NEW YORK- The controversial case about fallen NYPD detective Louis Scarcella took an absurd turn following the testimony of a retired public defender, and the presentation of pivotal booking sheets in court on Oct 21.
Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson’s office is currently looking at 71 cases Scarcella was involved in. The homicide case that Scarcella allegedly lead is currently under scrutiny after the two convicted men- both now released, but only one vindicated- have pleaded for justice.
In 1991, Rosean Hargrove, who was 17 and John Bunn, who was 14, were convicted for killing Rolando Neischer and injuring his partner Robert Crosson, both correction officers, after a failed attempted at carjacking in Crown Heights, NY.
Hargrove’s name was cleared in April this year. Bunn, who was in jail for 16 years, is still waiting for his name to be cleared. “I don’t have no life because I’m considered a killer, something that I’m not… I don’t feel like I’m free,” he said.
As the court is hearing Bunn’s case, new evidence came into light that could have shattered Scarcella’s credibility back in the 90s when this case was first heard. Robert Massi used to be a public defender with the Legal Aid and had previously worked on Hargrove’s case. Massi testified from his home in Fishkill, NY, through video conferencing. He said that prior to the being in the line-up for the homicide case, Hargrove was in a line-up for a robbery case. He also said that the robbery victim had testified in Judge Glinder’s court that she was asked to select Hargrove from the line-up and the case of thus dismissed.
When asked why he didn’t use this to question Scarcella’s credibility during the homicide trial, Massi said that he wasn’t sure whether it was Scarcella or Detective Barber who was the main detective on this case.
Bunn’s lawyers Glenn Garber and Rebecca Freedman from the Exoneration Project also presented mind-boggling online booking sheets from Bunn’s 1991 arrest. During a cross-examination in court, Scarcella was made to identify two booking sheets, both for August 14th 1991, both claiming to arrest Bunn at the exact same time but in two different places. Bunn was originally arrested from his home for a prior robbery case and was then put in the line-up for the homicide case. The booking sheets however did not have Scarcella’s name as the leading officer.
“We still don’t know why John was arrested,” said Freedman, adding that according to her the basis wasn’t legally sufficient.
Freedman and Garber said that the police cooperated with them till 2013 but have allegedly lost the file on this homicide case. “This case is being scrutinized, it is somewhat remarkable that they don’t have it,” said Garber. The lawyers have sued the NYPD for foil violation. This lost file could contain Scarcella’s handwritten notes and police reports no one had prior access to.