From Prep Basketball Star to Murder Charge: It All Started With One Unlucky Shot

Albert Samaha
Protesters at City Hall in April called on Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson to advance his review into convictions tied to Louis Scarcella.
Ronny Pondexter spent four years in prison for a murder he did not commit. In 1992, he had been arrested by Detective Louis Scarcella, the subject of last week's feature story. A woman testified that she saw Pondexter shoot a man below her window. She recanted her testimony shortly afterward and in 1996 the New York State Court of Appeals granted Pondexter a new trial. He was acquitted.

It is a wild and sad story. But the story Pondexter tells about how he ended up running the streets in the first place might top it.

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Anthony Weiner Delivers Cringeworthy Performance at West Indian Day Parade [VIDEO]

Weiner on parade.
The West Indian Day Parade in Crown Heights yesterday was turned all the way up to 11, and the candidates for mayor took the chance to grandstand for possibly the last time before the primary in a little over a week. While Christine Quinn and Bill Thompson were busy dragging down de Blasio, Anthony Weiner was entertaining the crowd from aboard his campaign float.

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May Day Student March in Brooklyn Targets Bloomberg and School Closure Policy

Sam Levin
Paul Robeson student holds a Bill of Student Rights.
Students frustrated with the city's plan to shut down their high school walked out of class today and marched two-and-a-half miles in support of Occupy Wall Street's May Day.

Separate from the chaotic protests in Manhattan -- which, as expected, are getting a lot of attention for their arrests and police-protester confrontations -- the rally in Brooklyn was peaceful and remained focused on a number of key education issues in the city that have gotten support from Occupy Wall Street. The march was organized and led by high school students with some help from a handful of OWS-ers.

The Voice first caught up with students at noon in Crown Heights from Paul Robeson High School -- a struggling school the city is in the process of phasing out. It's the time of the year when education rallies and heated Panel for Educational Policy meetings make headlines as critics target Mayor Bloomberg's controversial practice of shutting down failing schools. It's one of a handful of policies that have fueled criticisms over mayoral control, the governance structure that gives Bloomberg direct authority over the education system.

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Video of the Crown Heights Gun Battle Between Cops and Leroy Webster

This surveillance video was taken from the scene of a homicide at 637 Park Place in Crown Heights that happened on Monday. In the video, you can see Eusi Johnson, the 29-year-old victim, running out of the building after being shot in the neck. He's followed by the suspect, Leroy Webster, 32, who can be seen firing another round in his direction.

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Darell Smith, 17, Stabbed to Death in Crown Heights; Teen Suspect ID'ed

Orpheus Nelson, wanted in connection with death
​Cops are looking for Crown Heights teen Orpheus Nelson in connection with the fatal stabbing of 17-year-old Darell Smith in Crown Heights late Tuesday night. Smith, who lived in Bed-Stuy, was found shortly before 11 p.m. at 1785 Pacific Avenue, with multiple stab wounds; he was DOA at Kings County Hospital. Nelson, 18, lives on the second floor at 1783 Pacific Avenue. Anybody with info on this senseless homicide can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or submit tips at or text info to 274637 (CRIMES), entering TIP577.

Eileen Joseph, Missing in Crown Heights

Where is Eileen Joseph?
​Cops are asking the public for help in finding Eileen Joseph, 74, who has been missing for a couple of days from her home in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. She was last seen at about 7:15 a.m. Tuesday, February 15, inside her apartment building at 1745 President Street. Joseph is described as 5-5, and 100 pounds. She was last seen wearing a navy-blue coat and brown shoes.

Tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or submit tips at or text info to 274637 (CRIMES), entering TIP577.