Wayne Gilliam


I’m writing you this story (my story) with the hope that at the very least, you’ll know someone that could give me some positive advice. my name is Wayne Gilliam, I’m from Youngstown, Ohio and, I’ve been incarcerated since Mar,’03. my life changed one night after giving a “friend” a ride back to his house.

late in 2002 I had found out that I was going to be a father for the second time and my life was nowhere near being on the right track so, after a long talk with my father, I decided to try to get my truck drivers license.I graduated six weeks later and thought things were beginning to look up. a week after that, I was able to line up an interview at a place called Falcon Trucking in Farrell, PA. so the night before the interview I called a buddy of mine to see if he had a shirt I could borrow for it. he said yeah but to wait an hour because he wasn’t home yet. so I figured that I would drive over and just hang around the neighborhood until the hour passed. well when I got out there I saw a bunch of people that I knew hanging around at another buddies house so I stopped to pass some time.then I got a phone call from my childhood friend(Chris) asking me to stop by to see him and a friend from elementary school who had just gotten out of jail and I said okay.
so I asked one of the people at the house John “JK” Drummond if he had a gun I could borrow because I was going to a dangerous neighborhood. we called him JK-47 because he had been shot with an AK-47 and lost a leg, and now whenever you saw him he had an AK-47 with him. he said that no, he didn’t have one I could borrow but that he would ride with me, to which I agreed. now, since I had arrived that night, most of the people had been drunk, including John and they seemed to be upset about someone either moving to or being in the neighborhood but I didn’t really pay that too much attention.
so he hopped over to my car-gun and all-and we left to see Chris and Andre. we were there for about 25-30 minutes before heading back. once we got back it was close to being time for me to get my shirt so I asked him what he was about to do because I had to be somewhere and he asked if I could take him home to his sisters house since he didn’t drive. I was like yeah no problem since it was literally right around the corner. we drove off and I backed into his sisters driveway 20 seconds later. he said thanks and got out while I took out a black-and-mild to get ready to smoke. I turned off the car and the lights while I started to (freak)twist the tobacco out of the cigar. I had my interior light on at the time and wasn’t really in any hurry but then,all of a sudden, there were like a dozen gunshots. I ducked my head and tried to start my car because they were really close, when John opened the passenger door and hopped back in the car and told me to go. I asked him what happened and he just said again to go.so I got the car started and pulled off, not realizing that the lights were still out. I noticed a few seconds later and turned them on and drove around the corner where I told him he had to get out. he did and I went to my boys house to get the shirt.
he asked what all the shooting was about and I said I didn’t know but I would be right back. I left my car there and walked back around the corner to see what happened and found out that someone had shot up the house across the street from where I was just at and a baby was dead. my heart dropped because I’m sure I could guess exactly what had happened but I told myself it was none of my business so I went to get my car and went home.
I was arrested a few days later and was charged with murder along with John because they basically said that I had to know what was going to happen since I let him in my car with that kind of gun. I was convicted and sentenced to 54 years to life. since then I’ve basically just given up on life because I felt like I was being punished for all the things I had previously done in my life and it wasn’t worth hurting my family any further. so I’ve been here for 17 years regretting ever letting him into my car that night. what really broke me was that before I went to trial, I asked him to tell everyone that I had no knowledge of what he was going to do that night and, he said to me “I can’t tell on myself cuz but we’re gonna beat this”. to this day I just wonder what kind of person could do that to another and it eats at me so much that I don’t know how I’m going to survive to the next day sometimes.
my lawyer sold me out and didn’t even try to fight for me and to tell the truth I don’t think that I fought hard enough for myself because I didn’t know how. but I don’t want to die in here without at least trying to fight but I need help and I don’t know where to find it…

DOC #453-816

Categories: Wayne Gilliam

1 reply »

  1. I think I attended elementary school with a boy named David Gilliam in Youngstown in 1962-1964. He was a very smart kid.
    Is Wayne related to him?
    My brother is a deeply experienced senior criminal defense lawyer, and he knew David Gilliam as well. He practices in Eastern , WA.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s