The St. Clair County Sheriff's Department is facing legal scrutiny over a confession to a crime. A lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court claiming deputies forced a 17 year old with the mental capacity of a nine-year-old to confess to an armed robbery in August of last year.
The suit says there's no evidence that links Trevon Yates to the crime and based on taped testimony which shows he was in tears, begging for his mom to be with him. The young man spent nine months behind bars before the charges against him were dropped. Authorities say they dropped the case following a psychiatric evaluation of the suspect showing he suffered from mental illness. The suit alleges the police told Yates he could stay out of prison if he confessed to the robbery, even though Yates did not match a description of the suspect. The suit seeks an unspecified amount of money and other damages against St. Clair County, seven members of the sheriff’s department and other county employees.
Serving the areas of Alton, Godfrey, East Alton, Wood River, Roxana, Edwardsville, Jerseyville, Brighton, Bethalto, Grafton, Granite City, Hartford, Highland, Troy, Fairview Heights, Belleville and the surrounding cities.