Murder On A Sunday Morning

Jean-Xavier de Lestrade

In May of 2000, Mary Ann Stephens is shot in the head at close range in front of her husband. What unfolds next is one of an appalling miscarriage of justice in American history.

Anxious about the dire effects the murder could have on local tourism, Jacksonville police went on the hunt for a perpetrator, but as it turns out, any black suspect will do. And for 15-year-old Brendon Butler, well, he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On the way to a job interview, the teenager was quickly arrested, and before he knew it, he was signing a confession, found guilty of first-degree murder and received a mandatory life sentence.

But did the teenager write his confession or was he tricked into confessing by Jacksonville detectives? Could the police just be lying? Where is the evidence?

All the police had was a grieving husband who had caught a glimpse of the killer from a distance — and who was coerced by detectives to identify Butler as the murderer.

Watch as the Oscar-winning documentary Murder On A Sunday Morning presents this dramatic injustice and real-life detective work of French filmmaker Jean-Xavier de Lestrade.

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