Apr 30 2007

LA Riots Special: Exclusive Interview with Travielle J Craig

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Rodney King RiotsGUESTS: Travielle J Craig, inmate at Lancaster Prison, Janice Cosey, Travielle’s mother

While thousands were arrested on charges of assault, arson, and vandalism over several days, only three people were ever convicted of murder. A minor was charged with the murder of 65 year old Juana Espinosa and given a two year sentence at a juvenile camp. Two adults and a juvenile were convicted for the murder of 38 year old Paul Douglas Horace, but the murder was eventually deemed non-riot related. Finally, one adult named Travielle J Craig was arrested for the attempted murders of Elias Garcia Rivera and Victor Medina. He was formally charged with two counts of attempted murder and one count of attempted robbery.

According to the coroner’s report obtained by Uprising, Elias Rivera fell into a coma and was taken off life support six months later as per his family’s wishes. The charges against Travielle Craig were then changed to first degree murder, attempted murder and attempted robbery. He was convicted in early 1993 of all charges and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Travielle maintains that in his original testimony to investigators, he did not at any point attempt to rob anyone during the incident. Although he was accused of hitting both men with a piece of lumber, he says he did hit Victor Medina with a stick but hit Elias Rivera in the head with his fist. Rivera was the person who ultimately died, leading to Travielle Craig’s conviction of first degree murder.

Today Travielle Craig remains the only person serving time in prison in connection with the 1992 Rodney King riots. He had just turned 18 in February 1992 and has spent the majority of his adult life in prison. He and his mother Janice Cosey believe that he was scapegoated and made an example of in order to win a conviction in connection with the riots. Incredibly no media outlet has ever interviewed Travielle, who is now housed in Lancaster County State prison. He wrote to Uprising and urged us to cover his case.

We present an exclusive first interview with Travielle J Craig, the only person still serving time in prison in connection with the 1992 riots.

We also invited Travielle’s mother Janice Cosey into the KPFK studios to give us more details about her son’s case.

NOTE: The autopsy report obtained by Uprising says that Elias Garcia Rivera was ‘struck on the left lateral frontal portion of the head with a 2×4 piece of lumbar.’ The report also mentions mentions that the victim, Elias Rivera suffered from chronic pneumonia while in a coma, but does not mention a faulty catheter.


H-98882 / A2-211
P.O. Box 4430
Lancaster, CA 93539


Home: 702-361-3576, Cell: 702-882-8021
Address: 10115 Jeffrey Street, Unit 1013, Las Vegas NV 89183

Special thanks to Program Director Armando Gudino, News reporter Ernesto Arce, and Uprising intern, Quan Vu for help with research.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “LA Riots Special: Exclusive Interview with Travielle J Craig”

  1. Brendaon 01 Feb 2008 at 9:45 am

    ummm… i need help to find out more about the la riots can you help me!!??

    can you help me find me a interview!!

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