Perp Walks: Bronx Man Accused of Attempted Murder of Police Officer Allowed to Walk Due to Mishandling of Case By Prosecutor

Darren Morris, 27, a parolee accused of trying to kill a police officer, has hit the jackpot. Morris will walk after Bronx prosecutor Christine Scaccia missed a series of court dates that resulted in the judge eventually forcing all charges to be dropped for lack of prosecution.

Morris allegedly fired two bullets at Officer Daniel Beddows in November 2009. He was facing attempted murder charges and could have easily killed Beddows but for the stereotypical “luck of the draw.” Scaccia, a 20-year veteran prosecutor, is facing disciplinary charges for her mishandling of the case.

This is a rare case of a judge dismissing such a case. While courts routinely hammer defense counsel on deadlines, prosecutors know that many judges are unlikely to dismiss a case for their own failures to file papers or meet trial dates. They rely on the “sticker shock” factor of allowing an accused criminal to walk to deter serious sanctions.

Source: NY Post as first seen on ABA Journal

4 thoughts on “Perp Walks: Bronx Man Accused of Attempted Murder of Police Officer Allowed to Walk Due to Mishandling of Case By Prosecutor”

  1. It is f’d up, but then again it is wrong to punish the defense council and not the prosecutor. The fact that the prosecutor missed SEVERAL court cases is also f’d up. Presumably said prosecutor is still employed which may be even more f’d up depending on what sort of excuse there is.

    Whether Morris hit the jackpot or not may depend on if the police decide to enact their own unofficial punishment of Morris.

  2. New York has a statutory speedy trial rule (CPL 30.30) that requires prosecutors to be ready for trial within 6 months (note the number of days varies in accordance to the month of arraignment) with exclusions for delays caused by the defense and a variety of other exceptions.

    It’s fairly easy for prosecutors to circumvent the law by announcing ready at arraignment on the indictment, even though it’s illusory, shifting the burden to the defense to be ready, thus requiring the prosecution to be affirmatively responsible for the post-readiness delay rather than responsible by default.

    It’s not as rare as one would think that a case is dismissed for speedy trial violation, but then, it rarely happens with significant cases since the prosecutors are supposed to be paying close attention and more skilled. That it happened here is ridiculous and a monumental prosecutorial screwup.

  3. Can’t they just refile? I am shocked the Judge actually did this…I recall one time I asked a judge to grant a sanction of dismissal….He did not buy it…but did warn the prosecutor that they needed to follow his scheduling order or would ask for another APA….

Comments are closed.