Yesterday the jury heard closing arguments in the Lemrick Nelson case involving the 1991 murder of Yankel Rosenbaum. Nelson was acquitted of the original murder charge in state court in 1992, claiming the bloody knife in his hand at the time he was apprehended had been planted on him by the police. At his 1997 federal civil rights trial, he unsuccessfully asserted the same defense, but the conviction was overtururned on appeal because of problems with jury selection.
At the current retrial of the federal civil rights charge, Nelson now for the first time admits that he murdered Rosenbaum, but denies that he did so because Rosenbaum was Jewish (the gravamen of the federal civil rights charge). Nelson himself has not testified at any of the three trials; since Nelson’s original confession to the police on the night of the murder, Nelson’s attorneys have done all the talking. When the prosecution asked the jury to disbelieve Nelson’s current defense in light of his now concededly false previous defenses, “[d]efense lawyer Peter Quianos warned the jury that prosecutors want to penalize Nelson ‘because some dingleberry lawyer at a previous proceeding tried to perpetrate a lie.'”
That dingleberry lawyer — is he the guy who won a verdict of acquittal for Nelson after Nelson was found with the murder weapon and confessed to the crime? The New York Daily News story is “Judge completes a backflip on Lemrick denials.”
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