NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Prosecutors have turned down an inmate’s bid to be cleared in the 1998 killing of a retired police officer, an exoneration effort championed by actor Martin Sheen.
After an 18-month review of information including eyewitness recantations and a new claim that someone else confessed to the crime, the Manhattan district attorney’s office declined this week to ask a judge to dismiss the case against Jon-Adrian Velazquez.
“We have not found evidence sufficient to demonstrate that Mr. Velazquez is innocent, as he claims,” chief spokeswoman Erin Duggan said in a statement to The Associated Press. Prosecutors said the recantations didn’t merit overturning the case, and the potential other suspect didn’t pan out.
Velazquez’s lawyers, Robert Gottlieb and Celia Gordon, now plan to ask a court to overturn his conviction and order a new trial.