Pressure grows to pardon former Elkhart man imprisoned for robbery

(Photo supplied)

Keith Cooper says he’s innocent. His supporters say he’s innocent. His attorney says he’s innocent. Evidence that popped up in 2006 that freed him from prison shows he’s probably innocent.

But Cooper’s criminal record shows he’s not innocent of an Elkhart robbery in 1996, which landed him in prison for a decade. Now, pressure is mounting to pardon him for that crime, according to the Elkhart Truth.

Cooper took a deal with Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill in 2006 that freed him from prison. But a catch to that deal kept the felony robbery conviction on his record.

His supporters are now asking people to call Hill’s Elkhart office and ask him to join the offensive on a push to pardon Cooper. For instance, his supporters have even started a petition. Jack Heller, who is a Huntington University professor, started the petition on behalf of Cooper, who now lives in Chicago.

Gov. Mike Pence says the court system can still reverse Cooper’s conviction. Despite that, Cooper’s supporters say that Pence is “punting” the issue, according to the Elkhart Truth.

Hill’s office declined to release a public statement to the Elkhart Truth, even though it was logging and recording calls made in support of Cooper.

RELATED: Illinois man seeks to pardon for Elkhart robbery he says he didn’t commit

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