Kansas man who said he was charged with murder dies in prison

KANSAS CITY, Kansas — 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 he died just after 4 a.m. 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, a wrongful conviction followed by a terminal illness, but he never lost hope that one day the system would bring the justice he deserved.”

“John Keith Calvin died an innocent man. Everyone knew that, and a whole community fought for him. John Calvin will have a long legacy and his fight against injustice will continue.”

In a federal lawsuit filed earlier this month, Calvin alleged that the Kansas Department of Justice failed to provide adequate medical treatment 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 on the December 12, 2002 murder of John Coates at the KCK.

Calvin’s co-defendant, Melvin Lee White Jr., who entered into a plea deal and is serving a five-year sentence, testified that he killed Coates himself. He said Calvin was with him at the time but did not know White wanted to kill Coates, according to court records.

Calvin’s attorneys also allege he was framed by former KCK detective Roger Golubski, who federal prosecutors and civil rights groups have accused of framing black citizens and sexually harassing black women and girls for years.

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Golubski is currently under house arrest after being indicted in September on federal civil rights charges of sexually assaulting and kidnapping a woman and a teenager between 1998 and 2002. He was also charged in November with alleged membership in a sex trafficking ring between 1996 and 1998 involving underage girls at an apartment complex in Kansas City, Kansas.

Golubski has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Calvin was represented by attorneys who launched investigations into Golubski or advocated for his other alleged victims.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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