By Kevin Deutsch
An appeals court Tuesday threw out the conviction of an accused Bronx gang member charged in the drive-by shooting death of a 16-year old boy.
Reginald Goldman had served three years of a 25-year prison sentence following his 2016 manslaughter conviction. A Bronx jury found him guilty of killing Tashawn Bromfield in the Aug. 14, 2010 shooting, but acquitted him of the more serious murder charge.
The Appellate Division’s First Department threw out the manslaughter conviction Tuesday, finding that Goldman’s lawyer was improperly denied a chance to review or challenge the search warrant authorities used to obtain Goldman’s DNA.
“The hearing court improperly precluded defense counsel from reviewing the People’s application for a search warrant to obtain a sample of defendant’s saliva for DNA purposes and from participating in the substantive portion of the hearing on the application,” the judges wrote.
“Defendant is entitled to suppression of the DNA evidence obtained as a result of the warrant issued by the hearing court, and a new trial.”
The appeals court also found the Bronx District Attorney’s Office failed to “adequately authenticate” an incriminating YouTube video used in their prosecution of Goldman.
Bromfield, who lived in Connecticut, was spending the weekend with his dad in the Bronx—the two planning to shop for back-to-school supplies—when Bromfield got caught between warring local gangs, according to press reports.
A car carrying members of the “Young Gunnerz” gang, including Goldman, drove past a courtyard where Bromfield was hanging out with friends in Williamsbridge, prosecutors said. Goldman opened fire, they told jurors, while yelling “YG’s up!” in reference to his gang.
Goldman’s DNA was later found inside the car, prosecutors said, leading to the filing of manslaughter and murder charges in 2012.
At the time of the DNA test, Goldman was serving prison time for different crimes, including an attempted murder conviction stemming from the shooting of another teenager.
Goldman, who has maintained his innocence in Bromfield’s death, will now face trial again.
His attorney could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday night.