Exonerated man fights to regain reputation
Constantine – For eight years, residents of this small town thought one of their own was a murderer. They believed Ray McCann had sexually assaulted and suffocated an 11-year-old girl in 2007.
People who had known Ray McCann his whole life began to avoid him. Members of his own family turned on him. He was arrested and served 20 months in prison for allegedly lying to police during the murder investigation.
But the town’s suspicion was based on a pack of lies, his attorneys said. And the people who told those lies were the police, who claimed they had evidence linking McCann to the crime.
McCann was cleared in 2015 when another man confessed to the murder.
By that time, his reputation was in tatters. After living his whole life in this western Michigan community 30 miles south of Kalamazoo, he has fled to another town. But the stigma has followed.
“I lost everything. I lost everything I had,” he said. “I still don’t understand how it happened.”
McCann wants to salvage his image by having a judge set aside the perjury conviction and grant him a new trial. He said the evidence was as bogus as the proof police claimed to have in the murder.
During a preliminary hearing in 2014, a detective with the Michigan State Police said McCann lied about going to a path leading to a dam during his search for victim Jodi Parrack. Video from a surveillance camera at a nearby creamery showed McCann never appeared at the path, Det. Bryan Fuller testified.
But, in an affidavit filed by McCann’s attorneys in June, the creamery manager said the camera wasn’t pointed at the path.
A hearing on McCann’s bid to clear his name will be held Dec. 15 at St. Joseph County Circuit Court in
Ray McCann says police lied when they said evidence showed he sexually assaulted and killed Jodi Parrack, 11, in 2007. Next month, he will ask a judge to clear his record of perjury counts he served jail time for in the case.
Ray McCann served time for perjury in the case of Jodi Parrack, left. Daniel Furlong, right, eventually confessed to killing her.