Brooklyn Man Exonerated After 24 Years in Prison
By Dana Gethers
Brooklyn native Jonathan Fleming, 51, has been exonerated after being falsely convicted of murder in August 1989 and spending over 24 years in prison.
Fleming was imprisoned for supposedly shooting and killing Darryl Rush in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, despite declaring he was in Florida at the time of the crime. New evidence, including receipts from a Florida hotel stamped just four hours before the murder took place, have cleared him of the charges.
Anthony Mayol, Fleming’s lawyer, brought the evidence to the new administration under recently appointed Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson.
“Today’s actions follow a careful and thorough review of this case, and based on key alibi facts that place Fleming in Florida at the time of the murder, I have decided to dismiss all charges against him in the interest of justice,” said Thompson.
The DA’s office gives credit for the discovery to the Conviction Review Unit (CRU), whose thorough investigation allowed Thompson to make this determination.
Thompson recently announced that the CRU would be headed by Harvard Law professor Ronald S. Sullivan Jr. The unit has been tasked with conducting thorough investigations of cases under review by the DA’s office.
Fleming’s case was reportedly finalized on April 8 before a Brooklyn judge only months before he was eligible for parole for his 25-years-to-life sentence.
Fleming’s release comes only months after the DA agreed to the release of Anthony Yarbough and Shariff Wilson, also from Brooklyn, after 21 years behind bars. A CRU investigation into their cases revealed that they were not responsible for the triple homicide they were determined to have committed at ages 15 and 18.
“There have been individuals released every month since the DA has been in office,” said Sheila Stainback, a spokeswoman for Thompson.