â€œHell Has No Furyâ€¦â€
At one point before any evidence was seen or heard, another trial judge told Attorney Berkowitz, â€œTell your client if he pleads guilty, I would give him time served,â€ which happens to a large number of defendants because they lack an investigator and good lawyer on their case.
[On The Spot]
A young couple gets together and a lack of communication leads one to believe they are boyfriend and girlfriend, while the other believes they are just dating.
No time is taken to become friends and their togetherness involves unprotected sex and a relationship that takes off like a jet with no safety net or landing gear. Within four months, a baby is lost to a miscarriage, the relationship is over the next week, and jail becomes the final chapter.
This is a follow up to my June 21, 2009, article entitled, “Manhattan DA’s keystone verdict,” in The Black Star News's website. The names were withheld to not prejudice the misdemeanor case, which ended Friday, December 3rd, in a, “Not guilty,” bench trial verdict.
There will be more articles to come on these type of cases because there are too many bogus arrests being made in New York City to upstate New York, which are being adjudicated in the name of The People of the United States. This case proves the criminal justice system does work when attorneys and judges willfully take a hard look at the real evidence and not prejudge the facts before they are presented.
Columnist note: Detective Byron Chavers, Shield #536 was the arresting officer in the misdemeanor case. Chavers retired before the case went to trial and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office did not produce him for his testimony to explain the June 8th arrest of Curry Winkfield, whom, I disclose here is related to me. There was also the felony arrest on July 20th at the 32nd precinct, which raises questions to Chavers interest because of the black gun recovered.
According to arrest paperwork, on June 8, 2008 at approximately 9:50 p.m., Shanice Richardson, of Manhattan County, walked into the 32nd precinct in Harlem and filed a complaint, and alleged that Winkfield, the young man whose baby she no longer carried, the guy she said she dumped because he was a “Hood guy,” was also the guy who pulled a big black gun out on a corner -- a block and a half from the 32nd precinct – pointed this big black heavy gun, held it shoulder length right at her and demanded she come with him or be killed.
This took place days after Shanice appeared at Curry’s house at 3:00 a.m., carrying a large kitchen knife threatening to, “Gut him like a fish.” No one knows what Shanice would have done if she had found Curry that early morning, and no one really knew what her mindset was. But, there is a saying, “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned/nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”
It ultimately came down to Shanice wanting to confront Curry for ending the “relationship” after she lost the baby, and there was nothing stopping her from sitting with a male friend in the park across the street from Curry’s house planning to get him arrested; but in the end, she could not drag anyone into court to corroborate her madness. “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine," Jess Berkowitz, the attorney representing Curry said, quoting, a line from Humphrey Bogart’s, 1942 American romantic film, Casablanca.
According to Richardson’s court testimony, “A red car pulled over to the curb and a female in the car screams to Curry, ‘What are you doing?’ At which point, “I ran very very fast down the 137th Street train station (B and C lines), because I was afraid for my life.” She did not have any money to get on the train or think to go under the turnstile to get away from the area. She goes back up to the street level to learn Curry is no longer there. All the while Shanice’s male friend who is witnessing all this is still there on his bike. There is no statement from this, “male friend,” nor did he care to answer the Manhattan District Attorneys (MDA) subpoenas’ to appear in court to tell what he witnessed on Shanice’s account.
Both sides rested and there was a 15 minute break. Judge Neil Ross reenters the courtroom and finds Curry Winkfield, “Not guilty,” because he was in fact not guilty. After a hearing and trial which lasted a week, there was nothing different this past Friday than was present on June 8th at the 32nd precinct. A hard look had to be taken in this case after Shanice was asked, “How long have you lived in Harlem,” by Attorney Berkowitz. She testified to living in Harlem for two years and did not know where the 32nd precinct was located.
From the very beginning this was a, “He said; she said,” case and you had to make sense out of whose story you wanted to believe. The investigation into this arrest is ongoing because Curry was arrested a week after Shanice’s complaint when he walked into the 32nd precinct to clear up the matter without an attorney because the Detective Chavers told him, “It was not serious.” The District Attorney did not produce Detective Chavers because when he arrested Curry after taking his statement in the precinct, there was no black gun in evidence. Detective Chavers knew Curry from a previous case and this, too, needs to be investigated.
However, the misdemeanor arrest took place in June 2008, which by law must be prosecuted within 90 days of the arrest. Curry was arraigned on these same charges on December 1, 2010. Dr. Martin Luther King said it best, “Justice delayed, is justice denied.” When this case was sent to a jury part, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office did not know Shanice’s whereabouts and failed to prosecute this case in a timely manner causing the case to adjourn approximately 30 times while transporting Curry back and forth from the upstate jails to Rikers Island. Every trip is charged and a very large expense gets passed on to the taxpayers and this practice needs to be investigated – pertaining to the court’s calendar.
Shanice Richardson displayed her street smarts and way around the criminal justice system. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office produced her as their star witness. She walked into court with dirty-hands. Shanice knew there was a warrant for her arrest from another matter she plead guilty and was sentenced to one day community service and a fine; she chose to ignore both.
Yet, Shanice and the Manhattan District Attorney wanted the court to believe she was capable of telling, “The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” which was highly problematic and unbelievable on its face. To believe Curry threatened to kill her with a gun, she fails to call 911, walks past two precincts in Harlem on her way home, knowing Curry still had a key to her grandmother’s house where she was going and her male friend on a bike fails to even walk her home. Shanice’s account was a bit much.
Curry is serving eight-years after being convicted by a jury relating to another gun case, which is on appeal. In that case Curry testified his so called best friend-- Gregory Stevens-- fired the black gun in question in the air before getting into the same car they drove away in.
The 32nd precinct arrest paperwork completed by arresting officer Edwin Leung is very questionable and criminal at best. Officer Leung testified to the fact he witnessed Curry wearing a black fisherman’s hat and he knew the shooter was wearing a blue Yankee fitted cap.
Officer Leung arrested the owner of the vehicle in question and filed arrest papers as the car was taken from Curry. There is a lot of official misconduct in the arrest of Curry Winkfield and witness tampering.
At one point before any evidence was seen or heard, another trial judge told Attorney Berkowitz, “Tell your client if he pleads guilty, I would give him time served,” which happens to a large number of defendants because they lack an investigator and good lawyer on their case.
There is evidence of prosecutorial misconduct on the part of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in both arrest cases brought against Curry and he is now moving to have the felony jury verdict overturned based on new evidence, which came out in the misdemeanor trial. We are now calling for a full internal investigation into these arrests and will be looking into other criminal cases as well.
More on this case to come about this case.
Contact Winkfield for his consideration regarding covering your own story: (646) 387-8964. By mail: On The Spot, Post Office Box 230149, Queens County 11423; Email: Bsnonthespot@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; call (212) 481-7745.
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