September 01, 2016 

By Charlene Muhammad 

Contributing Writer 

The family of a man who says he was framed by the Los Angeles Police Department and District Attorney’s Office is fighting vehemently for his release.


Sherri Pegues said she always knew her son was innocent, but was shocked when Victor Gouche, stepped forth and said he lied under coercion and helped send an innocent man to prison over 10 years ago.


Gouche became paraplegic after someone shot him on Crenshaw Boulevard while he was riding in a car.


“This is real life out here … It’s some real s—t that went down 10 years ago, and we’re fixing it,” Gouche said during a recent rally at the scene. 


“I ain’t gone lie.  I got shot right there 10 years ago and I lied on the person that shot me, and now we’re here today to prove a point that the man that I said shot me didn’t, so he needs to come home.  Marvin Pegues did not shoot me, so he needs to come home ASAP,” Gouche stated.


Sherri Pegues said she always knew her son was innocent, but was shocked when Gouche stepped forth.


The ordeal has taken a toll on Gouche, who has also admitted why he gave the false testimony, and the effect it had on him after trial.  He felt he had no other choice, and she understands that, Sherri Pegues said.


But she knew he was being coerced into lying, because he was a street kid who needed things that began manifesting.


“They offered him stuff.  He got relocated to a new house.  He got vans and wheelchairs, but they were things that he needed, so my whole thing in it is we were out to save two kids, not one,” she stated.


She commended his actions, saying it took courage to stand up.  He’s had to endure a second deposition, a lie detector test, which he passed, and emotional and physical stress and illness, she continued.


“I was just overwhelmed with emotion. The main thing was we never had anything against Victor, because he was a victim in it the whole time,” Sherri Pegues said.


The ordeal also took a toll on her family.  Her husband, Marvin Pegues, Sr. died recently, and so did her son’s grandfather.  Her husband just couldn’t take the stress of knowing his innocent son was locked away for life, she said.


Sherri Pegues carries on with the Free Marvin Pegues, Jr. Campaign, strengthened by the conviction of Gouche and supporters.


“Mr. Gouche actually called the rally where he got shot, because he wants everyone to know my son was innocent and what really happened, but unfortunately, it’s falling on deaf ears, because of the LAPD and DAs office who knew. He’s ready to sit-in at DA Lacey’s office until he’s heard,” Sherri. Pegues said.


She has written two letters to District Attorney Jackie Lacey and one to Governor Jerry Brown, but has received no reply, she said.  Her family has also reached out to the DA’s Conviction Review Unit.


The Sentinel’s request for an interview with Lacey was unfulfilled at press time.


In addition, Sherri Pegues put up a petition calling for her son’s release.  At press time it needed 101 more signatures to reach its goal of 1,000.  Sherri Pegues plans to deliver the documents to Lacey, Brown and Mayor Eric Garcetti.


She is baffled that her son remains behind bars, even though the victim has cleared his name of a false conviction on three counts of attempted murder and one count of great bodily injury.


Marvin Pegues, Jr.  was sentenced to 45 years to life and has served 11 so far.  He faced over 100 years.


According to Sherri Pegues, he became entangled because he was “given a hot pistol at some point and was picked up” by police.  “He requested an immediate poly test and was denied by the DA’s office,” she stated.


His family ordered their own independent test, and he passed it overwhelmingly, Sherri Pegues said. Gouche also took a Polygraph test and passed.


“I saw the person who shot me at a bus stop after Marvin Pegues was already in prison,” Gouche said in a written statement in 2011. 


Based on the lie detector test and Gouche’s statement, she said she thought surely her son would get out, but she was wrong.


That compelled Liana Taylor to step forth.  Gouche was her passenger when he got shot.  And she also testified at Marvin Pegues, Jr.’s trial under coercion, she said.


“When he didn’t (get out), the girl was like, I can’t take it.  She was scared, and was like, I think the police will come get me,” Sherri Pegues said. Taylor found Pegues’ family and revealed her truth. 


Taylor said she knew for certain Marvin Pegues, Jr. was not the shooter or the person she saw walking down the street on the day of the shooting, but she was under extreme pressure from a police detective to pin the crime on Marvin Pegues, Jr.


In a 2013 declaration, she said she had a pending felony case which was ultimately reduced to a misdemeanor.  She also said that among other things, a “Detective Garcia” threatened that her name and address would be in a police report, which made her fearful.


The detective pointed to a picture after she said she recognized no one in police photographs, she said.  She said Det. Garcia allegedly told her, “….that’s who Victor said it was.  Do you agree with Victor?”


According to Taylor, police put her away from family in The Mustang motel, near the police station for approximately a month until she testified.


“….I knew at the time of trial that I did not know who the shooter was, but I had no one to tell as Det. Garcia or one of his officers was always with me and I was scared about my name and address being in police reports,” she stated.

Category: News