DeWayne McKinney was exonerated in January 2000 of a 1980 murder-robbery at an an Orange, California Burger King when the actual perpetrators were identified and the DA acknowledged he was innocent. After McKinney’s release from almost 20 years of wrongful imprisonment he sued the City of Orange, which settled in the summer of 2002 for $1.7 million. He received a check for about $1 million after deductions for attorneys fees and expenses.
McKinney didn’t squander his money. He invested it in half-a-dozen condominiums in La Mirada – a Los Angeles suburb. He then learned that it was possible for an individual to buy and operate automated teller machines (ATM). The ATMâ€™s owner would be paid a commission on each transaction. After meeting a man whose company sold and installed ATMs, McKinney recruited two acquaintances to work on commission to find locations. His first machine was installed at a Unocal station in Santa Ana. Within a few months McKinney had 20 ATMs around Southern California.
However he felt uncomfortable in So Cal and decided he wanted to live in Hawaii. So in 2003 he sold his ATMs in So Cal and bought a beachfront five-unit fixer upper apartment near Oahu’s North Shore. He and his wife lived in one unit and rented the rest. McKinney then began installing ATMs all over Oahu.
In 2004 McKinney and his wife divorced and split the ATMs in the family business. Within a year McKinney built his business back up to the 20 machines he had before the divorce.
After the divorce McKinney sold for $2.7 million, the five-unit apartment he bought for $740,000 in 2003. He used the money to buy real estate on Oahu, including a beachfront home in Honolulu.
McKinney continued expanding the number of ATMs he owned, and by the fall of 2008 he had 48 throughout Hawaii.
On October 7, 2008 DeWayne McKinney was seriously injured when the mo-ped he was riding crashed into a telephone pole in Honolulu. The 47-year-old McKinney was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries. McKinney wasn’t wearing a helmet and the cause of the crash was not immediately known. Read a Honolulu Star-Bulletin story about the accident. Nine days after McKinney’s death, Honolulu’s chief medical examiner reported that McKinney’s blood-alcohol level was .22% — nearly three times the legal limit. Read the Los Angeles Times article.
Justice Denied published two stories about McKinney’s case. The 19-Year Ordeal of Dwayne McKinney: Injured and on Crutches 30 Miles Away From a Murder Is Finally Recognized as an Alibi, (Issue 11, March 2000). And more than five years later, From Wrongful Murder Conviction To Multi- Millionaire In Five Years, (Issue 29, Summer 2005).
By Hans Sherrer