Published April 05, 2013
NEW YORK – Prosecutors have turned down an inmate's bid to be cleared in the 1998 killing of a retired New York City police officer. The exoneration effort counts actor Martin Sheen among its champions.
The Manhattan district attorney's office agreed in 2011 to review Jon-Adrian Velazquez's case. A DA's office spokeswoman said this week the investigation didn't find "evidence sufficient to demonstrate that Mr. Velazquez is innocent."
Attorneys Celia Gordon and Robert Gottlieb say they now plan to ask a court to vacate Velazquez's conviction and order a new trial.
Velazquez was convicted of shooting Albert Ward in an underground betting parlor.
Some eyewitnesses have since recanted their identifications of Velazquez. His lawyers also raised a lead about another possible suspect.
Sheen spotlighted Velazquez's case after visiting him in prison in 2011.