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Bronx Cab Driver Shot 9 Times So Mario Powell Got 24 Years Now US Pushes 2d Trial

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 10 –  Back in March 2018 then US Attorney Geoffrey Berman announced that "on March 17, 2018, Mario Powell called a livery cab in the Bronx then threatened the driver with a gun and demanded cash.  The driver handed over $23 in cash.  Powell exited the cab and then shot the driver seven times." 

  On May 16, 2023, Powell was on trial before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul A. Engelmayer. Inner City Press was there and covered it. 

 The driver Jeffrey Cisnero Camacho, who survived, was on the witness stand. He said he had been shot nine times, and still has two bullets in his leg. He said the two police officers who helped him, Jennifer and Sean, were "angels." He cried. 

 In the courtroom gallery, his relatives including one of his daughters listened. On the other side, apparently family members of the defendant.  

On May 17, on the stand was Mario Powell's brother in law, who identified him to police. In the courtroom gallery, ten supporters of Powell, who barely looked at the exhibits on the screen. No sign of the victim (understandable), nor of his family. On cross examination the brother in law acknowledged he was only linking the person in the surveillance video footage to Mario Powell, not directly to the shooting.

On May 18 in closing arguments the AUSA listed 11 reasons to conclude Mario Powell was the robber and shooter, coming again and again to the bright blue Air Jordans with the orange Gatorade tag. There were PowerPoint problems. The defense emphasized, No gun, No DNA, No prints.
 After 5 pm, the pre-sentence investigation report was ordered up. Docketed on May 19: "JURY VERDICT as to Mario Powell (1) Guilty on Count 1s,2s."

On July 25, 2023, Mario Powell was back in SDNY court, in a yellow prison jumpsuit, three family members in the gallery. The slashing a Corrections Officer with a razor in the MCC on May 30, 2020 - during the height of COVID.

Jump cut to September 25, 2023 when Mario Powell's lawyer wrote to Judge Engelmayer seeking a 45 day adjournment of the sentencing scheduled for October 3, saying he's in a trial in EDNY in which "three jurors contacted COVID."

[It's a murder for hire trial in EDNY]

On September 26, Judge Engelmayer granted the delay: "as to Mario Powell, GRANTED. Sentencing is adjourned to November 20, 2023 at 2:15 p.m. (Signed by Judge Paul A. Engelmayer on 9/26/2023)."

 In the second case, trial has been set for January 8, 2024, with another conference on October 13. The prosecutor alluded to a "parallel proceeding" - that would be, the sentencing.

On November 29 in the second case, the US Attorney's Office wrote in requesting a three month adjournment, for forensic analysis of the shank, and because of a request for deferred prosecution it says it sees as "in good faith."

  On June 10, the US Attorney's Office asked for a conference on June 13 to keep the July 22 trial on track in face, they say, of "previously unnoticed defenses bearing on the mental state of the defendant."

This second case is US v. Powell, 23-cr-229 (Cronan)

In the taxi case, the US Attorney's Office on April 8, 2024 asked for 20 years, above the 198 month guideline.

On May 17, he was sentenced: "JUDGMENT IN A CRIMINAL CASE as to Mario Powell (1). THE DEFENDANT: was found guilty on counts 1s and 2s of the S1 Indictment after a plea of not guilty. All open counts are dismissed on the motion of the Un ited States. IMPRISONMENT: Two hundred eighty-eight (288) months: one hundred sixty-eight (168) months on count 1 s, and one hundred (120) months on count 2s, these terms to run consecutively. The defendant is to receive credit for time served dating from March 24, 2018. ~ The court makes the following recommendations to the Bureau of Prisons: that the defendant be returned to MCFP Springfield to continue mental health treatment, and any other treatment programs for which he is eligible, and for designation to a facility appropriate to the defendant's mental health needs."

More detail, from Endless Sentences, on Substack here

The taxi case is, or was, US v. Powell, 18-cr-287 (Engelmayer) 


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