By Koran Addo, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (TNS)
ST. LOUIS — Certain witnesses who spoke before the grand jury investigating the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown told obvious lies under oath, St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said.
“Clearly some were not telling the truth,” he said Friday morning during an interview on KTRS-AM.
In his first extensive interview since the grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, McCulloch said he had no regrets about letting grand jury members hear from non-credible witnesses.
“Early on I decided that anyone who claimed to have witnessed anything would be presented to the grand jury,” McCulloch said before adding that he would’ve been criticized no matter his decision.
During the interview, McCulloch referenced a woman who claimed to have seen the shooting.
This “lady clearly wasn’t present,” McCulloch said during the nearly 30-minute interview on KTRS. “She recounted a story right out of the newspaper,” backing up Wilson’s version of events.
The criticism of that witness fits the questions surrounding Sandra McElroy, also known as Witness 40.
McElroy, who has admitted to using racial slurs and trying to raise money for Wilson, testified that she saw the entire shooting unfold, and that Brown charged the officer shortly before he was killed — a detail that has been at the center of the shooting because of conflicting reports.
Investigators picked apart McElroy’s story, saying she could not have left the apartment complex in the way she described.
She also gave conflicting accounts of why she was at the scene of the shooting that day and admitted that she has short-term memory problems from a head-on collision that left her with a traumatic brain injury.
McCulloch on Friday also said he had no regrets about announcing the grand jury decision after dark on the night of Nov. 24.
“There was no good time to make the announcement,” he said. “Whatever was going to happen was going to happen.”
The nighttime decision, he added, was good for area schools and also allowed business owners time to decide if they would open the next day.
Of the riots that followed the announcement, McCulloch said they were out of his control.
“Those who were bent on destruction, they weren’t demonstrators, they’re common criminals,” he said.
Photo: Joe Newman via Flickr