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In Case By Rosario Imprisoned 20 Years Then Freed NYPD on Lineup as Facebook Post is Out

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
Honduras - CIA Trial Book - NY Mag - VLOG

SDNY COURTHOUSE, August 4 – Richard Rosario spend twenty years in prison for the murder of Jorge Collazo - and then had his conviction vacated and was not re-tried. He sued. 

 On July 19, 2022 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Lorna G. Schofield held a final pre-trial conference, before the jury trial set to begin on July 25. Inner City Pres is covering the case. 

  Rosario is suing for the violation of his constitutional rights by Irwin Silverman, Gary Whitaker, Richard Martinez and Charles Cruger, who investigated the 1996 murder.

  In a pre-trial memo, Rosario says he will testify for four hours, and Whitaker and Martinez for four to six hours each. Three witnesses to the murder will be called, and alibi witnesses that Rosario was in Florida at the time of the murder.

One possible witness, Lyamari Leon, is described as testifying about an "alternative theory and motive for the murder of Jorge Collazo."

  The defense says it will call former ADA Jeanne Patrauskas, for an hour. There will be DD5s and crime scene photos, and Dateline interview transcripts. 

On July 26, with Inner City Press in the gallery, Rosario's lawyer and the NYC lawyer questioning witness Ms. Ruiz and Inner City Press live tweeted it here and below.

Later on July 26 the City filed a letter that is Dr. Parker should be allowed to testify about Rosario's allegedly "predatory" behavior including Facebook posts and videos regarding Defendant officers, and a 1994 rape charge. The City argues that Rosario's "lack of remorse, in general, is highly relevant as it is a 'hallmark' of an APSD diagnosis." Things are getting nasty. City letter on Patreon here.

On July 29, with Courtroom 110 still locked, things got nastier still. The City wrote to Judge Schofield emphasizing that Rosario's vacatur of conviction had nothing to do with negligence by the police officers, or innocence. They want to tell the jury it was the criminal defense lawyer who didn't investigate the alibis. But don't police and prosecutors, and judges, have duties to do justice? Supposedly it will resume on August 1.

From July 26 in court: Ok - now at Richard Rosario v NYC after he spent 20 years in prison for Bronx murder on 6/19/96 when 13 people swear he was in Florida

Rosario's lawyer, to 1 of 13, Ms Ruiz: Did the NYPD ever reach out to you?

NYPD's counsel: Objection!

Judge Scholfield : Overruled.

Cross. NYC lawyer: Good morning, Ms Ruiz. Did you ever call the police?

Ruiz: No. NYC lawyer: You never testified in the 1998 murder trial? Ruiz: I did not. NYC lawyer: People smoke pot in your building then, right? Ruiz: It was a social thing that people did.

 NYC lawyer: Why do you remember Richard Rosario being there? Ruiz: Because of the crime. NYC lawyer: But that's looking back. Did an investigator for Rosario contact you in 2002? Ruiz: Yes.

 NYC lawyer: Did Rosario's lawyers pay for your travel, hotel and room service? Ruiz: Yes. NYC lawyer: DId they prepare you for your 2019 deposition? Ruiz: Maybe. NYC lawyer: And you spoke with them last night? Ruiz: Yes.

NYPD lawyer: Isn't it true Rosario had a romantic relationship with Denise Hernandez? Rosario's lawyer: Objection! Ruiz: I don't know. NYPD lawyer: But you know his wife, right?

Seated NYC lawyer is passing Post It notes to colleague who's cross examining Ruiz. Now she shows Ruiz print outs of Rosario's text message to her, that she can't testify unless she talks to the lawyers 1st. And that the trial is "not for peanuts."

On August 1, investigating officer Whitaker was on the witness stand, and was asked among other things where he showed the "mug book" to hotdog vendor Jose Diaz. Inner City Press live tweeted here:

in resumed trial of Rosario v NYC, Police Officer Whitaker on witness stand is being asked why part of the homocide investigation file was withheld. 

Rosario's lawyer: Does this Polaroid of Richard Rosario have the same number as the one shown to Mr Davis in the mug book? Whitaker: Yes.

 Q: Wasn't that suggestive? Whitaker: That's hypothetical.

 Q: The photo you showed of Mr Rosario was from 3 years earlier, when he was 17, right?

Whitaker: I didn't do the math. But if you say so.

[Rosario walks out of courtroom. Lawyer follows and asks, You OK? ]

Now on screen, DD-5 after interview of the hotdog seller, Jose Diaz.

 Q: The shooter and his accomplice bought coffee from him, right?

Whitaker: That's what we heard.

On August 2 with witness Torres testifying (again) about Rosario being in his residence in Florida at the time of the Bronx murder, the cross examination again got into money for testimony, this time zeroing in on his brother with whom Torres says he does get along, here

in resumed trial of Rosario v NYC, Torres on witness stand is being asked by City why his brother said he should get paid for his testimony.

City: In 2016 you said Richard Rosario slept in a car on June 19 [1996], right? Torres: I was trying to piece it together.

City's lawyer: You said you worked at a toll booth. But your wife said you were unemployed.

Torres: I had a lot of odd jobs.

  He'd said he said he was working at the toll both to not seem like a loser.

On August 3, the second / "sweeper" witness of the murder was on the stand; Inner City Press live tweeted here

now in Rosario v NYC, then-sweeper shooting witness on stand, says repeatedly, I don't remember. Except he heard, You won't do it again.


Rosario's lawyer: Mr Davis, the man who interviewed you in your house, was he with Rosario's team?

NYC lawyer: Objection!

Davis: You don't to hear my answer!

Several jurors laugh.

Davis: May I say something? What he filmed in my house shouldn't even have been in the show!

On August 4, where was action in the courtroom and outside of it. Thread here:

Ok- now in Rosario v NYC, former NYPD detective is being questioned by Rosario's lawyer about photo array / line up. 

Q: all other 5 in his line up on July 9 [1996] were more than 10 years older than Mr. Rosario, correct?

Ex detective; Yes. But I don't go by age. Now Ms Leon - by deposition transcript.

Earlier on August 4, Judge Schofield excludes from trial Rosario's social media "postings about his damages being comparable to a Holocaust survivor," ruling that "any probative value is outweighed by the potential for prejudice under Federal Rule of Evidence 403"

  Vlog here; coverage will continue.

The case is Rosario v. City of New York, et al., 18-cv-4023 (Schofield) 


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