A Brooklyn man wrongfully jailed for the murder of an off-duty correction officer when he was 14 was exonerated Tuesday after 27 years, the New York Daily News reports.
John Bunn, 41, convicted of second-degree murder in 1991 for the Crown Heights murder of Rolando Neischer, cried at his hearing after prosecutors said they would not retry his case. He served 17 years in prison before being freed on parole in 2009.
“I didn’t deserve any of that stuff that you all did to me,” Bunn told prosecutors, per CNN.
“They won’t admit and say that I’m an innocent man. But I’m an innocent man, your honor, and I have always been an innocent man. You all convicted and had a wrong man in prison, and you all still have somebody on the loose that killed someone.”
Neischer and fellow Rikers Island correction officer Robert Crosson were shot around 4 a.m. ET in August 1991 while sitting in a car at a Brooklyn housing project. Two bicycles were found at the scene along with multiple fingerprints and blood, but they did not match Bunn or his co-defendant Rosean Hargrove.
Judge Shawndya Simpson tossed Bunn’s conviction in 2016 and ordered a new trial after allegations retired NYPD Det. Louis Scarcella was responsible for witness tampering and mishandling of evidence in Bunn’s case.
“Y’all had the wrong man this whole time, and you have [someone] out there running free and y’all had no right to do what you did,” Bunn said.
Hargroves’ conviction has also been thrown out.
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