Court Grants Cop-Killer's Appeal Because Evidence Made Him Look Guilty

A New Jersey appeals court is giving a new trial to a man who was convicted of killing a police officer in 2011.

Newark, NJ – A man who was convicted of killing an off-duty police officer will receive a new trial, a New Jersey appeals court ruled on Thursday.

Rasul McNeil-Thomas was sentenced to 60 years in prison on Apr. 24, 2015, for having murdered Newark Police Department (NPD) Officer William Johnson during a drive-by shooting outside a Texas Fried Chicken and Pizza restaurant in May of 2011, NJ.com reported.

Officer Johnson was not the intended target, and several other individuals were injured during the gunfire, the Associated Press reported.

McNeil-Thomas was convicted of aggravated manslaughter, carjacking, and numerous other offenses, NJ.com reported.

In the Thursday ruling, the appeals court determined that prosecutors should not have been permitted to show jurors video clips as part of their closing arguments, because the footage had not been placed into evidence earlier, the Associated Press reported.

The videos in question were from several surveillance cameras that recorded the drive-by shooting as it occurred.

McNeil-Thomas' attorneys argued that by allowing prosecutors to show the clips during their closing argument, defense was not provided with the opportunity to dispute the footage.

They asked the judge to declare a mistrial.

In response, prosecutors pointed out that the clips were part of a longer video, and that the entire video had, in fact, been admitted into evidence.

The trial judge denied defense’s request for a mistrial, and McNeil Thomas was subsequently convicted and sentenced.

In their order for a new trial, however, the appeal judges wrote, “As defense counsel argued when moving for a mistrial, by waiting until summation to show the jury for the first time video about which there was no testimony, the prosecutor effectively denied defendant any opportunity to challenge the State’s evidence or produce his own witnesses to rebut the claim.”

Officer Johnson was a 16-year veteran of the NPD when he was gunned down by McNeil-Thomas, NJ.com reported.

During the trial, prosecutors said that McNeil-Thomas stole a vehicle before he opened fire on the restaurant with the intention of shooting a woman who had been involved in an earlier altercation at his residence.

In addition to murdering Officer Johnson, McNeil-Thomas also shot a couple who were in the restaurant with their baby.

The man and woman both survived.

Officer Johnson was "left rolling in his own blood, attempting to call 911 and begging strangers to help him" as he died, Essex County Assistant Prosecutor Magdalen Czykier said during the trial.

An Essex County prosecutor’s office spokesman said the office was reviewing the appeal court’s decision, the Associated Press reported.

Comments (11)
No. 1-11
bronx163
bronx163

Thats why Trump and congress need to make it a federal crime for threating assaulting killing
A Police Officer.
This bs will stop when they get arraigned in federal magistrate.

bronx163
bronx163

And make it electric chair for all to see.

Milman
Milman

Was it "FAIR" for this Officer to get gunned down by this clown? No! Bottom Line: The Felon killed the Officer. End of story. Should have been given the chair! Hopefully his next victim will be one of his attorneys.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

Why would there be different charges because he killed an off duty officer?

Det_John_Kimble
Det_John_Kimble

@Hi_estComnDenomn because most people respect and appreciate our law enforcement officers. Unlike you. You see, your boy Obama has created this anti cop sentiment in the country the likes of which has never been seen before. Yes - I remember Rodney King, there ARE a very few bad cops out there. Just like there are BAD people out there in any walk of life. People aren't perfect. Those get weeded out also. Almost a million law enforcement officers in the USA, yet if the racist black killing cop narrative were true, the black population would dwindle to nothing in no time. I'm pretty certain the opposite if happening. NYPD has 36,000 sworn officers as of 2016, handling a city of over 8 million. That's a lot of officers handling a lot of dangerous incidents. Not to mention terrorists, ambush style attacks on officers, and the general anti cop theme going on. Out of all that, you only hear of cops handling something completely wrong very seldom. And trust me, if a cop sneezes and doesn't cover his nose these days, someone will have it on video, and claim racism because some minority was in the same subway car.