Malicious Prosecution

Our client, a 16-year-old male was arrested by the police and charged with murder. He was arrested after a man who had been arrested for selling crack to an undercover police officer who then asked the arrestee if he knew about a murder that occurred nearby the night before. The arrestee told police that our client had committed the murder and had “confessed” to the arrestee. The police went out and arrested our client. Our client was held in the police station for several hours before he allegedly confessed in an oral and written statement. Our client argued that the police improperly believed the man arrested for selling crack and disregarded strong evidence that the crack selling arrestee himself was likely the killer. Our client stated he was physically coerced into confessing to the facts as relayed by the informant through the police. Significantly, the informant claimed our client said he stabbed the woman, and our client’s written statement recounted that he stabbed the woman, but there was no evidence the woman had been stabbed. Within a day, the Medical Examiner’s Office reported to the police that the victim had been strangled and beaten, but never stabbed. The detectives tried unsuccessfully to persuade the medical examiner to re-examine the body. The detectives conceded on the witness stand there was no physical or forensic evidence that corroborated our client’s confession or in any way pointed to his guilt, and that much of the existing evidence actually contradicted his statement. One of the police officers had testified before the grand jury in support of the stabbing theory, the indictment charged our client with stabbing the victim to death, and both police detectives testified at his criminal trial that they still believed the victim was stabbed. Our client asserted the detectives disregarded evidence of his innocence, failed to follow leads, failed to interview potential witnesses, and ignored the fact that the informant was a violent and dangerous criminal who was wearing a jacket with the victim’s blood on it at the very time he was telling the police that our client committed the murder. At his criminal trial, our client was represented by retired judge R. Eugene Pincham who has worked on civil matters with Brian Monico prior to his death in 2008. Our client was found not guilty by the judge in the criminal trial. There were two prior civil trials which were tried by R. Eugene Pincham and Andre Grant which resulted in two mistrials. Brian and his firm were part of the third trial, which resulted in a victory for our client. During the trial, Brian Monico won, our client was in custody awaiting trial on unrelated charges, so Sheriff’s deputies were guarding him in the courtroom throughout the trial.

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