Ken Thompson, Brooklyn D.A. Candidate, Asks Gov. Cuomo to Bigfoot Charles Hynes' Review of Old Murder Cases

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The race for Brooklyn District Attorney is becoming a bit of a slugfest. First, there was word that longtime Democratic incumbent Charles Hynes' office was getting a reality show right in the middle of the race. Then, Democratic opponent Abe George filed a lawsuit to block the show from airing. Then Hynes' office disclosed a review of 50 old Brooklyn homicide convictions tied to a particular NYPD detective, since retired.

And now, another Democratic candidate, Ken Thompson, wants Governor Andrew Cuomo to name a special prosecutor to do that review instead. "It has become clear that, considering this troubling pattern of prosecutorial misconduct and wrongful convictions, District Attorney Hynes is not capable of overseeing a truly independent review of his own cases," Thompson said in a statement.

Hynes' campaign blasted back with this rejoinder from spokesman George Arzt: "Mr. Thompson's bombast is irresponsible and clearly politically motivated devoid of any knowledge of the facts."

The cases in question involve the work of Detective Louis Scarcella, who has been retired for many years. Previous news reports alleged that the cases included fabricated confessions, improper interrogations, and the use of a prostitute as a key witness in six cases. The conviction in one of those cases, involving a man named David Ranta, has already been set aside, and Ranta has been freed after 20 years in prison. He has alleged that he raised repeated question about the facts of the case and the conduct of prosecutors, but Hynes office ignored him.

Manuel Mayi: 21 Years After Teen's Murder, Mother Lacks Answers (UPDATE)

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Altagracia Mayi, in 2002
On March 28, 1991, Manuel Mayi was beaten to death by a mob in Corona, Queens.

At the time, as many as 10 white individuals chased the 18 year-old Dominican for 16 blocks. They then hit him with baseball bats, fatally cracking his skull. Cops made three arrests. The District Attorney tried one individual, who was not convicted.

Altagracia Mayi, his mother, still wants answers: "I will never tire of seeking justice," she told El Diario.

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Larry Davis, Accused Granny Killer, Also on Trial for Killing Trans Lover

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DNA Was Recovered From Cigarettes
There's a lot to process here, but we'll give it our best shot.

Larry Davis took a hooker back to his apartment in April 2011. She noticed that his grandmother was dead and stuffed in the closet, according to cops.

So, Davis got busted for that crime, the Daily News reports, but his DNA appeared to be a match for another grisly offense -- the strangulation of Richard McCoy.

Turns out, the saliva on a cigarette recovered at the Brownsville crime scene was Davis's, police say.

Now, Davis is on trial for McCoy's death. Authorities accuse Davis of asphyxiating McCoy during an "hours-long pot-fueled romp in August 2010."

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James Carter, Convicted Murderer and Gun Trafficker, Gets 16 Years in Prison (UPDATE)

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James Carter, an ex-con with murder on his rap sheet, will spend 16 years behind bars for illegally selling firearms -- including semiautomatic handguns and a sawed-off shotgun, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced today.

Carter, 45, was just sentenced. He had pleaded guilty Jan. 23 to criminal sale of a firearm in the first degree.

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Would-Be Granny Rapist Kentrel Whitaker Found Guilty of Attacking 73-Year-Old Woman

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A 73-year-old woman was out for her morning walk when Kentrel Whitaker shoved her to the ground, beat her, and tried to rape her.

The sex-fiend sicko removed her underwear and straddled her, but a nearby pedestrian saw what was happening and rushed to help. Whitaker also broke several of the victim's bones, and she had to be taken to the hospital.

Whitaker fled, but wasn't able to evade justice for long: Today, a jury convicted the 33-year-old perv of attempted rape in the first degree and assault in the second degree for the brutal August 2010 attack, which took place on the East River promenade, near 111th Street.

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Jose Rojas, Subway Pusher, Found Guilty of Shoving Ute Linhart into Oncoming Train

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Ute Linhart was waiting for a northbound train at the West 28th Street N/R Stop on Aug 11, 2010.

As she stood there, a drunk man -- Jose Rojas -- was accosting some other commuters on the narrow platform.

He then walked directly toward Linhart, moved behind her, and shoved her into the oncoming train, sending her flying into the first car.

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Mustapha Ouanes Found Guilty in Plaza Hotel Rape Trial

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A jury just found Mustapha Ouanes guilty of raping a woman and trying to assault another in his suite at the Plaza Hotel on Jan. 26, 2010, according to the Manhattan District Attorney.

D.A. Cyrus Vance announced the conviction of Oanes this afternoon, saying that the rape was a "crime of opportunity...the defendant had a vulnerable, intoxicated woman in his hotel room and sexually assaulted her."

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Anthony Smith, Michael Smith, and Melvin Peters Get Prison for Murder of Roy Huntley

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Roy Huntley died at the hands of a gang of thugs during a grisly robbery-turned-slaying that took place on Sept. 28, 2008.

Michael Smith, Anthony Smith, and Melvin Peters roughed up the 24-year-old husband and father of two in 2050 Eighth Avenue, stealing his watch and other small property before dragging him outside, where Anthony then shot him in the head. Two other men are said to be involved in the crime.

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Joe Paterno: Rest in Peace?

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Joe Paterno has now been gone a week, and it would be nice if we could simply honor his memory without reservation.  I can't. And frankly, it troubles me that so many want to bury Paterno's faults along with the man.
 
Maybe it isn't the time to talk about such things so close to his death, but when exactly will the right time be?  Anyway, there's the story by Sports Illustrated's Tim Layden in the current issue. Paterno, he writes, "sought to transform the phrase student-athlete from an increasingly belittled oxymoron to the essential truth of his program. Football success would only come hand-in-glove with academic excellence."

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Robert Caballero and Gordon Jenkins Face Charges of Stealing $310,000 From the Poor

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What's worse than stealing money?

Why, stealing from poor people, of course!

And that's exactly what Robert Caballero and Gordon Jenkins are accused of doing, according to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance.

Vance indicted 53-year-old Caballero and 72-year-old Jenkins today on felony charges of stealing from low-income homeowners. He says they pocketed more than $310,000 from two separate Housing Development Fund Corporation co-ops.  

The specs? Caballero got stuck with felony charges of second-degree grand larceny (1 count), second-degree forgery (18 counts), second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument (18 counts) and falsifying business records (8 counts).

Jenkins's tally? He faces one count of second-degree grand larceny.

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