W. Cammile; Cleared After Prison Term

By Kimberly J. McLarin, Inquirer Staff Writer The Associated Press contributed to this article
Posted: November 23, 1990

Wayman E. Cammile Jr. never quite regained his life after spending 12 years in prison for a crime the victim later reportedly said he did not commit.

When Mr. Cammile died Monday of a heart attack at the age of 53, it was as a man scarred by alcohol and the loss of nearly a quarter of his life, said his sister Margaret Gardley of Dover, Del.

"Connecting back was hard for him," she said. "The palm of his life was spent in prison. I've never been there, but it can't be that good."

Mr. Cammile died at Kent General Hospital in Dover.

In 1975, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the rape of Alice Mock, who told police he knocked on her door one night, barged in and raped her before passing out in a drunken stupor.

But in November 1986, a neighbor, Evelyn Burns, said that Mock confessed on her deathbed that Mr. Cammile passed out immediately after entering her home. Burns said the woman told her she robbed him of his money, then told police she was raped because she feared Mr. Cammile would discover the theft.

He was charged with first-degree rape. He said later he pleaded guilty to sexual assault and second-degree burglary because he feared a jury would not believe the word of a black man over that of a white woman.

Seven months after Mock's reported confession, Mr. Cammile was released from the Sussex Correctional Institution.

Gardley said her brother bore Mock no ill will.

She said he was disappointed that he never received compensation for the time he spent in prison. No action was taken on two bills introduced into the Delaware Legislature that would have awarded Mr. Cammile $1 million or granted him a lump settlement of $135,000, plus $24,000 per year for the rest of his life.

Mr. Cammile, who was 38 when charged with the rape, was a construction worker and chronic alcoholic, with a record of more than 40 alcohol-related arrests.

Gardley said her brother overcame his alcoholism for a time and held several jobs after his release from prison. But he could never quite overcome his problems completely, and his stay in prison made the problems even worse, she said.

"To have spent that many years in jail . . . people do tend to look at you differently," she said.

He is survived by his wife, Ileonia; seven step-children; three sisters and six brothers; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A funeral is scheduled for today in Cardiff, N.J.