The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office was "sympathetic" toward an attempted murder suspect who was attacked several times at New York City’s notorious prison Rikers Island and helped broker a deal that resulted in the accused gunman being released on electronic monitoring.
Darius Mungin, 20, is charged with attempted murder in an Aug. 30 shooting that happened outside a Manhattan deli. Court documents say he and a co-defendant got into an altercation with a 45-year-old man, who brandished a knife. They allegedly responded by drawing guns, and the 45-year-old was shot in the chest. An 81-year-old man at a barbershop across the street was shot in a foot.
Arrested about two months later, Mungin had been held at Rikers Island since October. He has since been "victimized a number of times in six separate violent incidents," his defense lawyer, Brian Kennedy, told Fox News Digital on Monday. In one instance at the end of November, he was attacked by 12 inmates.
"The videos were just horrific," Kennedy told Fox News Digital. "They just showed that corrections have lost all control of Rikers. Basically, they left it to the inmates to run the jail. And Mr. Mungin is not gang-affiliated. And the people who were attacking him were all gang-affiliated."
Footage of the Nov. 28 incident showed inmates taking turns beating Mungin until rendering him unconscious. No corrections officers stopped to intervene, Kennedy said. He played out the video before Manhattan Administrative Judge Ellen Biben, and the Department of Corrections was called into court.
"They punch him, stomped him, kicked him in the head, used whatever was available – these hard milk crates, baking pans, tablets, whatever, and literally took turns beating him and then left him there probably for four to five minutes," Kennedy said. "Then when they were done with him, they dragged him into a vestibule and then told corrections to come get him. And then corrections stood around for about four minutes before touching him and making sure he still had a pulse."
Kennedy said the Department of Corrections moved Mungin to protective custody after the incident, but his client was then physically threatened and asked to move back to the general population.
"My client was threatened when he was when he was in protective custody, which was not very protective," Kennedy said. "He was again physically threatened, and he thought he was unsafe there."
In December, he was attacked again, and despite being stabbed about four times, managed to survive.
"I was in conversations and negotiations with the DA's office, and we reviewed the videos together, and the DA was very sympathetic to the situation Mr. Mungin was in," Kennedy said. "We negotiated a lower bail package, something that his family could meet."
Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Kristin Bailey told the court that prosecutors were working with Kennedy on a bail reduction package for Mungin, court transcripts reviewed by Fox News Digital show. Judge Ann Scherzer approved the package lowering Mungin’s bail to $100,000 from $500,000.
His family posted 10% of that amount, and he was released on Feb. 8 on electronic monitoring. His next court date is in March, Kennedy said. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office confirmed to Fox News Digital that its prosecutors learned more about the assaults on Mungin during court hearings last year and agreed there was what they described as a unique security risk to him at Rikers. Therefore, a bail package was put forward that was sufficient to ensure his return to court, the office said.
"Most of the people in Rikers are there for serious crimes, including Mr. Mungin, but they shouldn't ever be subjected to this kind of violence and chaos because we're better than that as a society," Kennedy said. "I think we should allow people a chance at redemption without them being terrorized, beaten, stabbed."
Kennedy also criticized what he described as the "gross mismanagement reigning supreme at Rikers." The attorney said last year was one of the most dangerous years for inmates held at Rikers.
"Department of Corrections needs a complete overhaul. I think people of all mentalities and people of all stripes and persuasions agree that Rikers is a mess," Kennedy said. "And when you have up to a third of corrections officers not showing up to work and leaving the inmates basically to run the jail and letting the worst that those inmates were usually the gang-affiliated inmates who reigned supreme, you're going to have violence and chaos."
Reached by Fox News Digital, the Department of Corrections said it has identified the individuals responsible for the November attack on Mungin and are pursuing rearrest and prosecution.
"In my six weeks at this department, I have witnessed an appalling amount of deficiencies which began under the previous administration, which is when this incident took place," NYC Department of Corrections Commissioner Louis Molina said in a statement Monday. "I am committed to addressing these systemic failures to ensure that anyone who commits heinous acts in our jails are held accountable and that our facilities are run in a safe and humane way."