#AceNewsServices – NEW YORK – April 09 – (PTV) – A New York man who spent nearly 25 years in prison for a Brooklyn murder that took place while he was on vacation in Florida was set free Tuesday in a highly emotional hearing.
“The day is finally here. I have dreamt about it many nights,” Jonathan Fleming said as he walked out of court. “I’m finally a free man.
“I feel wonderful,” Fleming said. “I am going to have dinner with my mother and my family and I’m going to live the rest of my life.”
Evidence that was not disclosed to the defence during his trial — which would have confirmed his alibi for the August 1989 slaying in a Williamsburg project — was unearthed during a review of the case by the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.
That included a phone receipt from an Orlando hotel showing he was there just hours before the murder and a report from local police, which interviewed hotel staff who remembered him.
Both documents were found in the case file.
In 1989 according to the report from the New York Times – Mr. Fleming was convicted of second-degree murder in the killing of Darryl Alston, a rival drug dealer, on Aug. 15, 1989, at the Williamsburg Houses.
His alibi was simple: He was in Orlando at the time of the shooting, on a family trip to Walt Disney World.
During the trial, Mr. Fleming’s lawyers gave evidence showing that he was in Orlando around the time of the murder — plane tickets and video footage and vacation photos from family members.
But prosecutors argued he could have returned to Brooklyn and shot Mr. Alston, producing a list with 53 possible flights he could have taken, according to a document prepared by Mr. Fleming’s lawyers, Taylor Koss and Anthony Mayol. And they cast doubt on the testimony from Mr. Fleming’s family members about his whereabouts.
A woman who said she was an eyewitness, Jacqueline Belardo, identified Mr. Fleming as the killer.
Though she recanted what she said before sentencing, saying she had identified Mr. Fleming in exchange for a dismissal of grand larceny charges against her, the prosecution contended that Ms. Belardo was lying, according to the document. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/09/nyregion/brooklyn-district-attorney-overturns-conviction-in-1989-murder.html
All he could say on his release was – Thank God My Prayers Have Been Answered.