In a dramatic change of strategy, defense attorneys for Lemrick Nelson Jr. are not contesting the charge that he fatally stabbed Yankel Rosenbaum during the Crown Heights riots of 1991.
During opening arguments today, attorney Richard Jasper told jurors at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn that Nelson's intention was not to violate Nelson's civil rights. He said that Nelson, then 16, had been drunk at the time of the attack and was caught up in the "excitement" of the crowd.
The third trial stemming from the Crown Heights murder of Yankel Rosenbaum began Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn with new prosecutors, a new defense team and a new judge.
But the facts in dispute were the same as they have been for nearly a dozen years.
Lemrick Nelson Jr. is one for two in convincing a jury that he is not the man who fatally stabbed Rosenbaum while a crowd of rioters shouting "get the Jew" attacked him on Aug. 19, 1991.
Israel's senior envoy here has embarked on a decidedly undiplomatic path in his efforts to keep his job. Shmuel Sisso, who was appointed Israel's consul general in New York three years ago, is suing his own government in a bid to remain in New York.
The Morocco native, who was appointed by former Foreign Minister David Levy, learned last week through press reports that he was one of 11 envoys to be replaced by Prime Minister Ehud Barak as part of a post-Levy shakeup of the foreign diplomatic corps.
A Manhattan real estate broker claims she is being denied more than a quarter-million dollars in commission from the $20 million sale of a building for the Abraham Joshua Heschel School, according to a suit she filed recently in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Although the Upper West Side academy is not named in the $1.2 million suit, an apparent agreement to shield the seller, developer Harry Macklowe, from commission and court costs could end up costing the school millions, just as it is about to launch an extensive capital campaign to fund a new high school.
In a case that could have drastic implications for rabbinic courts, a judge ruled last week that a defamation lawsuit by a Brooklyn woman against a bet din will go to trial.
"This opens the door to a whole new genre of cases in which people are suing rabbis for doing what rabbis have done for centuries," said attorney Nathan Lewin, who is defending the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, known as Agudas Harabonim, one of America's oldest rabbinic courts.
Lawyers defending New York City in the Gidone Busch federal civil suit have yet to present their case to the jury. But even before they call their own witnesses, the attorneys' line of questioning in cross-examination has ignited charges from local politicians of stereotyping and bias.
The life of Gidone Busch was "needlessly taken away in a hail of bullets" by police who gunned him down in a 1999 incident in Borough Park, his family's lawyer told a jury in Brooklyn Federal Court Tuesday.
At the opening of a civil suit against New York City, attorney Myron Beldock disputed the claim by five police officers that they fired in self-defense because Busch, who has a history of mental illness, was attacking them with a hammer.
After blocking members of The East Hampton Jewish Center from voting to replace their board of trustees on Dec. 4, a state Supreme Court judge in Suffolk County has reversed his ruling and now will allow the vote to take place on Dec. 25. But Judge Ralph Costello said any new officers elected may not take office until he hears arguments on Jan. 3 about whether the vote was legitimate.
In the latest challenge to banks accused of helping fund terrorists, a federal judge here has allowed victims of Palestinian attacks and their families to sue a major British institution, National Westminster, that does business and has assets in the United States.