KANSAS CITY, Kan. – A man who said he was framed for a 2002 murder in Kansas City, Kansas and spent over 20 years in prison has died.
The family of John Keith Calvin, 56, announced his death shortly after 4 am Wednesday at El Dorado Correctional Center in Butler County, Kansas.
The Midwest Innocence Project released the following statement to FOX4:
“Keith, as his family called him, brought light, hope and kindness to every place he was present. He bore the heaviest burden, the wrongful conviction followed by a terminal illness, yet he never gave up hope that one day the system would deliver the justice he deserved.
“John Keith Calvin died innocent. Everyone knew about it and an entire community fought for it. John Calvin will have a long legacy and his fight against injustice will continue”.
In a federal lawsuit filed earlier this month, Calvin said the Kansas Department of Corrections was not providing adequate medical care for his stage 4 colon cancer.
He was eligible for parole in May.
Calvin was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of first degree murder and attempted robbery in the killing of John Coates in KCK on December 12, 2002.
Calvin’s co-defendant, Melvin Lee White Jr., who took a plea deal and served a five-year sentence, testified that he killed Coates himself. He said Calvin was with him at the time, but he didn’t know White planned to kill Coates, according to court documents.
Calvin’s attorneys also say he was framed by former KCK detective Roger Golubski, who was accused by federal prosecutors and civil rights groups of framing Black citizens and sexually harassing Black women and girls for years.
Golubski is currently under house arrest after being indicted in September on federal civil rights charges that accused him of sexually assaulting and abducting a woman and a teenager between 1998 and 2002. He was also indicted in November with the alleges he was part of a sex trafficking ring involving underage girls in a Kansas City, Kansas, apartment complex between 1996 and 1998.
Golubski pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Calvin was represented by attorneys who called for investigations into Golubski or defended his other alleged victims.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.