Friday, January 25, 2019
Wait a minute --- What exactly did the NY Post say in its 1/22/19 interview piece about Phil Vetrano ?
Is this just another bad piece of NY Post journalism --- or is it a bombshell that pops loose what's been going on in the murder case that just won't get resolved --- the Queens jogger who was murdered in early August 2016 near her home in Howard Beach ?
Here's the beef: After a short quote by Phil Vetrano, the NY Post quickly shifted to this --- "DNA and fingerprint evidence that prosecutors argue ties Lewis to the murder was shown to jurors...."
-- NY Post report of 1/22/19
"The question begs" [sic --- from a long time ago in a kingdom by the sea]: WHAT FINGERPRINT EVIDENCE ???
Is this January 22nd article by Priscilla DeGregory just another example of the NY Post's shoddy coverage of the Vetrano-Lewis murder case, or have they mentioned a piece of evidence that was never mentioned before ?????
The NY Post has been stoking the white lynch-mob mentality surrounding the Karina Vetrano murder from the very beginning in the summer of 2016; and then doubled down when the mistrial was declared by Justice Michael Aloise on November 20, 2018.
For the most part, Priscilla DeGregory's recent piece is just more of the same --- except for HER line about the DNA and the fingerprints in the Post's coverage of remarks by Phil Vetrano (See "Slain jogger’s father prepares to relive killing at second trial" by Priscilla DeGregor, 1/22/19, NY Post/ Metro [https://nypost.com/2019/01/22/slain-joggers-father-prepares-to-relive-killing-at-second-trial/]).
If this is indeed something new, then the Post and their reporter Priscilla DeGregory cleary have given the impression (and it looks like it was intentional) that the tip-off about FINGERPRINTS came from Phil Vetrano.
Make no mistake --- this item about FINGERPRINTS --- is either grossly bad journalism by the NY Post and its writer de jour on the Vetrano-Lewis murder case --- OR --- it is a bombshell disclosure..... Remember, at the first trial of the defendant Chanel Lewis in November 2018, the defense team made a big point with the jury that THERE WAS NO FINGERPRINT EVIDENCE LINKING CHANEL LEWIS TO THE CRIME OR THE CRIME SCENE..... That was one of the elements of the very conservative and passive defense strategy that ultimately led to a hung jury.and the declaration of a mistrial later in November.
Monday, January 21, 2019
Tomorrow is the next big day in the Vetrano-Lewis murder case --- as everybody will have their say on how to go forward
Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise has ordered all sides involved in the prosecution of Chanel Lewis for the murder of Karina Vetrano to appear in his courtroom in Queens tomorrow to discuss how the case will proceed
There has been little >>> NEWS <<< in the case since Judge Aloise, in a very controversial ruling (one of very many in the case), declared a mistrial on November 20, 2018..... What was reported at the time suggested that the trial judge rushed to his ruling upon the defense motion without giving the jury what is called an "Allen Charge" --- urging the jury to renew deliberations and to cooperate in order to reach a verdict based upon the evidence presented to them. However, it was only later reported that the Queens County prosecutor, a very senior ADA in the Office of the Queens DA >>> DID NOT OPPOSE <<< the defense motion for a mistrial
THAT LEAVES A RATHER OBVIOUS QUESTION GOING FORWARD --- WHY DID THE PROSECUTION DECIDE TO THROW IN ITS CARDS AFTER CHANEL LEWIS' DEFENSE TEAM IN ESSENCE SAID >>> IT LOOKS LIKE THE GAME IS UP <<<
RIGHT NOW, IT'S UP TO JUDGE ALOISE TO SEE WHEN AND IF HE'LL RE-DEAL THE CARDS IN THIS CASE
".... A judge declared a mistrial late Tuesday in the murder trial of Chanel Lewis, the man accused of killing Queens jogger Karina Vetrano in 2016.... Following a day and a half of deliberations, the jury sent a note to the judge saying it was hopelessly deadlocked and had exhausted all thoughts and opinions.... The victim’s family was stunned, with the judge announcing the hung jury to a near-silent courtroom. Several were in tears as they were escorted out.... Lewis, 22, is accused of killing the 30-year-old Vetrano while she was jogging in Spring Creek Park near her family’s home in Howard Beach. If found guilty, he faces up to life in prison. His attorney says the declaration goes to show the evidence presented was far from a slam dunk.... [various details about the history of the case and what was presented at the trial].... Prosecutors say they’ll move to retry the case following the judge’s decision. Lewis will remain in jail as the case is adjourned until January 22nd, when the two sides will reconvene and figure out how to proceed"
(See "Judge Declares Mistrial In Queens Jogger Karina Vetrano’s Murder Case" by Jessica Layton & CBS Staff Writers, 11/20/18, CBS2/ WYLI1055/ CBS News NY [https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2018/11/20/chanel-lewis-karina-vetrano-mistrial/]).
TWO WEEKS LATER, THE NY TIMES PAINTED A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PICTURE THAN ALMOST ALL OF THE PRIOR REPORTSHere's some of what the New York Times said a couple of weeks after the declaration of a mistrial by Justice Aloise:
".... The Queens district attorney’s office believed its case against Chanel Lewis was airtight. Prosecutors had a videotape of Mr. Lewis confessing to the murder of 30-year-old Karina Vetrano two years ago as she jogged through a Queens park. Police had also found his DNA on her body. But after a two-week trial last month, the unexpected happened: The jury remained hopelessly deadlocked after only two days of deliberations. The judge quickly declared a mistrial. Prosecutors did not object.... Usually, a videotaped admission of guilt coupled with DNA evidence almost guarantees a conviction. But the Vetrano case demonstrated that jurors are starting to doubt such evidence.... Over the last 20 years, several cases involving false confessions have surfaced, and DNA evidence, while seemingly convincing, has not always persuaded jurors who have concerns about police integrity. The skepticism is higher in minority communities where relationships with law enforcement have been strained, legal experts said...." (See "The Murder Case Seemed Solid. Here’s Why Jurors Would Not Convict" by Jan Ransom, 12/5/18, New York Times/ New York [https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/05/nyregion/queens-jogger-trial.html]).
MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, THE PROSECUTION/ PERSECUTION OF CHANEL LEWIS HINGES ON RACEPerhaps, an even more important bit of the report by Timesperson Jan Ransom was a segment in her article where she detailed her investigations into how the jury had become "hopelessly deadlocked" --- ".... Several jurors agreed with the defense’s argument that Mr. Lewis’s confession might have been coerced and that DNA evidence could have been contaminated, according to one juror, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of harassment.... The juror’s account could not be independently confirmed, but it meshed with what transpired in court and with evidence the jury reviewed during deliberations. Two other jurors declined to comment, while several more did not respond to requests for an interview.... The juror said all panel members agreed early on that prosecutors failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Lewis, 22, had sexually assaulted Ms. Vetrano, but the jury remained split about whether Mr. Lewis was guilty of murder.... Seven members wanted to convict him, according to the juror, including all four white members of the panel, a Hispanic woman, an Asian man and a black man.... The five people who had doubts about his guilt were of black, Hispanic and Indian descent. Some jurors were troubled by how Mr. Lewis, who is black, became a suspect in the first place, the juror said. He was arrested on what amounted to a hunch from a police lieutenant, who, months before the murder, had seen him “acting suspiciously” as he wandered through Howard Beach, a mostly white neighborhood where the murder happened...."
Saturday, January 19, 2019
The Trial Judge in the Vetrano-Lewis case is skewered again for his lockstep approach in favor of cops and prosecutors
You've got to hand it to Theodore Hamm --- he has painted "jurist" Michael Aloise with a well-deserved basting of tar for his one-sided, pro-cop, pro-prosecution rulings --- even suggesting that the judge's quick grant of a mistrial in the Vetrano murder case was a move meant to benefit the prosecution --- and allowing them to start all over again in their attempt to railroad the defendant Chanel Lewis
I have been waiting for this article for a couple of weeks now --- as the one and true Galewyn Massey, formerly the real and true editor of "The Banner" of "Fountainhead" fame, Gale Wynand, played in the King Vidor movie of the same name by Raymond Massey (and yes, in both of those parallel threads, I am well over a hundred years old --- however in my current state, I only feel over a hundred years old), I must say that my blog and I really kvell up a storm when other reputable sources confirm much of what is being said by me here on this blog
Mr. Hamm, has been a full-time author and part-time journalist, and was the founder of the cultural and literary "tabloid" --- "The Brooklyn Rail." Out west, he had a background investigating various cases in the criminal justice system out there; and now he's a college professor in Brooklyn, who occasionally does watchdog public interest articles --- just like this one exposing Justice Michael Aloise as the Queens County Supreme Court's currently-reigning super- pro-DA hack.
Most interestingly, Mr. Hamm pointed out that Judge Aloise, who has a long history of being overturned by the defense bar, has multiple relatives working as ADA's in the Queens DA's Office; at this time, a daughter and a son-in-law. (Note, a similar pattern can be found among several other judges hearing criminal cases in Brooklyn and Queens --- it is just one of the very large chunks of corruption in those courts that the New York State Office of Court Administration (OCA) just can't seem to come to grips with). The OCA's spokesperson's lame defensive comments about Judge Aloise's problematic record clearly indicates that a follow-up article about the cover-ups of many of the many state court judges' more detestable foibles by the OCA is long overdue ( See "Judge in Jogger Murder Trial has a History of Having Rulings Overturned" by Theodore Hamm, 1/18/19, CityLimits.org [https://citylimits.org/2019/01/18/judge-in-jogger-murder-trial-has-a-history-of-having-rulings-overturned/]).
Here are some of the things that Mr. Hamm wrote about the Vetrano murder case in this article for the award-winning NYC watch-dog organ, "CityLimits.com":
"Throughout the recent high-profile trial of Chanel Lewis for the murder of Howard Beach jogger Karina Vetrano, Judge Michael Aloise sparked controversy.... In addition to repeatedly ruling in the prosecution’s favor, Aloise frequently sported a purple tie, a statement of solidarity with the Vetrano family. Many seasoned criminal defense attorneys were surprised when after only one full day of jury deliberations, Aloise—instead of issuing what’s known as an Allen charge (which asks jurors to continue trying to reach a verdict)—quickly declared a mistrial.... Queens prosecutors immediately declared their intention to seek a retrial, and the next court date is January 22. Despite his questionable handling of the first trial, Justice Aloise continues to preside over the case...."
BUT HERE IS THE KICKER IN HAMM'S ARTICLE --- JUSTICE MICHAEL ALOISE HAS THE WORST RECORD ON APPEAL OF THE THREE WORST PRO-PROSECUTION SUPREME COURT JUDGES IN QUEENS
"A City Limits investigation has found that questions raised about Aloise’s impartiality are not new. Indeed, since Aloise became a Queens Supreme Court-Criminal judge in 2004, Aloise has had at least 42 cases reversed or modified by the appellate division, with a handful reaching the full New York State Court of Appeals.... By contrast, Aloise’s Queens counterpart Justice Gregory Lasak (now running for Queens County DA), who was elected at the same time as Aloise, has had 17 reversals or modifications, including one last week. Lasak made important initial rulings in the Vetrano case before retiring last summer in order to run for Queens DA. His cases were then passed over to Aloise. Kenneth Holder, another Queens judge who handles high-profile felony trials, has seen 24 of his cases altered by the appellate division since he joined Aloise and Lasak in 2008...."
DEFENSIVE STATEMENTS BY THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OFFICE OF COURT ADMINISTRATION (OCA) DEMONSTRATE THAT THEY ARE NOT EVEN CLOSE TO CAPABLE OF CLEANING THEIR OWN HOUSE
With respect to that issue, Theodore Hamm and "CityLimits.com" reported this:
".... Asked to explain whether there is sufficient accountability for judges, Office of Court Administration spokesman Lucian Chalfen told City Limits via email that Aloise 'has been elected once [to Civil Court] and reelected twice more [to Supreme Court] by the citizens of Queens County.' Chalfen added that Aloise has been 'an active felony trial jurist for more than fifteen years, [and] cases are appealed and sometimes reversed.'... Elections for judges, of course, are a stronghold of the party machines. When Aloise and Lasak ran for reelection in 2017, they were two of the six candidates running on the Democratic line --- and the full party slate won all six judgeship positions. Given the mandatory retirement age of 70 for New York State Supreme Court judges, Aloise would not be eligible to run again in 2031.... Aside from elections, Chalfen says, 'oversight in New York State for elected or appointed judges comes from either the State Commission on Judicial Conduct or the appellate process.' There’s no record of an Aloise investigation by that commission, however...."
According to the article by Ted Hamm, many professional court-watchers are not happy about any of this --- ".... 'We are a long way from where we need to be in terms of judicial oversight,” says Brooklyn Law School professor Jocelyn Simonson. But both she and Brooklyn College professor Alex Vitale, author of the End of Policing, say the work of CourtWatch NYC and the Police Reform Organizing Project are an important step in that direction.... 'CourtWatch and PROP are keeping track of bail requests in criminal court and the degree to which judges are acting independently of prosecutors,' says Vitale. 'We need independent eyes monitoring every stage of the process, from arraignment to pleas, trials and sentencing.'...”
THE "CAPTAIN OBVIOUS" CLOSING TO TED HAMM'S PIECE ALSO HAS A BIT OF AN OMINOUS RING TO IT"... In the meantime, if Lewis again stands trial for the Vetrano murder, Aloise’s actions will once again take center stage."
But nobody can gainsay that in anyway (except for something like the sort of snarky "Captain Obvious" jibe).....
Or maybe Mr. Hamm is actually telling everybody that he'll be watching Judge Aloise like a hawk this time around.
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Judge Michael Aloise served up a lot of "home cooking" for the Queens DA's Office during the Chanel Lewis trial --- what do you expect from somebody with so many connections to that office and the Queens County political establishment
Not only did his ordering a mistrial in the Vetrano-Lewis case pull the fat out of the fire for the prosecution, his earlier evidentiary rulings and strict limitations on the defense's cross-examinations of prosecution witnesses kept the Chanel Lewis team from presenting their best case --- and the good Queens machine judge was covering his own ass for a very flawed trial, one that was rife with reversible error.....
For all of their song and dance, and dog and pony tactics, the NYPD and the Queens DA's Office could not produce a single piece of evidence that Chanel Lewis was present at the time and place of Karina Vetrano's murder --- except for what has clearly been shown to be a coerced and very problematic "confession" by an intellectually challenged young person with special needs, who was first placed in isolation and then "interrogated" overnight without legal representation or any other adult representative present.
So far I have done plenty of commentary on the weaknesses of two parts of the "open and shut case" against Chanel Lewis --- first, the ersatz DNA "matches" to Chanel Lewis found in three places on Ms. Vetrano and/or on her personal possessions; and second, the questionable confession by the Defendant Chanel Lewis, which seems to have all of the facts wrong about the way Karina Vetrano was murdered and/or how murder scene looked. Now, let's look at some of the evidence that was not allowed to get to the jury that might have firmed up their joint several and collective inclinations to acquit the Defendant Chanel Lewis.
First, the trial Judge, Michael Aloise, didn't allow the defense to question prosecution witnesses about the many thousands of hours of video tape of the various approaches to Gateway Park, none of which showed a picture of the defendant entering into, or even at any location near Gateway Park, or exiting from it, at any time relevant to the murder of Karina Vetrano.
Next, we have had a chance to look into a defense analysis of vectors from the various cell towers around East New York and Howard Beach that would have yielded information that, if not clearly contradictory to similar prosecution evidence showing Chanel Lewis might have been near the murder scene, would have yielded an equal probability that Chanel Lewis was in a Brooklyn Park several miles away from the Vetrano murder scene at or near the time that Karina Vetrano was murdered in Gateway Park near the edge of her Howard Beach neighborhood. However, Judge Aloise would not allow the defense to question prosecution witnesses about the pings on vectors to a Brooklyn site where Chanel Lewis said he was around the time of Karina Vetrano's murder ( See "Karina Vetrano Murder Trial Wraps Up After Judge Blocks Video Evidence" by Max Rivlin-Nadler, 11/19/18, Gothamist [http://gothamist.com/2018/11/19/chanel_lewis_video_evidence.php]).
When the defense attempted to get the favorable cell tower information into evidence using an investigator, the testimony was cut off on a narrow issue of discovery and disclosure, because the investigator was referring to investigator's notes, and those notes had been demanded by the prosecution, but had not been turned over prior to the investigator's attempted testimony.
In addition to the cell tower evidence favorable to the defense, there was another "eye witness," whose testimony was blocked by the trial judge, Michael Aloise. According to the Gothamist report by Max Rivlin-Nadler, "... a Verizon employee who was working on a telephone pole along the path that Lewis told investigators during his confession that he had used to enter the park [was expected to testify that he] never saw Lewis enter or leave the park during the time the murder took place...." As with so many other rulings in this case, Queens County Justice Michael Aloise sided with the Queens County DA ruling that the Verizon employee’s testimony had “no relevance whatsoever,” and that it would needlessly prolong the trial.
Sunday, January 6, 2019
It was a very special "He said -- She said" moment (or few moments spread out over five hours) on "The New Bay Ridge Talk" site on Facebook....
I suspect that Colleen-baby and Bob, office down the hall from that big supermarket cat, aren't co-members in any mutual adoration society --- or even a mutual admiration society.....
They certainly don't seem to see eye-to-eye when it comes to the likes of Curtis Sliwa and Eric Ulrich
Does this show that former GOP State Senator Marty G. decided that he needs to send out his lovely colleen, Colleen, to do his dirty work for him ???
As they said in a pop tune a very long time ago, when Mrs. Golden's favorite bottle baby, now her husband Marty Golden, was still a beautiful baby boy, "... This could be the start of something big..."
Friday, January 4, 2019
Curtis Sliwa unmasks Conservative Party attempt to pull a fast one in the upcoming "Non-Partisan" --- "Special Election" for Public Advocate
Curtis Sliwa, described as a life-long "Public Advocate," appeared and spoke at the Queens Village Republican Club last night
Sliwa ripped into "Little Eric with the bow tie..." for what he said on ABC knocking Melissa Mark-Vivarito, because Eric had cast the deciding vote to make her the City Council Speaker, after talking to Mayor deBlasio --- and his opposition to the 2017 Republican Nominee for Mayor, Nicole Malliotakis, with Eric being for 1% Bo Dietl instead --- and his association with convicted Queens County Republican felon "Dannemora" John Haggerty (and his not-yet-convicted-of-anything brother Bart) --- and most of all for Eric Ulrich's being "a deBlasio Republican"
Curtis says that he's if elected --- he would abolish the public patronage mill of PUBLIC ADVOCATE
And then there was this:
>>> YOW-ZUH ! YOW-ZUH !!! DAT JERRY KOOTZZAH --- HE BE NO DANG GOOD !!!!! <<<
Yes, Curtis Sliwa last night, while speaking publicly at the Queens Village Republican Club, called out Jerry Kassar as the "somebody" who was doing Mike Long's bidding by complaining to the FCC about Sliwa's run for PA while on the air at ABC (See it all on Facebook at: [https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156772513150449&id=558375448&anchor_composer=false]). He said it was all being done to further the run of "the future of the Republican Party" --- who the Conservative leaders like Long and Kassar say >>> "EVERYBODY" <<< is supporting. --- Eric "the man with the bow-tie" Ulrich.
Thursday, January 3, 2019
August 2016 report is a smoking gun that puts the lie into the NYPD timeline of its investigation in the Vetrano-Lewis case
Are top NYPD detectives Keystone Kops or sophisticated co-conspirators ???
August 2016 radio interview with Curtis Sliwa made the cops tip their hand much
earlier than they had planned --- and it all turned out to be very close to what they said when
they arrested Chanel Lewis in February 2017; and then testified-to again at the Vetrano-Lewis murder trial in
When Phil Vetrano took to the airwaves on the Curtis Sliwa Show on August 29th, 2016, saying that a “jogger,” who regularly ran in the “Weeds” near where his daughter was murdered, needed to be questioned by police --- the NYPD sprung into action to spike the story and tamp down any speculation that anyone who knew or previously interacted with Karina Vetrano had anything to do with her murder
In less than a month after Karina Vetrano was murdered, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce was announcing that NYPD detectives were looking for a random killer, possibly from East New York in Brooklyn, who had entered the Brooklyn-side of Gateway Park at Erskine Street near the Gateway Mall
One of the most mysterious parts of the NYPD’s Karina Vetrano murder investigation was why it took New York City detectives over six months to track down Chanel Lewis when they should have been looking for >>> HIM <<< much earlier in the case….. Well, maybe they knew about him much earlier in the case than they have said up to now.
Forget the dog-and-pony-show about the “hero cop,” NYPD Det. Lieut. John Russo, suddenly remembering in January 2017 about his couple of days of chasing Chanel Lewis around Howard Beach at the end of May in 2016. His very detailed story about bumping into Chanel Lewis three times in two days both in Howard Beach and then in the Rockaways, and then saying he didn’t connect any of that to Karina Vetrano’s murder in early August 2016 until shortly before Chanel Lewis’ arrest in February 2017 --- Well, as Nancy Grace might say, “That dang dawg won’t hunt !”…..
On August 29th or 30th 2016, Dt. Lt. Russo’s boss, NYPD Chief of Ds Robert Boyce, spilled the beans on the NYPD’s ultimate suspect in the Karina Vetrano murder case --- it’s all pretty well laid out in an August 30, 2016 article by Danielle Tcholakian (See “Mystery Jogger Not a Suspect In Howard Beach Jogger Murder, Police Say” by Danielle Tcholakian, 8/30/16, [dna]info/ Howard Beach & Richmond Hill/ Crime & Mayhem [https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20160830/howard-beach/mystery-jogger-not-suspect-howard-beach-jogger-murder-police-say]).
It’s all there on August 30, 2016, the whole case against the yet to be named Chanel Lewis….. --- “All there...” --- except of course for the phony DNA evidence pulled and handled by NYPD detectives when they questioned Lewis in February 2017, and then analyzed by the quite discredited OCME; and the not to be forgotten overnight, coerced, and very detailed confession, again in February 2017, by the unrepresented and simple-minded patsy in the case, Chanel Lewis. Naturally, the Chanel Lewis "confession" and his "own" hand drawn map of his routes in and out of Howard Beach fit the Chief of D's August 2016 description of events better than any glove ever fit on OJ Simpson's hand.
It’s very important not to forget that Det. Lieut. John Russo was a direct subordinate and worked very closely with Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce. It is very unlikely that Chief Boyce made his statements to Danielle Tcholakian without being briefed on the Vetrano murder investigation by John Russo.
Here’s the kicker, more than a week before Chanel Lewis was arrested in February 2017, Phil Vetrano did his own retelling of what Robert Boyce’s had recounted to the reporter Danielle Tcholakian in August 2016 --- Vetrano's version was in a January 2017 podcast (See "The Aurora Project: Who Killed Karina? The Trail" 1/26/17 [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfU0OONLDIY]).