Monday, August 26, 2013

"...no rhyme nor reason." TODAY AT THE HEARING

The motion hearing for Shane Watson continued this morning in courtroom 540 at the Bronx County Hall of Justice. Scheduled to begin at 10:30 AM, the proceedings did not get underway until about 11:45.

The highlight of today's session was testimony from retired NYC detective Sevile Jones. Mr Jones was the lead on the homicide case of Mark Johnson on the night of October 9, 1991. On direct examination the Assistant DA's questioned Jones about his years of service, commendations, and specifically about his decisions to show photo arrays and lineups to Christine Holloway, Robin James and Monique James.

On cross-examination, our attorney Robert Boyle questioned the logic and procedures former Detective Jones demonstrated on the evening of the crime and during the critical days following. Mr. Boyle brought into question the manner in which the photo arrays were arranged and presented to Ms. Holloway and the James sisters. One glaring fact overshadowed all of Jones' statements: the fact that in BOTH photo arrays shown to the "witnesses", Shane Watson's photo was in position #1. Common procedure dictates that when presenting witnesses with photo arrays, the positioning of the photographs should be changed, so as to insure as accurate an identification as possible. When Mr. Jones was asked why Shane's photo remained in position #1 when shown to EACH witness, the former lead detective of a homicide case responded "there was no rhyme nor reason", and went on to say "it just so happened that way".

I cannot divulge too many details in this forum, for obvious reasons. I will conclude by saying that today's testimony from the former lead detective included many inconsistencies and instances of very questionable procedural decisions regarding the investigation (or more accurately the lack of investigation) into the shooting death of Mark Johnson on October 9, 1991. Just three hours after this shooting, Detective Jones was interviewing Christine Holloway at headquarters, armed with a single photo of a "suspect". The person in the photo? Shane Watson.

The hearing has been adjourned until Friday, September 20, 2013. It is expected that Brian Sullivan, the Bronx Assistant DA in 1993 will testify. In all likelihood, Sullivan's testimony will conclude the motion hearing.

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