A murder conviction for the 2008 homicide of Bloods gang member Tracy Crews was recently overturned by the New Jersey Supreme Court. The two defendants, William "Paperboy" Brown and Nigel "Youngin" Dawson were sentenced to 50 years in prison for the murder, but it was later found that evidence that could have prevented the conviction was not presented at the time of trial. Tracy Crews, a convicted drug dealer, was shot twice in 2008 at his home and later died. The shooting was believed to be over $40,000 that was supposedly hidden in Crews' home and was thought to be part of a betrayal by William "Paperboy" Brown, who was a long-time friend of Crews and best man at his wedding.
Wife of Victim Gave Inconsistent Statements
Sheena Robinson-Crews, the wife of Tracy Crews, gave inconsistent testimony during the investigation of the case and during the trial about who supposedly killed her husband. At first, she testified that Crews had uttered the dying words that he'd been shot by "Paperboy," as Brown was known, but later, it was unclear whether she mentioned only Brown, or both Brown and Dawson. One Trenton police detective even testified during the trial that he visited an inmate at a Pennsylvania correctional facility who claimed that Robinson-Crews admitted, at one point, to conspiring to kill her husband. However, the detective later said that this inmate's story was unreliable because it did not include certain details of the murder.
Brady Violation Leads to Unfair Trial
The Crews murder conviction was also overturned because 19 police reports were turned over to the defense by the Mercer County prosecutor a week after the trial had already begun. One of these reports may have connected Robinson-Crews to the murder. The Brady rule was found to have been violated in this case because it stipulates that prosecutors must turn in all evidence that is helpful to the defense before the trial begins. The New Jersey Supreme Court Justice who was part of the decision to overturn the conviction, Justice Lee Solomon, wrote that even though the prosecutor had not turned over the reports late due to bad faith, it still constituted a Brady violation. Because of this violation, the case is set to be retried by the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office.
Contact an Experienced Hamilton Township Criminal Defense Lawyer If You Believe You’ve Been Falsely Convicted in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with a crime you didn’t commit in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Davis Law Firm, LLC have successfully represented clients charged with a sex crime in Trenton, Ewing, Lawrence, or Princeton, and throughout New Jersey. Call us at 609-587-9100 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 2653 Nottingham Way, Hamilton, NJ, 08619. The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.