Tireless Efforts of Legal Aid Society Defense Team Result in Major Victory for CDP Against All Odds
TUESDAY, JULY 25, 2017

Legal Aid Society Staff Attorneys Stephen Pokart, Rachel Levy and Martin LaFalce and their team achieved a major victory in Manhattan Supreme Court July 17 when their client was acquitted of murder charges against all odds in a case that required four and one half years of work and a six week trial. This case is an example of the excellence of the experienced staff of The Legal Aid Society who day in and day out achieve victories big and small for our clients in every borough of this City.

The client, Naeem Davis, was accused of murder after he acted in self-defense against an intoxicated man who had threatened to kill him. During the altercation Davis pushed the man away and he unfortunately landed on the tracks where he was hit and killed by a train. Mr. Davis spent four and half years in New York City jails. During that time, Legal Aid lawyers, investigators and interns worked tirelessly to find evidence that would prove Mr. Davis’ innocence. Three and half years into the case, the prosecutors finally revealed the existence of a newspaper reporter who overheard the abusive man tell Mr. Davis, “I am going to kill you.” Other witnesses mentioned the apparent mental derangement of the man who died. The medical examiner found that the man had three times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.

The trial of Mr. Davis lasted six and a half weeks. The jury deliberated for three and a half days. Mr. Davis was found not guilty of murder, manslaughter in the first degree, manslaughter in the second degree and criminally negligent homicide. He was released on the spot and had lunch at an Italian restaurant with his lawyers and a Legal Aid intern.

Congratulations to everyone involved in this long and difficult fight.