Kris Gounden Trial: Queens DA Lomp Hopes For Conviction Based on Testimony of Adorno, Witness With Zero Credibility

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[Speaking Truth To Power]

Kris Gounden's alleged hit-and-run trial in Queens criminal court is coming to an end and Monday the prosecutor used the same argument that he opened with; that even though the key witness and accuser, Joseph Adorno, has a dim lightbulb and made several inconsistent statements to the authorities, he should be believed by the jury in his claim that he was struck by a car driven by the defendant who then fled from the scene.

The prosecution also contends that Gounden had been driving without a license at the time and that his New York state driving privileges had been suspended.

Gounden's lawyers countered Queens assistant district attorney Peter Lomp's closing by maintaining the same defense they opened with; that Adorno was a habitual liar, with anger management problems--a man who blames everyone but himself for his troubles. Moreover, they contend, Gounden was in possession of a Florida driver's license at the time of the incident. 

Adorno's own wife got a taste of his anger earlier this year when he was arrested in May after she alleged he'd punched her; Adorno insisted that he "only" pushed her. Adorno pleaded guilty last week in connection to that assault case and his wife, Evaline Orosco, now has an order of protection against her husband. She was with him in her black BMW on the day Adorno claims Gounden struck him near 117 Street and Rockaway Blvd. I won't rehash the entire case in this column since my previous coverage are all available via the links on Black Star News.

In her closing yesterday, the defense co-counsel Rhiya Trivedi reminded jurors that "reasonable doubt is the type that would make you hesitate…" to convict. 

In this case, which started last Wednesday, there is a galaxy of reasonable doubt. As I previously wrote, Adorno is one of the most unbelievable witnesses I've ever seen in a courtroom. He was such a bad witness who couldn't keep a straight story that it really raises a fundamental question about the law itself. Is a DA obligated to continue pressing a case when even he or she must know that the witness is a blatant liar? Must the government secure a conviction at all cost and by any means necessary? How does a DA live with himself or herself knowing the testimony of a witness who totally lacks credibility could result in an innocent person being convicted for a crime she or he didn't commit? Does the prosecutor simply say "Well the witness is so bad that the defendant will end up not being convicted anyway and justice will be served in a round about way"? But why play Russian Roulette with someone else's life? 

I suppose the same question could be asked of lawyers who defend people whom they know committed heinous crimes, including murders. Should prosecutors, be held to the same measure and standards? 

Gounden is clearly the victim of political prosecution; a vendetta that's been carried out against him for more than 12 years by officers from the 106 precinct and assistant district attorneys from the Queens County District Attorneys office. Conspiracy? Read some of the detailed articles we've published on his ordeal by Googling "Kris Gounden and Queens District Attorney" or "Kris Gounden and Home Depot Case" or "Kris Gounden and Brian Cox."  

One of the rogue officers from the 106 precinct whose arrested Gounden in the past is Valerie Cincinelli, who was later arrested for allegedly paying someone to have her husband murdered.

The vendetta has destroyed Gounden's business and family. Now the DA wants to place the final nail on the coffin by depriving him of his liberty.

If there is such a thing as justice, one day there will be an investigation as to why one individual could be arrested more than a dozen times by officers from the same precinct, prosecuted by ADAs from Queens County, and often paraded in front of the same judges, without any one intervening.  

Is it possible that any one of the precinct commanders at the 106, the assistant district attorneys involved or their superiors, and Judge Michelle Johnson --who handled many of the cases-- have yet to see a pattern? 

In this case, Gounden is on trial for allegedly striking Adorno with his car and fleeing from the scene of the crime on Feb. 5, 2018. Adorno has offered numerous accounts of what happened on that day and as Gounden's lawyer Ron Kuby has pointed out, they are "conflicting" and "irreconcilable." 

Adorno has said he was "exiting" his car when he was struck; he has said he'd just exited an auto-repair shop when struck; he has said he was standing next to his car when he was struck; he has said he was struck on his hand; he has said he was struck on his lower back; he has said he was struck by the front of the car; and, he has said he was struck by the side-view mirror. 

Adorno has said as a result of the hit-and-run, he injured his hand; later, it became his back; later it became both shoulders; later, his ribs; later his left knee; later, his nervous system; later, his head; later, his neck. The accounts changed depending on whom Adorno was providing the information to: Carlos Bello, the officer from the 106 precinct who arrested Gounden; the EMT staffer who transported Adorno to Jamaica Hospital; the assistant district attorneys who drew up the complaint; Allstate insurance company --which reportedly denied his claim; and, in documents for a lawsuit Adorno recently filed against Gounden and his mother, who owns the car he was driving. On the witness stand, he claimed he didn't file the lawsuit; that his lawyer did it. Once again, failing to own up to anything.

It's also interesting to note that assistant district attorney Lomp somehow couldn't get a hold of Orosco on the witness stand to testify; after all, she was in the car with her husband on the day of the incident. Might it be because she had told her husband that she was prepared to come forward and let it be known to the court that he was "lying" in the account of the incident that he's been peddling since last year? 

Gounden's defense lawyers have maintained that Adorno, driving Orosco's black BMW, tailgated Gounden's car and tapped it when he'd parked at a red light near the scene of the incident. When Gounden pulled over, Adorno drove by. Shortly thereafter, Gounden drove pass Adorno, who was standing by his vehicle and, due to his "anger management" issue, angrily struck Gounden's car with his hand. 

During his closing, Lomp played a recording of the 911 call Adorno made as he drove his wife's car and chased after Gounden after the incident, for the jury to hear one last time. 

It's interesting that nowhere in the call did Adorno or his wife, whose voice could also be heard, ever say that Gounden struck him with his car. Adorno said, on at least two occasions: "He just tried to run me over. He tried to run me over."  Wouldn't someone struck by a car actually tell the 911 dispatcher that there had been physical impact on her or his body by the vehicle in an alleged hit-and-run? 

Then at some point in the 911 call Adorno's wife is heard saying "My husband's hand is swollen." Given that neither of them mentioned anything about actually being hit, combined with "He just tried to run me over", the scenario is consistent with someone who felt he was nearly hit and angrily punched the vehicle with his hand as laid out by the defense. 

Gounden also called 911 twice after the Feb. 5, 2018 incident. 

At one point during closing, Lomp, referring to Adorno's performance when he was cross-examined by Kuby said that "…let's face it, at the end of the day, they tore him up as a witness." That was incorrect: Adorno tore himself up as a witness. 

Judge Eugene Guarino will instruct the jury on the law on Tuesday morning and a verdict will likely be returned the same day. 


Follow Milton Allimadi via @allimadi




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