A federal judge says Crosley Green was wrongfully convicted of murder. "48 Hours" spends the first hours of freedom with the Florida man and takes a look back at his case. See more of his emotional homecoming in "Crosley Green Comes Home."
After serving nearly 32 years in prison, Crosley Green, 63, was released from the Calhoun Correctional Institution outside Tallahassee, Florida, on April 7, 2021. In 1990 Crosley was convicted for the murder of 22-year-old Chip Flynn. A crime he has always maintained he did not commit.
The Death of Chip Flynn
When investigators found 22-year-old Chip Flynn in an abandoned orange grove, he was laying on his stomach with his hands tied behind his back, bleeding from a gunshot wound to his chest. All he would say is "Get me out of here. I want to go home."
Kim Hallock's Story
In the early morning hours of April 4, 1989, police received a 911 call from 19-year-old Kim Hallock. She said she was with her ex-boyfriend, Chip Flynn, in his truck in Holder Park in Brevard County, Florida, when a Black man robbed and kidnapped them.
Chip Flynn Also Had A Gun
Kim Hallock told police Chip Flynn managed to get a hold of his gun that Hallock had hidden on the truck seat. With his hands still tied behind his back "he leaned out of the truck and somehow shot at the guy," but investigators found no gunshot residue on Flynn's hands.
A Single Bullet
When Kim Hallock drove away, leaving Chip Flynn at the orange grove, she said she heard five to six gunshots. But the only bullet found was the one that killed Flynn.
Officers At The Scene
When first responders Mark Rixey and Diane Clarke found Chip Flynn in the orange grove, he was laying on his stomach with his hands tied behind his back, bleeding from a gunshot wound to his chest. All he would say is "Get me out of here. I want to go home." They desperately tried to save his life but were unsuccessful.
Sgt. Diane Clarke told prosecutors she suspected Kim Hallock was involved in the shooting, but she says her suspicions were discounted.
According to a report from the night of the shooting, Kim Hallock said the assailant told her to tie Flynn's hands. But just hours later, in her taped interview she said, "the Black man was tying Chip's hands."
Listen to her interview with detectives.
Investigators claimed almost immediately they got a tip that a small-time drug dealer, Crosley Green, was involved. Green had recently been released from jail, but he offered an alibi for the night Chip was killed.
Green says he was seen at the time of the murder by multiple witnesses at a party two miles away but his former attorney only called one to testify at his trial.
The Photo Lineup
Kim Hallock picked Crosley Green [#2] as the assailant from this photo lineup. Green's picture is smaller and darker than any of the other pictures. His lawyers say it made him unfairly stand out. Investigators also told Hallock that the man that they suspected was in the lineup. This is no longer allowed under Florida's current laws.
Prosecutor Chris White
Prosecutor Christopher White took Kim Hallock at her word. He does not believe Kim Hallock was the shooter. In 2015 he told "48 Hours" "…one thing I'm sure of, based on the evidence in this case, it wasn't Kim Hallock." He says there is nothing, "concrete to tell anybody that Kim Hallock lied."
Evidence Against Crosley Green
In August 1990, Crosley Green went on trial for the murder of Chip Flynn. The state claimed a dog followed the scent of shoeprints found near Holder Park to a house where one of Green's sisters lived. However, those shoeprints were never linked to Green.
The State's Star Witness
The trial hinged on the testimony of the state's star witness Kim Hallock. On the stand Kim identified Crosley Green as the "Black man" who attacked her and Chip Flynn.
Three witnesses testified that Crosley Green had confessed to the crime. One of the witnesses was Crosley's sister, Sheila Green. After trial, all three recanted and said they had lied on the stand. Sheila told "48 Hours" she had legal problems at the time she testified and felt pressured to work with prosecutors.
On September 5, 1990, an all-White jury convicted Crosley Green of kidnapping, robbery and murder. There was no physical evidence that linked Green to the crime. In 1991 he was sentenced to die in Florida's electric chair.
Wrongful & Unconstitutional Conviction
The notes written by Christopher White in 1989 said first responders on the scene, Mark Rixey and Diane Clarke, were suspicious of Kim Hallock and her changing story. In July 2018, a federal judge ruled that prosecutors violated Crosley Green's right to a fair trial because they withheld these notes from his defense team. Green's conviction was overturned, and the judge ordered a new trial.
Waiting for the Decision
The state of Florida appealed the overturning of Crosley Green's conviction, and for nearly three years he waited in prison for the court of appeals to make a decision. When coronavirus swept through the prison where Green was held, his lawyers, worried about his health, filed a motion to have him released pending the appeal.
A federal judge granted Crosley Green's lawyers motion for immediate release. On April 7, 2021, after spending half of his life behind bars Green finally walked out of prison into the arms of his family.
Sweet Taste of Freedom
Crosley Green waited over three decades to get his sweet taste of freedom, strawberry ice cream. He said, "I've been telling everybody, 'I want me a pint of strawberry ice cream.'" After Green finished his ice cream cone, his lawyers sent him home with a quart of the treat he had been craving for so long.
First Full Day of Freedom
Every second of Crosley Green's first full day of freedom seemed to be special. In the midst of his press conference, after thanking God and his lawyers, Green took notice of a giant tree, "somethin' I haven't stood up under in 30-some years."
12 Yards of Freedom
Crosley Green isn't completely free, he is still waiting for the U.S. Court of Appeals to rule on his case. In the meantime, he must wear an ankle bracelet and can't go beyond the property limits of his brother-in-law's home without permission from his probation officer. Green calls it his "12 yards of freedom."
What Happens Next
If the U.S. Court of Appeals rule in Crosley Green's favor, the state of Florida will have 45 days to decide if they want to recharge and retry Crosley for the murder of Chip Flynn. If a new trial does happen, Green's lawyers say it won't just be Crosley on trial. The lawyers say this is a "one-witness case" and the inconsistencies of Kim Hallock's story will be featured.
There is also a chance the appeals court will side with the state, reinstate Crosley Green's conviction, and send him back to prison. But Green doesn't believe that will happen. "I really believe that deep down in my soul, I'm not goin' back to prison," he said.