A Brooklyn man is freed after serving nearly 25 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
According to USA Today, Jonathan Fleming was arrested in 1989 for the murder of his friend Darryl “Black” Rush in Brooklyn. Fleming was on vacation with his family in Florida at the time of the murder, but was still sent to jail due to “lack of evidence” and a witness claiming she saw Fleming shoot Rush.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors asked a Brooklyn judge to dismiss Fleming’s conviction in the 1989 shooting. A key eyewitness recanted, new witnesses have implicated someone else and a review by prosecutors turned up a hotel receipt putting Fleming in Florida hours before the killing, defense lawyers Anthony Mayol and Taylor Koss said.
With Fleming bringing forward plane tickets and photos of him and his family in Florida, one of the key items that freed him was a receipt found his pocket that resurfaced in his file. Strangely, the receipt was never brought to the case as evidence. Fleming’s lawyers believe that the prosecution were vying for a conviction regardless of the evidence.
“This was not a mistake, this was not a mistake,” Fleming’s lawyer Taylor Koss said to reporters. “How is the fact the Orlando police department did investigative work on this case and establish the fact that he was in Orlando, Florida when indeed he was in Orlando, Florida? How is that [receipt] never turned over to the defense team?”
Fleming, who has four children with his ex-wife is ready to head home and spend time with his family.
“I always had faith that this day would come one day,” he said, “I’ve dreamed about this many nights and now I’m free. I’m going to eat dinner with my mother and my family and continue to live the rest of my life.”
Fleming is the fourth person from Brooklyn to be cleared of crime he didn’t commit. There are reportedly 50 cases similar to Flemings that are under review by the D.A’s conviction Integrity Unit.
SOURCE: USA Today | VIDEO CREDIT: News Inc.