Demand the Reversal of the Unjust Conviction of Terence Rice and Order a Fair Trial Immediately
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THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK v. TERENCE RICE In 1991, Terence Rice was sentenced to 75 years to life for a crime that he didn’t commit while his co-defendants, who were admittedly at the scene of the crime, for lawful reasons, walked away or pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. The judicial system grossly failed Mr. Rice violating his right to liberty and justice. On October 9, 1990, shots were fired into apartment 1F at 330 Dumont Avenue in Brooklyn, NY. The occupants fired back. Both groups were shooting at each other until the police arrived. No one was hurt. The police recovered four weapons, which they found hidden in a closet inside of apartment 1F and 301 vials of crack cocaine. The first three police officers there, who responded to the shooting lied by claiming they saw Terence firing a weapon from a 1st floor apartment window. When they announced themselves, Terence allegedly fired 4 or 5 shots in their direction. They claim they returned shots at the window toward Terence. No physical evidence was produced to substantiate this ridiculous claim. No bullets, bullet markings, spent bullet shells or any ballistic evidence was recovered from anywhere near where the police allegedly claimed to be fired upon. Nor was there any evidence on, around and/or anywhere near the window where the police claimed Terence was. No fingerprints, no broken glass, no bullets, bullet fragments, bullet markings or spent bullet shells, NOTHING!!! Terrence Rice and three men were arrested. All were indicted for three counts of criminal possession of weapons and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Rice was the only person charged with 3 counts of attempted murder in the first degree. It is clear that Mr. Rice was not in possession of any weapons at the time of his arrest. No forensic evidence has been produced to substantiate that Mr. Rice was at anytime in possession of or had fired any of these weapons. Mr. Rice maintains that he is innocent, and that he had been mistakenly arrested by police while walking through the area after making a call from a nearby telephone booth. His three co-defendants admitted that they were in the apartment and stated that Rice was not there. One co-defendant, who was 17 years old at the time and allegedly beaten by the cops, implicated everyone that was arrested and others who were not arrested. He later recanted his statement about Mr. Rice being in the apartment. In fact, he admitted that, “he and his brother had a problem with one of the perpetrators who was shooting at them from the outside.” He also stated that, “ When the police came everybody started running.” Mr. Rice was later convicted of three counts of attempted murder in the first degree, one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, and one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. One co-defendant was found not guilty and one was released. One pleaded guilty to one count of criminal possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison. Private Investigator, Robert Ledee, hired by Rice’s attorney George Sheinberg received statements from eyewitnesses and the co-defendants. One stated, “I remembered seeing Rice around the neighborhood, but I don’t really know him. He was definitely not in the apartment”. One eyewitness stated that at the time of the shooting she was at a telephone booth waiting for Mr. Rice to get off the phone so that she could make a call. A sister of a co-defendant who lived in the apartment gave an accounting of the incident stated that, “Rice was not in the apartment.” Another eyewitness to the shooting provided an affidavit, which would have exonerated Rice stating that he had observed a person (that he knew by name) firing a weapon. He described him as being the guy from the first floor who is always shooting. This witness also stated that the police officers tried to get him to say that Rice was shooting out of a window, but he would not do it. The DD-5 police report containing this statement and contact information was redacted before being turned over to defense counsel. The trial court directed the prosecutor to provide defense counsel with the deleted information. However, the trial court also made defense counsel agree that he would not reveal this information to his client. It was years later when Mr. Rice had discovered this information. None of these statements were presented at trial. Why? On February 7, 1991, counsel for Mr. Rice, George Sheinberg, appeared before Judge Anne G. Feldman to address his Motion for Severance, his intent to call civilian witnesses and to call co-defendants as witnesses arguing that statements given by them would exonerate Mr. Rice. On April 22, 1991, Rice appeared before the trial court without counsel. Despite Sheinberg’s absence, Judge Feldman addressed his Motion for Severance and Bail. The court did not have jurisdiction to entertain counsel’s motion in his absence, addressed Mr. Rice directly violating his right to fair representation. As a result, there was no argument regarding the civilian witnesses or the co-defendants intention to testify for Rice until the eve of the trial in which Judge Feldman denied defense counsel’s request as untimely. Thus, the only evidence that was submitted against Mr. Rice at trial was the three officers involved in the arrests who each provided conflicting testimonies in which ballistic reports did not coincide with the testimonies presented. All weapons and illegal substances were recovered from a closet inside of Apartment 1F in which Terence Rice had no association. There was no forensic evidence produced to substantiate the claims that Mr. Rice had possession of or had fired any of these weapons. Witnesses were available to testify on behalf of Terence Rice were not called, nor did his counsel afford him the opportunity to present his side of the story. Mr. Rice has appealed this action with no relief, maintaining his innocence and his right to a fair trial. We wish to have this case reopened, investigated and a new trial ordered, with the hope of freeing Terence Rice.
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