By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A group of Philadelphia mothers who claim their kids are falsely accused of crimes have started a movement that is beginning to take root.
The seed for “Mothers For Justice” was planted in May, when 18-year-old Tomayo McDuffy was charged with attempted murder for allegedly trying to blow up the home of his blind next-door neighbor.
The neighbor testified that her dog dialed 911 after McDuffy, whose voice she said she identified, broke into her home and turned on the gas burners of her stove (see related story).
“They immediately arrested my son and put charges on him,” says Nasheeba Adams, McDuffy’s mother. “His bail was set at half a million dollars based on this woman’s accusations.”
Adams began protesting outside of the Philadelphia district attorney’s office, demanding justice. Soon, other mothers contacted her and joined the protest.
One mother, Virginia King Keith, says her 27-year-old son Tyrone has sat in jail for five months for attempted murder despite victim testimony that her son is innocent.
“The guy testified under oath that [my son] did not shoot him, and they sent him back to prison with a million dollar bond,” she says, adding, “We are going to keep fighting.”
Philadelphia District Attorney’s office spokesperson Tasha Jamerson says a judge found there was enough evidence in both the McDuffy and Keith cases at their preliminary hearings so it is now up to a jury of their peers.
In the meantime, the moms say they are working together to raise money for lawyers, investigators and more. They’re throwing block parties, fish fries and doing whatever they can with the hope that their sons will be freed.