Chicago family asks State's Attorney Kim Foxx to review murder conviction based on legally blind witness's testimony

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago family is hoping their son's murder conviction will be thrown out after a review by the Cook County State's Attorney because, they say, it was based on the testimony of a legally blind witness.

Darien Harris, now 26, was two weeks from graduating high school when he was arrested for murder in 2011. His family claims he was home watching the NBA Playoffs at the time of the shooting.

He was just 18 years old when he was sentenced to 76 years in prison. The crime took place at a BP gas station across the street from Jackson Park in the city's Woodlawn neighborhood.

"Please send my baby home," said Nakesha Harris, his mother. "Do not let me spend another Mother's Day without my firstborn."

The Harris family is asking Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx to review the case. With no physical evidence tying Darien to the crime, his conviction was largely based on the testimony of a witness who is legally blind - information that was not disclosed to the judge who decided the case in 2014.

"In his testimony he did start to stay he has vision problems, but when asked a second time he said 'No I don't," said Jodi Garvey, attorney for Darien Harris.

Documents from doctors dating back to 2002 show witness David Saffold is legally blind, especially at night, when the shooting took place. Saffold testified that he saw Harris shoot and kill a man, and severely injure another.

Saffold said the shooter bumped into him at the gas station as he ran from the scene, but Garvey said gas station surveillance tape places a man believed to be Saffold on the scene one minute after the shooter and a friend take off.

"He couldn't have bumped into him, he couldn't have seen him," said a BP clerk who asked not to be identified, and who said he witnessed the shooting.

The clerk said Saffold did not see the shooter but claims he did, and said he saw the gunman with a second person.

"I am 110% sure they got the right two guys," the clerk said.

And the Harris family is 110% convinced Darien is innocent.

"We have hope and faith they are going to do the right thing now," Nakesha said.

While he is convinced Darien is the shooter, the BP clerk that spoke with ABC7 gave conflicting testimony to Darien's attorney. The clerk was also never called as a witness in the 2014 trial.

If Harris' conviction is not overturned, the Harris family is hoping at the very least for a new trial.
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