Judge tosses out 2009 murder charges for lack of a speedy trial

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- A jury trial that lasted almost three months failed to convict four men involved in a murder case for the 2009 death of Jabril Harper.

Defendant Amilcar Ramos was acquitted. The jury was hung when it came to defendants Ernest Green, Daniel Rodriguez, Rodshaun Black.

Now, U.S. District Court Judge William Skretny is tossing out the charges for Green, Rodriguez, and Black because of how long the case dragged on.

News 4 spoke to the defense attorney for Daniel Rodriguez, Barry Covert.

Covert says his client sat in jail awaiting a trial for almost six years.

According to court documents, the government’s inability to gather evidence and witnesses on time led to more than a ten month delay in the case.

The judge’s decision also noted that the government’s delay in getting a death penalty decision greatly delayed the case. According to court documents, the government saw this as a potential death penalty case from the beginning.

“The court has ordered that they be released to house arrest and we’re in the process of implementing that right now,” Covert told News 4.

The government is appealing this decision.

Rodshaun Black will not be released for lack of a speedy trial because he’s serving time for an unrelated state conviction.

It was the nearly seven year wait for a Cattaraugus County man that served as one of the reasons for these charges to be dismissed.

Joseph Tigano III was given 20 years for operating a pot farm. In November, he as released because an appeals court found he waited too long in jail without a conviction.

The U.S. Attorney’s office cannot comment on pending litigation. Judge Skretny recently granted its request for a stay.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney told News 4 the office will be filing something further with the Court in the near future.

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