza, Bach, and
Evans testified falsely against him. Id. at
¶¶ 54, 59, 66. The jury again convicted Johnson of
murder. Id. at ¶ 14. The state appellate court
reversed the conviction on the ground that Johnson had not
been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. People v.
Johnson, 23 N.E.3d 1216 ( Ill. App. 2014).