Oprah’s Trial: Media Miss Inner-City Murder Story


Grief and loss are common themes of her talk show, but Oprah Winfrey called the three-day murder trial on which she served as a juror “one of the saddest, saddest experiences I’ve ever had,” reports the Chicago Tribune. About 20 minutes after finding Dion Coleman, 27, guilty of first-degree murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm in the death of Walter Holley, Winfrey said reporters missed the real story when they focused what she called “unnecessary and unwanted” attention on her role as a juror. “The bigger story here for me is that a man is dead, murdered supposedly over $50, and that the real war is still going on in the inner-city streets every day with young black men killing each other,” Winfrey, 50, said.

The testimony about life in a neighborhood nicknamed “The Dog Pound” –including one witness who said she used marijuana, crack and heroin daily–was a “reality check,” Winfrey said. Despite the gruesome nature of the case, Winfrey invited jurors to come to her show for a reunion. While the media focused on Coleman’s trial, Laneare Drayton sat in court, wondering why no one was paying attention to other murder cases on the docket. She was in court for a hearing involving the man accused of strangling daughter in 2002. “You’re only here for Oprah,” Drayton told reporters.

Link: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-0408190095aug19,1,1588690.story?coll=chi-news-hed

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