Elkhart Republican Party Chairman responds to new revelations in Broken Heart: The Elkhart Police Saga Part 5
ELKHART, Ind. - The Elkhart County Republican Party's Chairman responds to the new revelations in the last report of our exclusive series, Broken Heart: The Elkhart Police Saga, which involves Elkhart County Prosecutor Vicki Becker.
On Tuesday, we told you, in an exclusive, on-camera interview, Becker admitted she was an eyewitness to Andrew Royer's interrogation in the 2002 murder of 94-year-old Helen Sailor in her Elkhart apartment. We then asked her what she knew of Lt. Carl Conway's 2005 perjury. Conway was the Elkhart Police detective who accused Royer of killing Sailor. Becker declined our request for a follow-up interview.
Royer spent 16 years in prison for the murder, but was exonerated earlier this year.
In the last 24 hours, we sent 14 requests for comment to the Elkhart Mayor's Office, the Elkhart Police Department, the Elkhart County Republican Party, Congresswoman Jackie Walorski's office, the Elkhart County Commissioners, Elkhart City Council, and the Elkhart County Sheriff's Office.
Of those, now, 11 requests have gone unanswered.
Congresswoman Walorski's office told ABC57 Investigates it would let us know if they have a comment.
Elkhart Police Chief Kris Seymore declined to comment.
But Dan Holtz, the Chairman of the Elkhart County Republican Party, sent us the following statement:
"As I said, I do not know the particulars of this case or your reporting. However, I do know Vicki Becker and know that she is an honorable woman with a longstanding history of integrity in serving the people of Elkhart County, which is one of the many reasons the voters chose her. I encourage anyone interested in reviewing the case to read the entire record and not simply cherry pick particular facts that help further an agenda."
In our email to Holtz asking for comment, we included a link to our story, which you can also see here.
Here are the facts, Carl Conway lied on the stand in 2005. An Appellate Court recognized the clear differences in his testimony in 2005 and at Royer's post-conviction relief hearing in 2019. The Court even issued a rare, public rebuke, saying:
"Detective Conway's false testimony at Royer's trial is particularly galling because he was an Elkhart Police Department detective at the time of Royer's trial and, as of the evidentiary hearing on Royer's successive petition for post-conviction relief, Detective Conway was still employed by the Elkhart Police Department overseeing the juvenile bureau and the special victims unit."
Conway resigned unexpectedly on Wednesday prior to a Police Merit Commission hearing on whether or not he'd be fired for his perjury in Royer's murder trial.
Since the court's decision to exonerate Royer, Chief Seymore even said, publicly, that a federal bank robbery case had to be dismissed because of Conway's involvement, so this impacts more than just Andrew Royer.
After Conway's resignation, Royer's attorneys called for a special prosecutor to look into Conway and anyone else involved.
This all comes after Part 5 of our special investigative series aired on Tuesday. It's the same link we sent to Holtz. In it is an exclusive interview with Elkhart County Prosecutor Vicki Becker, where she admitted to being an eyewitness during Royer's interrogation. Here's what she told us when we asked if Lt. Conway coerced a confession.
Becker: "I really... it's probably not appropriate for me to do that. I can tell you... you know what, I do not believe he coerced a confession out of Andrew Royer. I saw quite a bit of it. It's definitely not what it's being painted to be, but I certainly don't want to make myself a witness in anything. I was in an out of the room. I listened to the audio recording multiple times and no, I do not believe it was a coerced confession."
Royer's attorneys tell ABC57 Investigates neither Vicki Becker nor anyone in the Elkhart County Prosecutor's Office, or in the prosecution, disclosed that to them at any time in the last 17 years.