On Wednesday, a judge overturned the convictions of three men who had been in prison since the 1990s for a fatal drive-by shooting in New Orleans.
The convictions were overturned because two police officers who are known for being dishonest were involved in the case. They were told to let the three men go.
Both Kunta Gable and Leroy Nelson were only 17 years old when they were arrested not long after Rondell Santinac was shot and killed in the Desire housing complex in south Louisiana on August 22, 1994. At the same time, Bernell Juluke, who was 18 at the time, was also arrested.
On Wednesday, a state judge overturned the men’s convictions and ordered that they be freed right away. The judge did this after lawyers for the defense and the Civil Rights Division of District Attorney Jason Williams’ office put in a joint motion.
The motion also says that the jury didn’t know that the first officers at the scene, Len Davis and Sammie Williams, had a reputation for hiding the identities of murderers and tampering with evidence at murder scenes at the housing project. This was done to protect the drug dealers they had been protecting in the past.
Davis was found to be responsible for the death of a woman who had filed a complaint against him in a different case. He is now facing the death penalty in federal court for his actions.
In the motion, it was also said that Samuel Raiford, the only person who saw the shooting, did not at first describe the three suspects. Also, the movie said, “After the three suspects were pulled over, Len Davis was the first person to figure out who the three bad guys were.”
The 24-page motion says that the teens were taken into custody soon after the shooting, but there were no guns or shell casings in the car where they were riding.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, prosecutor Williams said that there was a lot of proof that Davis did illegal things while he was working “under cover of law.” The public was told what Williams had to say.
Williams went on to say, “He sold drugs illegally, set up people who got in his way, and even had a private citizen killed because he had the nerve to report his systemic abuses.” “He went so far as to order the death of a private citizen who dared to report his repeated wrongdoings.”
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Michael Admirand, who is Juluke’s lawyer, sent out an email shortly after his client’s release in which he thanked the court, the prosecution, and everyone else involved for working to “right this great wrong.”
Admirand said about his client’s new freedom, “I’m glad he’s finally been cleared, but I’m sorry it took so long.”
The lawyer for the defense went on to say that their client, Juluke, had always said he was innocent, even after he was wrongfully arrested.