One can certainly understand Tyree Threatt, 21, being confused. He was charged after a victim picked out his photo as the man who robbed her. However, the robbery occurred while Threatt was in jail on another robbery charge. Now here is the bizarre twist. Nicholas Cooksley, his public defender, showed the court the record proving that it was impossible for Threatt to have committed the crime. Indeed, what could be a better alibi than being in jail? Well, it was not good enough for the prosecutor who refused to drop the charge and insisted on a trial. Even more bizarre was the judge who agreed that a trial would be needed. The charges were only dropped after the media pressed the police, which eventually dropped the charges.
The case demonstrates, yet again, that witnesses are often mistaken despite the heavy reliance on such testimony by many jurors. A detective spotted Threatt in the area of the crime as someone who matched the victim’s description. He was arrested on armed robbery and using a firearm in a violent crime. Both charges carry a maximum 20-year prison sentence.
However, the real story is the initial position of the prosecutors and the ruling of the court. Exactly what is the trial supposed to show. Could a jury decide that Threatt could have been both in custody and miles away at the same time?
On June 27th (the day of the robbery), Threatt was being held on charges of second-degree assault and false imprisonment. While charges were dropped that day, Threatt was not released until June 28th.
There is no discussion of how the detective could have missed this obvious problem or any discussion of the position of prosecutor who was informed of the problem. Indeed, there is no mention of any investigation, let alone discipline, for the detective or the prosecutor for such negligence. There is also no mention of the name of the judge who agreed that a trial is warranted when the accused was locked away at the time of the crime.
Source: Baltimore Sun