Myon Burrell is currently serving life in prison for the killing of 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards in 2002. He was charged when he was 16 years old in Minnesota and he was prosecuted under then-County Attorney Amy Klobuchar. Burrell maintains his innocence, saying a lack of evidence led to his conviction and eventual life sentence. He holds Klobuchar as the “source of everything that happened, with her charging me” in an interview with ABC News.
“That’s what the district attorney’s job is, is to either charge or not charge. You never took the time to look into this case. You never took the time to go and actually see, is this true or is this false,” Burrell said about Klobuchar.
The 33-year-old further said, “She gave the police free rein and just said, ‘bring me back a conviction, secure me a conviction’ and that’s what they did, by any means necessary.”
A recent Associated Press investigation into Burrell’s case determined that his conviction was “flawed,” causing a number of groups, including the Minneapolis NAACP, to demand Klobuchar suspend her campaign.
At the time of the murder investigation, the lead homicide detective offered “major dollars” for names while evidence was limited. There were no fingerprints, no gun, nor any DNA. Key evidence that could have helped the case had gone missing or was never obtained, including a convenience store surveillance tape that Burrell says would have cleared his name. Even Burrell’s co-defendants have admitted their part in Tyesha’s death, saying Burrell wasn’t even present. For years, one in particular — Ike Tyson — said that he was actually the person who pulled the trigger. Authorities wouldn’t believe him because he gave contradicting accounts earlier in the investigation, but Tyson says he was just trying to get the cops off his back.
“I already shot an innocent girl,” explained Tyson, who is serving a 45-years sentence. “Now an innocent guy — at the time he was a kid — is locked up for something he didn’t do. So, it’s like I’m carrying two burdens.”
When questioned by The Associated Press, a Klobuchar campaign spokesperson said Burrell was tried and convicted of Tyesha’s murder twice, and the second trial went down when Klobuchar was no longer the Hennepin County Attorney. If new evidence surfaced, she said, it should be immediately looked over by the court.
Klobuchar doubled down her stance in a statement to CNN:
“As I’ve said before, this case should be reviewed immediately. This was about an 11-year-old girl, Tyesha Edwards, who was killed while she was sitting at her kitchen table doing her homework. And as a prosecutor, our job is to convict the guilty and protect the innocent. So if any evidence was not put forward or was not appropriately investigated or if new evidence has emerged that should have been discovered at the time, it must be reviewed.”
When Burrell was asked by ABC News what he thought about the Associated Press report, Burrell said that he cried when he read it. “Because all of these years I’ve been in here and I’ve been screaming and I’ve been telling people that I’m innocent and I’m not supposed to be here but my voice was never heard,” he said.
Burrell still remains hopeful, even while still behind bars despite losing his childhood. “I’ve been in here since I was a teen,” he said. “All of my twenties, my thirties. I’ll be 34 years old next month, you know what I mean? So it’s like, I’ll never be able to get that back.”
You can watch Burrell’s full ABC News interview below.