A Sordid Tragedy of Coerced Confession -- The Derek Tice
By Larry Tice
Edited by Kira Caywood
Michelle Moore and William Bosko, both high school students,
met one 1994 autumn day on a Pittsburgh school bus. After high school
graduation two years later, Billy joined the Navy and ended up in
Norfolk, Virginia. Michelle eventually joined him there, where they
were married on April 4, 1997. They made their first home at the
Bayshore Gardens complex, apartment F111.
While at the apartment complex pool, Michelle met Tamika
Taylor, a young mother of twins. She and Billy also met Omar Ballard,
Tamika's friend. Omar and Tamika had been childhood friends while
growing up in New Jersey.
The Boskos had a neighbor, Danial Williams. Williams' wife
was suffering from cancer, which would eventually take her life. Tamika
disliked and mistrusted Williams -- she felt he was paying too much
attention to the young Michelle instead of his ailing wife.
No one knew the trouble Ballard would bring to the Boskos
In the early morning hours of July 8, 1997, less than 24
hours before Billy was due back from a Naval cruise, Michelle
Moore-Bosko was allegedly raped, then brutally choked and stabbed to
death. Of eight suspects, only Omar Ballard had a positive DNA match.
He later confessed to Norfolk police that he and he alone, had sex with
and then killed Michelle Moore-Bosko.
Then another horror began. Detective R. Glen Ford, described
as having a very aggressive, threatening manner, somehow persuaded
other suspects to sign waivers giving up their rights to legal
representation. Interrogations continued for hours, ending only when
Detective Ford got a confession.
Detective Ford has a history of coercing confessions. He was
suspended from the detective force in 1990 for coercing a confession
from three teenagers. In 1997, Detective Ford coerced a confession from
a mentally disabled person. A court sealed the records of that incident.
During his trial, Eric C. Wilson testified that he was lying
to police when he confessed that he raped Michelle Moore-Bosko. He made
up the story in order to stop an aggressive Detective Ford from
harassing him. "At that point in time, if they told me that I killed
JFK, I would have said that I handed Oswald the gun," he said. Wilson
said Detective Ford was "very aggressive, very threatening, very angry."
"I thought I better tell him what he wanted to hear," Wilson
said of Ford. "He started hitting me in the forehead with his finger."
During the trial of Derek Tice, the prosecution alleged that
eight men forced their way into the Bosko apartment and five of the men
held the victim, one each on her arms and her legs with one holding his
hand over her mouth to prevent her from screaming, yet the autopsy
showed that the only bruises on the body were on her neck where she was
strangled. The fourteen-year-old female raped by Ballard was similarly
strangled. If Moore-Bosko was held by her wrists and ankles while being
raped by eight men, why were bruises on her neck only?
The two-foot, ten-inch wide hallway through which these
eight men supposedly carried a struggling female showed no signs of
struggle. No pictures on the walls were disturbed -- even papers at the
hallway entrance were untouched. The bedroom measured at ten feet by
fifteen feet and contained a double bed, dresser, nightstand and other
small items. The eight men allegedly raped and killed Moore-Bosko in
this room, but again there was no sign of a struggle. Despite the nine
people allegedly involved in a violent act in the small space, not so
much as a waste can was overturned.
In Tice's statement, he said that a claw hammer was used to
open the door, yet the door showed no signs of forced entry. Derek Tice
also said that he ejaculated in the victim during the rape -- yet there
was no supporting DNA evidence.
The DNA forensic expert testified that it only requires the
equivalent of one billionth of a drop of water to obtain sufficient DNA
evidence. According to the Virginia Bureau of Forensic Science, Ballard
is the only possible contributor to the sperm fractions recovered from
the vaginal swabs and the blanket covering the victim's body.
No physical or forensic evidence linked any of the other
suspects to the crime scene -- just Omar Ballard.
On June 24, 1997, Omar Ballard maliciously wounded a young
woman, beating her with a baseball bat. He pleaded guilty to this crime
on February 10, 1998, and was sentenced to five years in prison. On
July 18, 1997, Ballard raped a fourteen-year-old girl. He was arrested,
and was found guilty on January 15, 1998. On March 23, 1998, Judge
Charles E. Poston sentenced Ballard to 100 years in prison for the
rape, though 59 of those years were suspended. Yet the court refused to
allow this information to be introduced as evidence in Michelle
Moore-Bosko's murder trial because it did not occur in close enough
proximity, according to the judge.
Norfolk Circuit Judge Charles E. Poston was also the judge
for the plea bargain of Danial Williams and Joseph J. Dick Jr., as well
as the trial of Eric C. Wilson and Derek Tice. Judge Poston was also
the judge for Omar Ballard when he was tried and convicted of the
abduction and rape of the fourteen-year-old female.
Ballard made one oral (see transcript below) and two written
statements to police saying that he committed the crime and acted
alone. Ballard also wrote a letter to a female acquaintance in which he
admitted killing Moore-Bosko (see transcript of letter below).
Next is a precise chronology of events surrounding Michelle
Moore-Bosko's murder, and the subsequent trial of Derek Tice.
July 8, 1997: Michelle Moore-Bosko, 18, of the 200 block of
West Bay Avenue, is found dead by her husband. She has been stabbed,
strangled and allegedly raped.
July 9, 1997: Norfolk police arrest Danial Williams and
charge him with the rape and murder of Moore-Bosko.
January 12, 1998: Norfolk police arrest a second suspect in
Moore-Bosko murder, Dan Williams' house mate, Joseph J. Dick, Jr.
April 8, 1998: Norfolk police arrest a third suspect, Eric
June 18, 1998: Orlando Police officers and Orange County
Sheriff's deputies in Florida arrest a fourth suspect, Derek Tice, and
arrange for his extradition back to Norfolk, VA.
June 25, 1998: Norfolk detectives R.G. Ford and B.E. Wray
return Derek Tice to Norfolk.
July 1998: One year after the rape and murder, seven men
have been charged in Michele Moore-Bosko's death including Eric C.
Wilson and Derek Tice. After Tice provides information, police charge
Geoffrey A. Farris, John E. Danser and Richard D. Pauley, Jr.
January 22, 1999: Williams, admitting he was obsessed with
Moore-Bosko, pleads guilty in Judge Poston's court to avoid the death
March 4, 1999: Omar Ballard confesses to Norfolk police that
he alone killed Michelle Moore-Bosko.
March 8, 1999: Police charge the eighth and final suspect in
the case, Omar Ballard, who is already residing in the Augusta County
March 11, 1999: Omar Ballard makes a second confession to
Norfolk police that he alone raped and killed Michelle Moore-Bosko.
March 18, 1999: New DNA evidence links only one of the eight
suspects, Omar Ballard, to the crime scene.
April 13, 1999: In papers filed in court, Omar Ballard
admits to police that he committed the crime alone.
April 21, 1999: Joseph J. Dick, Jr. pleads guilty to Judge
Poston's district court to avoid the death penalty.
April 28, 1999: Judge Poston sentences Williams to two life
terms without parole, after a plea agreement with prosecutors.
May 7, 1999: Derek Tice pleads not guilty to Judge Poston in
district court to the rape and murder of Michelle Moore-Bosko.
May 14, 1999: Prosecutors withdraw charges against Danser,
Farris and Pauley. After Tice's decision to plead not guilty,
prosecutors' cases against the three men, which depended on Tice's
cooperation and testimony, begin to crumble. Prosecutors laid out two
choices for Farris, Danser and Pauley -- plead guilty to rape and the
murder charges will be dismissed, or walk free today but face the
possibility of being charged with capital murder again.
June 2, 1999: Charges against Omar Ballard are changed to
capital murder, rape and robbery.
June 14, 1999: Trial of Eric C. Wilson begins, with Judge
Poston presiding. Wilson is found guilty of rape but is acquitted of
murder. The jury recommends a jail term of 8½ years.
September 8, 1999: Judge Poston sentences Eric C. Wilson to
8½ years' imprisonment.
September 8, 1999: Judge Poston sentences Joseph. J. Dick,
Jr. to two life terms without parole.
November 22, 1999: Judge Poston grants a change of venue to
Derek Tice. The trial will be held in Arlington, Virginia.
February 11, 2000: Jury returns a verdict of guilty on the
charges of both rape and murder against Derek Tice. The only item of
evidence the prosecution had was Derek Tice's signed statement to
March 22, 2000: Omar Ballard pleads guilty to the rape and
murder of Michelle Moore-Bosko and is immediately sentenced to two
terms of life imprisonment by Judge Poston.
June 7, 2000: Motion to set aside verdict denied: Derek Tice
sentenced to two life terms in prison by Judge Poston.
July 25, 2000: The Virginia Court of Appeals declined to
overturn the conviction of Danial Williams. The Court ruled that
Williams had entered his guilty plea knowingly and voluntarily, and
therefore Judge Poston had correctly sentenced Williams to two life
terms. Williams attempted to change his plea at his sentencing hearing,
but was denied by Judge Poston.
Norfolk Police Legal Right's Form PD 381. Each question is
followed by Omar Ballard's written responses.
(1) Do you understand that you have the right to remain
(2) Do you understand that any statement you make may be
used as evidence against you in a court of law? Yes
(3) Do you understand that you have a right to talk to a
lawyer and to have the lawyer present during all questioning, if you so
(4) Do you understand that if you cannot afford to hire a
lawyer, a lawyer will be appointed to represent you and be present
during all questioning, if you so desire? Yes
(5) The above rights have been fully explained to me, and I
sign this paper with complete understanding of them. Yes
(6) I further state that I waive these rights and desire to
make a statement. Yes
(7) This statement is completely free and voluntary on my
part without any threat or promise from anyone. Yes
Q. State your full name.
A. Omar Abdul Ballard.
Q. Date of birth?
Q. Social Security number?
Q. You're currently in the August County Penitentiary?
Q. How far did you go in school?
A. Tenth grade.
Q. Can you read and write?
Q. I want you to tell me in your own words -- wait a minute, back up a
second. I show you Norfolk Police Legal Rights Form PD 381 and ask you
if you read and understand this form?
Q. Did you mark yes to all seven questions on this form?
Q. Is this your signature at the bottom of the form?
Q. Understanding these legal rights, do you desire to make this
Q. Tell me in your own words what you know in reference to this
offense. Start out at the beginning, go all the way through it.
A. All right. I was at Karen and Kumani's house and I left to go to
Tamika's house. Well, that was my intentions. I stopped at Michelle's
house. You know, she told me that it was drinks in the refrigerator,
and the phone was over in the corner if I needed to use it, and she
went to the bedroom. I don't know what she was doing in the bedroom. I
was sitting down drinking, so she came back out. We was talking. About
half an hour, 45 minutes later, we went in the bedroom. We had sex. All
right. I was getting up to leave, but she was still in the room, so
when I was leaving, I don't know, I guess something just ticked in my
head, and I went to the kitchen, got a knife, went back to the room.
She was getting up off the bed or she was already up off the bed when I
stabbed her in the chest one time. Then when she got on the floor, I
think I stabbed her about two or three more times. I'm not quite sure.
After that, I left the house and went to Tamika's house.
Q. Describe the knife you got out of the kitchen.
A. Brown handle with ridges on it about four or five inches long.
Q. You had been to Michelle Bosko's house before?
Q. When did you first meet Michelle Bosko?
A. At the swimming pool in Bayshore Gardens.
Q: About how long before this night?
A. About two months.
Q. How many times had you been over her house in that two months?
A. One time with her and Tamika and one time with just her and her
husband, and the night it happened.
Q. So Michelle knew you, and that's why she had no problems when you
came and knocked on the door?
Q. She invited you in?
Q. What -- you say at that point, you drank -- what did you drink?
A. At her house?
A. A beer.
Q. And then you all just talked for about 45 minutes?
A. Yes. We were sitting talking.
Q. Then you end up in the bedroom. She willingly goes in the bedroom?
Q. And she willingly has sex with you?
Q. If she willingly had sex with you, what made you snap and go get a
A. I don't know. I guess I was just drunk and thinking about my mother.
Q. Do you resent your mother?
A. Yes, a lot.
Q. For what?
A. She gave me up when I two years old.
Q. So this night, you just snapped and went back and got a knife and
came back and stabbed Michelle?
Q. Did she say anything to you?
A. No. She was in a daze when I came back in the room with the knife.
Q. After you stabbed her, what did you do?
A. After I stabbed her, I'm not sure. I think I dropped the knife and
walked out of the apartment.
Q. Did you remove anything from the apartment?
A. $35.00 That's it.
Q. Where was the $35.00?
A. On the table in the dining room/living room.
Q. Do you remember the denominations of the money?
A. I know it was all $10's and a $5, three $10's and a $5.
Q. You were banned from this apartment complex; correct?
Q. Why was that?
A. Because a resident there said I robbed her and beat her, me and
Q. Did Michelle Bosko and her husband stand up for you during that?
A. Yes, they did.
Q. Was anybody with you during this offense?
Q. Did you see anyone outside when you -- before or after this offense?
Q. Did you talk to anyone about this offense?
Q. Do you remember if you locked the door when you left?
A. I'm not quite sure if I did or didn't.
Q. When you initially went to the apartment, did you know if Michelle
was alone or not?
A. No, I didn't.
Q. You know there's seven other people charged with this offense. Were
they with you?
Q. Do you know any of them?
A. Just one, Eric Wilson, and that's from the jail only.
Q. And how do you know him?
A. Because we was in the same part in the jail.
Q. Do you know if Michelle had any problems with any of the seven?
A. No. I don't even know if she ever had physical contact with them.
Q. Did Michelle ever tell you anything about Danial Williams who lived
across the hall?
A. That he was stalking her.
Q. But he wasn't with you that night?
Q. Have you ever talked to Danial Williams?
Q. What type of sex did you have with Michelle?
A. Consensual sex, you know.
Q. Vaginal, oral, or anal?
A. Oh, vaginal.
Q. Did you ever hit her?
Q. Did you ever do anything other than just stab her?
Q. When you left the apartment, was she dead or do you know?
A. No, When I was leaving out, she was moaning.
Q. Are you sorry now for what happened to Michelle?
A. I mean, yes, I guess. I don't know.
Q. When these people were being arrested, why didn't you come forward?
A. I don't know. I'm not sure.
Q. But you don't recall when you left the apartment if you locked the
door or left it unlocked?
A. No. I'm not sure -- well, really I was in a rush to get out, so I
couldn't have locked it, but I'm not sure if I did or didn't.
Q. About what time of night was this?
A. About 2:30, 3:00 o'clock.
Q. In the morning?
A. In the morning.
Q. Did Michelle tell you anything about her husband, where he was?
A. No, she didn't.
Q. Did it seem strange to you that he wasn't there that night?
Q. And you never asked where he was?
Q. Why did you take the money?
A. I don't know. I just took it to get drunk, I guess, or to get some
weed or something.
Q. Have you ever had sex with Michelle Bosko before?
A. Yes, one time.
Q. Where at?
A. In her apartment.
Q. And who was in the apartment then?
A. Just me and her.
Q. How long before this offense did you have sex with her?
A. About a month.
Q. Is there anything you wish to add to this statement?
A. No, just them four people that opened their mouths is stupid.
Q. Is this statement true to the best of your knowledge and belief?
A. Yes, it is.
Q. Was this statement given without any threat or promise from any
member of the Norfolk Police Department or myself?
A. Yes, it was.
Statement ends at 15:32 hours.
Homicide Section/Detective Division
Following is a transcription of a letter that Omar Ballard
wrote to a female acquaintance, in which he admits murdering Michelle
Moore-Bosko. Please be warned -- this letter is graphic and may be
Dear Karen & Kumani & family Whats up? Well yeah i
decided to write, i wasn't going to but i was thinking about yall &
nothing more just thinking. Hows the kids doing? Yall could have wrote
me or something, but i forgot yall to buys. Yall know what yall buggs
me out, i read old letters yall wrote me and i just threw them all
away. Aint no need to hold on to something that aint there no more or
if it was ever there cause if it was i wont be saying this. You know i
dont even feel for nobody no more, i knew i was going to do this bid
alone from the start, i just was denying myself of what i was feeling,
but heh reality is real and aint nothing fake about this. Know what
Karen this Is to you i have another family, people who will save my
life, who will die for me if neccasary, who give me what i want, who
never front on me, who don't deny their feelings towards me, who talks
to me constanly, whose always with me, the nation that is 5%er nation,
that's right, you said i do things for every body else well im doing
this for me, cause i want and you or nobody else can change my mind.
You wanted to know how i really felt about you & i told you, you
never even wrote back to say f*** you or nothing. I was keeping it real
with you, but you know what it don't pay to keep it real with nobody
that don't keep it real with you. Hatred in my heart is thick, Aint no
forgiving you or nobody else. im glad im in here for real cause i aint
got time for four people and yeah this from my mouth nobody pushed me
to say it. Nobody know what im going through so don't try and
understand me, And one last thing you remember that night I went to
mommies house and the next morning Michelle got killed guess who did
that, Me HA, HA. It wasn't the first time. Im good aint i. I don't give
a f*** about nobody, if i was out i would have killed that bitch down
the street from you too. Cheek i know everything that happens out there
even before you tell me, about you -- whoever else i want to know
about. Yo dealing with a person in me you don't even know about. Tell
the police, tell the FBI, tell anybody who gives a f***, not me. You
thought you knew me, you don't Karen, trust me yall don't. Nobody knows
me Im untouchable Karen. And im coming. When you think about me do your
p**** get wet, Hot, do your nipples get hard to you want for me to
touch you, to kiss your nipples to rub your c*******, to sink my 10-1/2
inch d*** in your wet p****, do you Karen, If i would have stayed 3
more months Karen it would have happened me you, having sex. Do you
think about me licking your p**** Karen, stroking you from the back, Do
you think of me rubing your a** Karen, stroking my fingers in and out
of your p**** making you come didn't you want me to do that, To push
you against the wall, wrap your legs around my waist grab your hair and
f*** you Karen. Hell yeah you wanted it, cause you know i was f***ing
all them bitch, yeah the d*** is big Karen, big enough for you to sit
on and ride, up and down, back and forth to put between your t******,
to suck in your mouth with those big pink lips. That's what Michelle
did, sucked that big d**** and sat on it Karen you don't know who you
f***ing with boo Im going to give you I week to write me and send me
some nasty pictures of yourself or money or im going to put you in
checkmate, its your move don't f*** you or your lucks up, cause im
locked up don't mean sh**, I call or letter and you gone boo, don't
think im playing cause you will be sorry, don't tell nobody cause ILL
find out, save pictures of you in panties-bra and a nasty letter and
money or you'll be with Michelle in hell Two face "AB"
Comments written in the margins:
The word is already out on you Karen and if i don't write my
man back in 1 week you Dead bitch, slowly, The you gone get f***ed in
ya a** & p**** the t****** cut off, Don't tell nobody not ABB not
nobody do what i say and live do not and die. talk to you later HA - HA
If my partner don't get a letter from me you dead in 1 week
so please do you a favor send the pictures & money
No fun when i got the gon
Baw bitch you dead.
End of Omar Ballard's letter.
Most of the information above was obtained from articles
published in the Virginian Pilot newspaper. Some facts were obtained
from defense lawyers, and some from personal experience. I am the
father of Derek Tice. After contacting over 79 people and organizations
about this, I have come to the realization that people and
organizations are not likely to help or even give advice, until it
affects them personally. I will continue my efforts to make a
difference, but who will be the next victim of a system gone awry?
Email Larry A. Tice: LTice22433@aol.com