1989 NYC Murder Conviction Overturned TuesdayBy: Erin Hall - April 9, 2014
After 25 years in prison, Jonathan Fleming walked free after being wrongfully convicted of murder in 1989, reports the Associated Press via Yahoo!.
Fleming was convicted in 1989 of Darryl “Black” Rush’s murder. Rush was shot in Brooklyn during an argument about money, meanwhile Fleming vacationed at Disney World in Florida with his family. According to the Inquistr, Fleming provided abundant evidence to prove his alibi, such as plane tickets, postcards, and even video.
Unfortunately, prosecutors claimed he had sufficient time to conceivably fly back to New York, kill Rush, and return to Florida. Though an unlikely story on its own, one woman’s testimony that she had personally seen Fleming shoot Rush convinced prosecutors at the time.
The woman recanted soon after the initial trial, admitting she lied in order to escape a grand larceny charge.
The key to Fleming’s exoneration lay in this fact and a hotel receipt proving Fleming was indeed in Florida five hours before the murder. Hotel workers even told investigators that they remembered Fleming for the large phone bill he racked up.
Investigators may even have a new suspect, though details have not yet been released.
Essential to allowing these details out into the light of day was new district attorney Kenneth Thompson. Thompson recently ran on a platform promoting the review questionable convictions made during former district attorney Charles Hynes’ career. Fleming’s was one of those convictions.
Judge Matthew D’Emic handed down the final decision, freeing Fleming into the welcoming embraces of waiting friends and family.
Fleming’s jail time has left him with “no job, no career, no prospects” according to his attorney Taylor Koss. However, Fleming was nothing but hopeful when he spoke to reporters after his exoneration. He said “I feel wonderful. I’m going to go eat dinner with my mother and my family, and I’m going to live the rest of my life.”
Image via Wikimedia Commons