Michael P. Malone’s Other Victims

by Jamison Koehler on April 17, 2010

I have written a number of entries over the last couple of months about the case of Donald E. Gates, a man who was imprisoned for 27 years for a crime the evidence now shows he did not commit.  Gates was convicted in large part on the basis of false testimony by FBI analyst Michael P. Malone.

Donald Gates, as it turns out, is not the only person to have been wrongly convicted on the basis of Malone’s testimony.  In 2001, for example, the government notified the defense lawyers of Anthony E. Bragdon that Malone had testified falsely in the trial that led to Bragdon’s conviction for rape in 1992. Malone’s testimony on carpet fibers found on the victim’s clothing was the only scientific evidence linking Bragdon to the offense.

Ten years into Bragdon’s sentence, prosecutors disclosed to Bragdon’s lawyers that Malone had testified falsely as to other possible sources of fibers found on the victim’s clothing.  Malone had also failed to perform the necessary tests supporting his conclusion that the fibers found on the victim’s clothing probably came from Bragdon’s carpet.

Gates and Bragdon were eventually freed as the result of an FBI investigation in the 1990s that arose out of a whistleblower’s allegations questioning the tactics of Malone and 12 other FBI analysts. The AP has reported that despite the identification of over 3,000 suspect cases, only 150 defendants have been notified of problems.  And, as I have noted earlier, Gates was not released until December 2009.

In addition to the Gates and Bragdon cases, Malone testified in the John Hinckley, Bobby Joe Long, and Alcee Hastings cases.  Malone also played a key role, as I will describe in future entries, in the Jeffrey MacDonald case.

7 Comments on “Michael P. Malone’s Other Victims

  1. So when does Malone face prosecution?

  2. Good question!

    I am actually looking into this now. My current understanding is that he was moved out of forensics in 1997 when all of this came to light and that he retired in 1999. But as far as I can tell, he was never disciplined.

    The St. Petersburg Times quoted him as saying in 2001: “Nobody’s convinced anybody in a black robe that I’ve done anything wrong. I did the best I could. Crime labs aren’t perfect. People aren’t perfect.”

    Some people could take that as a challenge.

  3. These stories run chills up my spine. My biggest nightmare as a prosecutor is convicting an innocent person. One thing I know, and can reassure myself, is that it will never, ever happen on purpose. Doing so in good faith is no less frightening a prospect.

  4. I have been investigating Michael Malone since 1989 when I first heard from fellow FBI Special Agent William Tobin that Malone has given false and misleading testimony in the trial of the Federal Judge Alcee Hastings. Through FOIA requests since 1998 which have been handled by the law firm of Kohn, Kohn, and Colapinto we have collected hundreds of thousands of documents through which we have combed looking for any cases in which Malone was involved. At this point we have identified about 1750 and still have a lot of work to do. Anyone who wishes this information can have it at no cost. We wish to find the victim defendants of Malone’s mistakes. As for Malone, he is beyond any accounting as he was an FBI agent and can not be reached. If anyone reading this wishes to contact me my cell is 252 341 0647. I would be more than glad to speak with you.
    Frederic Whitehurst, J.D., Ph.d
    Attorney at Law, Forensic Consultant

  5. My son Tony Fantauzzi was also convicted on Michael Malone dna evedance. wich at that time was question. back in 1988. My son is now serving 25 to life for somthing he did not do. I wish sombody could help him. the inacent program is looking in to it but its takes so long. Thank you Jack fantauzzi .

  6. Hello, I am researching Mr. Malone’s work on the Benjamin Boyle execution on 4-21-97. An independent review of his testimony was completed by Cathryn L Levine. Mr. Boyle was put to death for the rape/murder of Gail Lenore Smith.
    R/
    Armando

  7. Good evening, I would like to discuss the case involving Derrie A. Nelson convicted by Michael P. Malone on false testimony of hair samples. Derrie is currently serving a life sentence in the F.C.C in Butner N.C. because of Michael P. Malones false testimony. He has been trying to get a new trial but, to no avail. Please contact me, Patricia Nickens at bigcnick0468@yahoo.com or contact 3 are as follows 703-773-6317- work or cell 571-408-3857. Thank you and I look to hear back from you very soon. Have a pleasant day!

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