NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Three men who served 24 years in prison for two murders were released Friday after a New York State judge vacated their convictions.
George Bell, Rohan Bolt and Gary Johnson were convicted in the December 1996 murders of Ira Epstein and NYPD Officer Charles Davis during a robbery in Queens.
A Queens Supreme Court judge Friday, in a joint motion with the Queens District Attorney, released the men on a recognizance bond, saying evidence was withheld from the defense.
“These three defendants were undoubtedly wronged by the District Attorney’s office’s misconduct in the late 1990s, but that misconduct now deprives the victims’ families of whatever semblance of closure they may have clung to,” Judge Joseph Zayas said.
The Police Benevolent Association is calling on the Queens District Attorney’s office to retry the case.