Convictions vacated for 3 Brooklyn men in 1995 killing of subway clerk
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez exonerated three men who spent over a decade in prison for the death of a subway clerk.
The district attorney’s office said Vincent Ellerbe, James Irons and Thomas Malik were wrongly convicted.
They were teenagers when the three were convicted for the murder of Harry Kaufman in 1995. While they’re ecstatic to be free, they say there is nothing that can undo the years of freedom they lost.
“This was supposed to happen a long time ago,” said Malik. “They knew the truth all along, but you know they withheld it deliberately. I’m just happy that I was able to stand strong to ensure this journey.”
Kaufman was working in a token booth at the Kingston Avenue and Fulton Street subway station when Gonzalez says the token booth exploded. Kaufman died from his injuries two weeks later.
The DA says that the evidence contained a slew of factual contradictions between the evidence and confessions. Gonzalez says Ellerbe, who was 17 at the time, confessed to using a spray bottle on the token booth, when the fire marshal said the fuel was fed through the coin hole.
MTA President Richard Davey released a statement today saying that his heart goes out to Kaufman’s family, but did not mention the exoneration of the three men.