KANSAS CITY, Kan. (WDAF) — A man who said he was framed for a 2002 Kansas City, Kansas, murder and spent over 20 years in prison has died.
The family of John Keith Calvin, 56, announced he died just after 4 a.m. Wednesday at the El Dorado Correctional Center in Butler County, Kansas.
The Midwest Innocence Project released the following statement to FOX4:
“Keith, as his family called him, brought light, hope and kindness to every place he was present. He bore the heaviest of burdens, wrongful conviction followed by terminal illness, yet he never lost hope that the system would one day deliver the justice he deserved.”
“John Keith Calvin died an innocent man. Everyone knew this, and a whole community fought for him. John Calvin will have a long legacy, and his fight against injustice will continue.”
In a federal lawsuit filed earlier this month, Calvin alleged the Kansas Department of Corrections was not providing proper medical treatment for his stage 4 colon cancer.
He was eligible for parole in May.
Calvin was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder and attempted robbery in the Dec. 12, 2002, killing of John Coates in KCK.
Calvin’s co-defendant, Melvin Lee White Jr., who took a plea deal and served a five-year sentence, testified that he killed Coates himself. He said Calvin was with him at the time but didn’t know White planned to kill Coates, according to court records.
Calvin’s attorneys also allege he was framed by former KCK detective Roger Golubski, who has been accused by federal prosecutors and civil rights groups of framing Black citizens and sexually harassing Black women and girls for years.
Golubski currently is on house arrest after being indicted in September on federal civil rights charges accusing him of sexually assaulting and kidnapping a woman and a teenager between 1998 and 2002. He was also indicted in November on charges alleging he was part of a sex trafficking ring involving underage girls at a Kansas City, Kansas, apartment complex between 1996 and 1998.
Golubski has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Calvin was represented by lawyers who have sought investigations of Golubski or advocated for his other alleged victims.