Crime

Johnathan Jordan letter clears co-defendant in murder -- but will anyone believe it?

Jailhouse confessions tend to be treated skeptically by judges and juries, and with good reason; inmates have a bad habit of lying about their crimes, either to brag or to blame someone else. But the confession that inmate Jeff Johnson says he obtained from co-defendant Johnathan Jordan, stating that Jordan alone committed the 1994 murder for which Johnson is now serving life without parole, is an unusual entry in the field of purported mea culpas.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Alan Prendergast has been writing for Westword for over thirty years. He teaches journalism at Colorado College; his stories about the justice system, historic crimes, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have won numerous awards and appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.
Contact: Alan Prendergast