David Dark Horse Croft has been languishing in a Florida prison for 30 years. His request for a public defender to assist with his case denied. His pro se motions denied, his pleas for relief denied. David is being punished for a crime that even the prosecutor in his case said he is “least culpable” for. This admission clearly acknowledges David has been railroaded by the State of Florida and they simply don’t care enough to take action to right this wrong that has been done to him.
From the outset, in 1983, 17 year old David never had a chance for a fair hearing when he was arrested, along with Jeffrey Murphy, for the murder of Penny Faulkner. Normal legal processes, protocols and procedures were blatantly violated by authorities in the handling of David’s case. He was illegally detained as a juvenile, his mother was not allowed to be present during his interrogation which allowed detectives to coerce a false taped statement out of him. Under Florida law, the statement which was submitted as a “confession” should have been thrown out because it was illegally obtained. instead, it was allowed to be used as the basis of a plea deal David was tricked into accepting by his public defender which carried an excessively long sentence. it is important to note that prosecutorial malfeasance is evident in the handling of the transcript of David’s taped statement. What was typed is not consistent with what David said. in other words, what was transcribed were things he NEVER said and then it was submitted as his “confession” which he never saw or signed. ironically, this illegal altering of his statement by the prosecutor cannot be further investigated because the tape has been mysteriously “lost” or “destroyed”, so David has been told by the DOC.
Furthermore, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) there is no DNA linking David to the Crime nor any physical evidence.
The only thing David is guilty of is backing down that infamous night when Jeffrey Murphy (convicted of first degree murder of Penny Faulkner) pulled a knife on him. David not having a weapon, was to overcome with fear for his own life to stand up to Murphy. Experiencing severe withdrawals from meth and speed tablets at the time of the incident which impaired his thinking, Murphy, today, is tortured by the fact that he did not listen to David’s pleas to get Penny immediate help. “I am so sorry that I didn’t listen to you when you urged me to rush her to the hospital. Her death would have been averted, and so many lives wouldn’t have been forever altered ” states Murphy in his 2009 letter to David. Murphy also states that, “ I’ve often wished that it had been me instead of Penny. I’m sooooooo sorry for what I did to her – and to you!. ” Murphy’s statements supports the evidence that David played no role in the murder of Faulkner.
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David replays that horrific night over and over in his head and lives with a heavy heart and remorse for not standing up for Faulkner. He allowed fear to petrify him and has since use that dark incident as a catalyst to turn his life around by kicking his drug and alcohol addiction and becoming a teacher and advocate to other prisoners. Now, David does not hesitate to call out what’s wrong and to speak up for what’s right.
After serving 30 years in prison, David is no longer the scared 17 year old, drug addict he was in 1983. Today he is a changed man, a deeply spiritual man who practices traditional Native American spirituality (he is of Cherokee ancestry). He is married to his supportive soulmate of 6 years. He is eager to be with his wife and use his life experience and personal transformation to mentor the youth and show them the destructive path of using drugs and hanging with the wrong crowd.
David would be much more of an asset to society as a FREE MAN if given the chance. Give David a second chance.