NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Attorneys for former NYPD Officer Peter Liang have filed a motion for retrial in the Akai Gurley case.
As WCBS 880’s Stephanie Colombini reported, attorneys claim one of the jurors lied to get on the panel.
In November 2014, Liang accidentally fired a shot into a stairwell while on a vertical patrol with his partner inside the Pink Houses in East New York. The bullet ricocheted off the wall and struck and killed Akai Gurley, 28.
Liang, a 28-year-old rookie officer, was convicted in February of a manslaughter charge. He was also dismissed from the police force.
Late last month, Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson recommended that Liang not serve any prison time.
But attorneys for Liang on Tuesday called for a new trial on claims that a juror – Michael Vargas, 62 – was lying when he told the court none of his relatives had been accused of a crime.
The juror recently revealed that his estranged father had served prison time for manslaughter – the same conviction Liang himself received, Colombini reported.
Criminal defense attorney Joey Jackson said that could pose a big problem for the prosecution.
“You do have a right to a fair trial, and who knows, if there was potentially another juror who saw things another way, there have been instances where one juror convinces the whole to go the other way,” Jackson said.
Vargas revealed the information while speaking out against Thompson’s call for Liang to receive no jail time. A statement from the DA’s office said Liang received a fair trial and the motion will be addressed in court.