Kevin Cooper had been convicted for burglary. He had escaped prison and was hiding in a vacant home near the house where the brutal killing took place.
Cooper's fingerprints were not found anywhere at the crime scene. When the only survivor of the crime, an 8-year-old boy, was interviewed by police in the hospital, he confirmed that there were three attackers. In the car, which had been stolen by the killers blood was found on three seats in the car.
Kevin Cooper requested DNA testing to confirm his innocence. The results in 2002 were negative - except for a tiny blood-stained paint chip, which had Cooper's DNA on it. His attorney Norman Hile believes that the paint chip was placed by the police and that Kevin Cooper is the victim of racist prosecution.
Four white people had been killed, the case needed to be closed quickly. Kevin Cooper, the escaped black prisoner, was the perfect suspect.
Kevin Cooper has been on death row since 1983, maintaining his innocence.