By Kevin Deutsch and Sasha Gonzales
A man sentenced to 48 years imprisonment for a 2010 Bronx murder he did not commit has been exonerated, and the charges against him dismissed, after DNA evidence showed a different man carried out the killing, according to the National Registry of Exonerations.
Austin Babb was convicted by a Bronx jury of second-degree murder and three counts of second-degree assault in a 2010 multiple shooting on the Grand Concourse. He served about five years in prison.
To build the case against Babb, police used a five year old picture of him in photo lineups – showing him at age 15 – then failed to alert prosecutors to instances in which witnesses failed to identify him as the culprit, the registry reported.
Several witnesses testified that they viewed photo arrays presented by NYPD Detective Steven Smith after the shooting, but had not identified Babb as the gunman, according to the registry. Yet Smith did not disclose those instances to the prosecutor in the case.
DNA evidence later showed another man was the killer, leading to Babb’s release and exoneration in 2020, according to the registry.
Babb has filed suit seeking $16 million in damages for his wrongful conviction, the registry reported.