On August 18, 2015, I completed a three-month long trial in Supreme Court, New York County on an indictment charging Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Attempted Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Gang Assault, Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Possession of Weapons in the Second Degree (two statutory theories), Assault in the First Degree, Gang Assault and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (two statutory theories). Conspiracy to Commit Murder is an A-1 felony carrying an indeterminate sentence of a minimum sentence of 15 to 25 years and a maximum of life.

The trial involved five defendants and testimony included over 200 witnesses and evidence concerning over 30 shooting and knifing incidents over a four-year period. Three cooperators testified. The charges arose from alleged gang rivalry between three different alleged gangs in west Harlem. Over 120 individuals were indicted, of whom about 60 pleaded guilty prior to the trial. The five defendants in our trial were the first tried. While two murders were part of the evidence presented, none of the five defendants was involved in those murders.

A partial verdict was rendered for three of the defendants on August 18. One defendant was acquitted outright of five counts involving one shooting incident and the three conspiracy charges. My client was acquitted of two of the shooting incidents charged in 10 different counts but found guilty of three other shooting incidents and the conspiracy charges. Similarly, another defendant was acquitted of two shooting incidents but found guilty of another shooting incident and the conspiracy charges.

On August 19, another defendant pleaded guilty to Conspiracy in the Second Degree with a promise of 5-1/2 to 16-1/2 years after having been acquitted of 7 of 10 counts, but while the jury was still deliberating the A-1 felony. A fifth defendant was acquitted of 11 of 15 counts including the A-1 Murder Conspiracy, but found guilty of some of the lesser charges including Attempted Assault in the First Degree and Attempted Gang Assault.

Overall for the five defendants, there were 47 acquittals of about 75 counts.