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Murder suspect tries to tank ID
A man charged of a 2007 murder in Flatbush filed to have the entire case thrown out, claiming that the photo array and line-ups which led to his arrest were tainted and investigators from the 70th Precinct never gave him his Miranda Rights.
During a Wade/Huntley hearing in front of Judge Vincent Del Giudice, attorneys for suspect Joel Fowler claimed that his confession about his role in the death of Dwayne Smith was uttered 25 hours after he was first mirandized. Since he wasn’t mirandized again, the case should be thrown out, they said.
But Fowler’s memory was called into question when it was revealed by arresting Detective Kevin Stumpf that Fowler was mirandized a handful of times – during his arrest, after he was picked out of a line-up, as well as the next morning, when he asked if he could speak with Stumpf privately.
During that meeting at a back office, Fowler admitted to not only being at the same spot where Smith was killed, but “had him firing a gun at the location” Stumpf said.
Fowler was also mirandized just before his videotaped confession a few hours later, when he said his shot did not kill Smith, who he claimed was also armed.
Smith, Fowler said, was shot in self defense, but the suspect did admit to firing into a growing crowd so he and his friend could escape.
While Fowler admitted to knowing Smith, he said that he didn’t have a problem with a victim, who may have been in trouble with a local gang.
Smith was gunned down in Flatbush on September 10, 2007.
An initial investigation turned up two possible suspects, Fowler, whose street name was “Scrappy” and another suspect who went by the nick-name “Cocaine.”
After interviewing two witnesses, Detective Stumpf, armed with photo arrays, identified Fowler as the shooter early on in the investigation, although an arrest wasn’t made until January, 2008.
Judge Del Giudice tanked Fowler’s attempt to tank the case against him by finding Detective Stumpf’s testimony credible and dismissing the motion on November 4.
First they gave financial advice to pretend pimps and hookers.
Then they sought legal advice on how best to sue the government to get back the funding the bone-head move cost them.
Members of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) marched into Brooklyn Federal Court last week demanding that the money Congress cut for their housing programs be reinstated.
The lawsuit, which was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights, claims that poor people would suffer because of the lack of federal dollars, $53 million of which ACORN has received since 1994.
The suit claims that ACORN was cut off after an employee for the non-profit was video-taped giving tax and housing advice to two conservative activists acting as a pimp and a prostitute.
The activists claim that despite their full pimp and ‘ho regalia -- which included a fuzzy hat in some reports -- the ACORN employee saw no problems giving them advice on how to best hide money from the government.
The release of the video tape brought widespread criticism against the housing group as well as sparked an investigation by the Kings County District Attorney’s office.
Seeing their funding drying up as punishment for this incident, members of the Center for Constitutional Rights said that ACORN has yet to be charged with a crime.
A spokesperson for the DA’s office agreed, telling this paper when the video broke that while there is nothing criminal about giving financial advice, although the activity could be a symptom of something much larger.
Attorneys said that Congress could not wontonly act as judge jury and executioner in this case.
“We have due process in this country, and our constitution forbids lawmakers from singling out a person or group for punishment without a fair investigation and trial,” Center for Constitutional Rights attorney Jules Lobel said.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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