IN FOCUS: Damion Lucas
On April 29th, 1985, Damion Lucas, a 13 year-old boy, was watching TV with his brother, Frank. Damion Lucas and his brother had recently moved in with their uncle, Leon Lucas. That night, Damion Lucas was shot in his home next to his young brother. This incident occurred at the height of gang violence in Detroit, and there were many homicides that were unsolved. The intended target was believed to have been the boys' uncle, Leon Lucas. The homicide department, with Gil Hill as department head, was sent to investigate the shooting.
Detectives from the homicide department began questioning neighbors after getting to the scene of the crime. After interviewing a neighbor, the police were told that Leon Lucas had been seen arguing with Lakaes Davis, a friend of the family, weeks earlier. Davis had been seen threatening Leon, and, so the police arrested 20-year-old Davis. There was limited evidence against Davis, and the judge of his hearing told prosecutors that there was limited evidence to find him guilty.
Simultaneously, Leon Lucas had gone to the police to tell them that he owed drug kingpin, Leo Curry, $1,000 because of heroin that he had dealt. Lucas then said that Leo Lucas had threatened him over tickets to a wrestling match, This led the detectives to begin investigating Leo Lucas and his lieutenant, Wyman Jenkins. The Detroit News was able to get access to Detroit Police memos that detail DPD officers on the federal task force’s attempts to meet with a superior, in May of 1985, and later, in June, with Joel Gilliam, the head of narcotics at the time, who was investigating the Curry Trafficking Ring (HYPERLINK). These officers informed their superior of a federal informant who had heard Wyman Jenkins admit to being involved with the shooting along with another unnamed gang member. But, there was no follow up to this memo and the information that these officers had passed along. Gil Hill claimed that he never knew of any information from the federal task force until August of 1985.
As the federal task force became more transparent with the DPD, they revealed that they found two calls were made from Johnny Curry, brother of Leo Curry and co-leader of the Curry Trafficking Ring, to Gil Hill and Jimmy Harris following the killing of Damion Lucas. Almost nine months after the death of Damion Lucas and the arrest of Lakaes Davis, on February 19, 1986, Davis was released from jail after the prosecutor did not have sufficient evidence to keep him. Both Leo Curry and Wyman Jenkins were already serving sentences for other crimes, and they were no prosecuted for their possible crimes.
Sources for this page:
Lengel, A. and Sinclair, N. “FBI probing Gil Hill’s role in murder case”, The Detroit News and Free Press, October 25, 1992.