NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A judge has ordered the release of a man who was convicted in 1991 of murdering an off-duty corrections officer in Brooklyn.

According to The New York Times, the judge has found that Rosean Hargrave received an unfair trial. Hargrave walked out of custody Tuesday afternoon.

Acting state Supreme Court Justice ShawnDya Simpson said Tuesday that the detectives who helped build the case against Hargrave, now 40, had used “corrupt practices” in other cases.

The Brooklyn district attorney’s office has been reviewing dozens of convictions in cases investigated by now-retired NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella. In September, Scarcella testified about the Hargrave case, defending his use of the same crack-addicted prostitute that he used as a witness in multiple murder cases.

Scarcella described the witness as a “very intelligent girl who spoke three languages.” The ex-cop insisted she was a great source of information in Brooklyn in the 1980s, when crack-related murders were common.

Retired NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella (credit: CBS 2)

Retired NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella (credit: CBS 2)

The former detective admitted he gave the witness food and money, but insisted he was not alone in making her a key witness. Scarcella said prosecutors interviewed her, too, and decided she was reliable.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson has cleared several other defendants Scarcella helped put away.

In an earlier interview with The Times, Hargrave said he’d spent his decades behind bars struggling to survive.

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