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  • Writer's pictureMaggie Freleng

Episode 18: Ralph Trent Stokes

From journalist Maggie Freleng and the Obsessed Network

On March 11, 1982 Mary Louise Figueroa, Eugene Jefferson, and Peter Santangelo were murdered during a robbery of Smokin’ Joe’s Corner, a restaurant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 19-year-old Ralph Trent Stokes used to work there in the kitchen and got word that he was a prime suspect. He was arrested three days later and at trial after only 45 minutes of deliberation, Ralph Stokes was convicted of three counts of first degree murder and sentenced to death. Roger King was the prosecutor. He held the record for most death sentences achieved in the state of Pennsylvania when he retired. He’s also infamous for prosecutorial misconduct and having multiple overturned convictions.

King used made up physical evidence placing Ralph at the location of the crime and his star witness fled the jurisdiction dressed as a woman and stayed away for several weeks. Larry Krasner, the current District Attorney, trying to right King’s wrongs recently offered Ralph’s attorney’s to come to their office and view evidence previously withheld from the defense. Was the star witness the perpetrator all along? And who was the second robber?

Ralph desperately needs proper representation. If you can, please check out one of these ways you can help, especially donating to his legal defense fund!

Listen to Exonoree Jimmy Dennis on Apple Music here:

To reach out to Ralph directly, please write to him at:

Smart Communications/ PA DOC

Ralph Stokes #AY-9034

SCI Phoenix

PO Box 33028

St Petersburg FL, 33733



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