There’s a saying that it is better for 10 guilty men to go free than for one innocent man to be convicted. But while our justice system strives to ensure that only the guilty are incarcerated — or worse, executed — it’s not foolproof. Mistakes are made and justice sometimes is willfully blind. One man claimed to be innocent of a horrific crime… and he also says there is proof that he is innocent in the 2001 slaying of Hamilton County Deputy Donald Bond.
Marlon Kiser, a Tennessee man, was arrested for the murder of police officer Donald Bond, but he has always maintained his innocence. Despite this, he was found guilty and sentenced to death. However, while on death row, Kiser developed a plan to prove his innocence. He demanded that the police run a fingerprint test to see if his print matched the one found at the crime scene.
Kiser claimed that his former roommate, Michael Chattin, had framed him for the murder of the police officer. According to Kiser, Chattin discovered that Bond was having an affair with his wife, Tina Chattin, and decided to kill him. Chattin then pointed the finger at Kiser to throw suspicion off himself. Kiser even created a website, FreeMarlonKiser.com, to promote his cause and gain support from the public.
On his website, FreeMarlonKiser.com, Kiser makes his claim, he wrote as follows:
… James Michael Chattin had discovered that a Hamilton County Sheriff’s Deputy named Donald Kenneth Bond Jr. was seemingly having an affair with Tina Chattin who was Mike Chattin’s wife. On several different occasions, Mike Chattin has stated to several different individuals that his wife was seeing a cop and that he was going to kill him, and in the early morning hours of September 6th, 2001, that is exactly what Mike Chattin did.
And then, to throw suspicion off of Mike Chattin, he ran to police pointing his finger at me because I had a pending police brutality lawsuit against the Chattanooga Police Department since 1998 which was scheduled to be heard on September 17th, eleven days after Deputy Donald Bond’s death.
Kiser added that after he found out about Chattin’s drug habits, he asked him to vacate the premise.
That was the straw that broke the camel’s back, he said. Adding that Chattin had also previously asked him to kill the police officer, “In Mike Chattin’s perry old mind, he could not allow me to leave because I knew entirely too many secrets about him,” Kiser wrote.
Kiser’s attorneys requested that the authorities test his palm and fingerprints to see if they matched those found on Bond’s flashlight and police car. However, the results were unexpected – Kiser’s print matched the one found at the crime scene. Previously, Kiser had been linked to the officer’s brutal murder by fibers found on Deputy Bond’s clothes.
Despite the evidence against him, Kiser has refused to give up his fight against his impending execution. He created a petition to gather signatures asking that he not be executed by the state of Tennessee. The petition garnered several hundred signatures.
One person who signed the petition commented, “Marlon Kiser is on death row because of police corruption and police ineptness. Marlon knew about Mike Chattin’s criminal activities, and therefore Marlon was a liability to Mike Chattin.”
It’s a difficult situation – on the one hand, the evidence seems to suggest that Kiser is guilty of the crime. On the other hand, Kiser maintains his innocence and has garnered some support from the public. It’s ultimately up to the legal system to determine if Kiser should remain on death row or if there’s new evidence that could exonerate him.
Watch the video below for more details: