State DNA scientists have discovered a software glitch in the FBI’s national DNA database—a problem officials say led to inaccurate genetic profile information being displayed at local crime labs, Bronx Justice News has learned.
Two men accused in a 2012 murder have spent nearly seven years on Rikers Island and other pre-trial detention facilities–their incarceration a striking example of the case backlog plaguing the Bronx judicial system. Craig Whitefield, 44, and Alonzo Johnson, 41, are accused of killing Jose Andujar and robbing Angel Mangual at the Edenwald Houses, the Bronx’s largest public housing project, in April 2012.
A 56-year-old man was shot in the eye as he looked through his front-door peephole Saturday morning—the second time a gunman has used the method in recent months, authorities said. Police are still looking for the shooter, who fled after firing into the victim’s left eye.
The NYPD plans to begin using Rapid DNA—a controversial technology that provides near-instantaneous test results on human genetic samples without the need for laboratories—as early as this year, Bronx Justice News has learned. The department is working closely with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner to implement the plan, NYPD officials recently told a state subcommittee.
Authorities cleared at least 68 percent of murder cases recorded in the Bronx in 2018—better than the national average and a bright spot in a year that saw borough-wide homicides increase 26 percent, Bronx Justice News has learned.
The longtime director of a Bronx youth group was sentenced to a year in jail for stealing thousands of dollars in federal funds meant to help middle-school kids, prosecutors said. Earnestine Russell, 69, who had served as executive director of the Baychester Youth Council since the 1980s, pleaded guilty to grand larceny in Bronx Supreme Court.
Straphangers expecting tax refunds instead received letters from the city’s Department of Finance explaining that some or all of their refunds had been withheld in order to satisfy judgements for offenses like “unsafe riding,” “smoking,” and “obstruction of seating.”
An eight-man team of NYPD Emergency Service Unit members went on an all-expenses-paid trip to the United Arab Emirates earlier this month to compete in a SWAT competition—an event which doubled as a propaganda tool for the UAE’s ruling monarchy.
The retired Bronx detectives who coerced a false confession from Huwe Burton—the man recently exonerated in the murder of his own mother— have seen their tactics repeatedly challenged in connection with other homicide investigations over the years, Bronx Justice News has learned.
When a reluctant witness entered a Bronx courtroom this month and identified the man he says murdered his best friend, he defied a taboo against so-called “snitching” that hampers scores of criminal investigations in this borough each year—but which prosecutors are countering with renewed efforts to protect at-risk witnesses in gang cases.