John Bunn, wrongfully jailed at 14 in the 1991 murder of a correction officer, cries as he’s exonera
Tears flowed down the face of a newly exonerated Brooklyn man as he railed about the crooked process that stole 17 years of his life.
John Bunn, convicted in an August 1991 killing based on tainted evidence produced by ex-Detective Louis Scarcella, turned angry Tuesday as prosecutors announced they would not retry his case.
"They won't admit I'm an innocent man," said the emotional Bunn, now 41, as he clutched the hands of his lawyers in a Brooklyn courtroom.
"Y'all had the wrong man this whole time and you have (someone) out there running free and y'all had no right to do what you did."
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Shawn'Dya Simpson shared a brief conversation with Bunn and his mother, Maureen, at the bench after prosecutors agreed to dismiss the charges that he murdered a correction officer.
"Move forward," the judge told Bunn. "Keep me posted."
Simpson tossed Bunn's conviction in November 2016 and ordered a new trial after an evidentiary hearing exposed Scarcella's actions.
Bunn was paroled seven years earlier after spending 17 years behind bars. Defense lawyers claim Bunn and a second man were framed for the killing.
"There were problems with this case that were very obvious," said defense lawyer Glenn Garber, standing with Bunn and co-counsel Rebecca Freeman. "There was no probable cause to make an arrest."
Speaking Tuesday, Simpson noted that Bunn was only 14 when he was arrested and jailed in the Crown Heights murder of Rolando Neischer.
"I am more than emotional about this day," said Simpson as her voice cracked. "You were 14 at the time. This shouldn't have ever happened."
Bunn and Rosean Hargrave, then 16, were placed in a photo array created by Scarcella for Robert Crosson — who survived the shooting to become the sole eyewitness, authorities said.
Simpson, during the hearing, made a point of questioning the legal process that convicted Bunn and Hargrave.
"This case was tried . . ., a jury was picked, testimony was given and it concluded all in one day," said Simpson. "I don't consider that justice at all."
Bunn said he was looking forward to going on with his life.
"I don't know how I made it this far, but I believe I am here for a purpose," said Bunn, who founded a nonprofit organization called AVoice4TheUnheard.org.
"I just want to be proven innocent. . . . I didn't want to be in the dark side of the shadows they (the prosecutors) tried to put me," said Bunn.