A former New York Police Department officer was released from jail on Tuesday after a judge overturned his conviction in a bizarre case accusing him of plotting to kidnap, kill and eat young women.
The verdicts in Christopher Asch and Michael Van Hise’s conspiracy trial came a year after a conviction in a headline-grabbing case of a police officer accused of plotting abductions and cannibalism.
Defendants Michael Vanhise, Robert Christopher Asch and Richard Meltz will go to trial together. The trial is scheduled to begin in November.
The charges against Robert Christopher Asch and Richard Meltz are contained in court papers. The men are expected to make appearances Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
Federal Judge Paul Gardephe scheduled a Nov. 4 trial for Michael Vanhise during a hearing Thursday.
The jury has had the case since Thursday. If convicted on the most serious charge, Gilberto Valle could face a possible life sentence.
The defendant, wearing a dark suit and yellow tie, wept as his lawyer described how the case had “cost him everything,” including his wife and “adorable baby.”
Defense attorneys began Tuesday with the showing of a videotaped deposition of a Russian man who runs a fetish website.
The jury at the trial of a New York City police officer accused of plotting to kill women and eat their body parts won’t be shown gruesome photos from websites he visited but will see evidence of Internet searches on subjects like “how to cook a human,” a judge ruled on Monday.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan plan to use emails and other evidence to show that 28-year-old Gilberto Valle had dangerous schemes to abduct women and devour them.
Ahead of the start of the trial in the so-called cannibal cop case, federal Judge Paul Gardephe made several rulings in court on Thursday. And in almost every instance, he ruled for the defense.
The defense lawyer for the former NYPD officer accused of plotting to kidnap, cook and eat women claimed in court Monday that prosecutors are panicking as their case against Gilberto Valle crumbles.
A federal judge said Wednesday that key evidence that the government has boasted about against an NYPD officer charged with seeking to kill and eat women might not be so clear after all.
The proposed questionnaire from Gilberto Valle’s lawyers would ask potential jurors if they have a bias against people who frequent Internet sites depicting sadomasochistic behavior. A federal judge will rule on the request before Valle’s trial starts next month. He had previously been ordered held without bail.
With the trial set to begin in two weeks, the defense attorney for the infamous “cannibal cop” was hoping Wednesday that a judge would allow a key witness to testify.