Tell the Manhattan DA and CRU to take an honest look at Danny Rincon’s innocence!

Tell the Manhattan DA and CRU to take an honest look at Danny Rincon’s innocence!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!
Miriam Rincon started this petition to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and

Danny Rincon Case Summary

·         Danny Rincon was wrongfully convicted in 1995 and was sentenced to 158 1/3 years to life. He is serving his 26th year of that unjust sentence, and is presently incarcerated in Attica.[1]

·         Danny was tried along with 8 codefendants as being part of the “Wild Cowboys” drug organization. The trial lasted more than 9 months and involved 75 witnesses. It was a highly publicized case, and was featured in Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder’s book “25 to Life.” Snyder presided over Danny’s trial.[2] 

·         The main focus of the trial was the Quad Murder, which occurred on December 16, 1991 in an alleyway on Beekman Avenue in the Bronx. The Prosecution argued that Danny and 3 of his codefendants were the perpetrators of the crime and were acting on orders from Nelson Sepulveda, a notorious drug boss and leader of the “Red Top” drug organization.

o   Danny’s co-defendants were Stanley Tukes, Russell Harris (“Renny”), and Daniel Gonzalez (“Shorty”).

o   The victims of the Quad Murder were: Anthony Green (“Amp”), Cynthia Casado, Manuel Vera and one unidentified male victim.[3]

·         The Prosecution asserted that Danny was the driver of one of the cars from which shots were fired, and that he himself fired shots into the alley which killed the victims.

o   Many of the Prosecution’s alleged eye-witnesses who claimed to have seen Danny driving the car were members of the “Red Top” drug organization and had an interest in getting him off the street. Danny was part of the “Orange Top” organization and it made no sense that he would be involved in the shootings. The witnesses against Danny offered false testimony placing him at the scene of the shootings, upon which the jury relied in delivering a guilty verdict.

§  The “Top” moniker refers to the color of the tops on the crack vials sold on the street. 

o   The Detective in charge of the investigation, Mark Tebbens, pressured the incentivized witness to give false testimony against Danny. Tebbens also used these same “eye- witnesses” in several other cases he was investigating.

o   The Prosecution also relied upon Nelson Sepulveda, who ordered the hit (and whom we believe actually participated in the shootings). Sepulveda testified under a cooperation agreement and also had an incentive to falsely implicate Danny.[4]    

·         In truth, the Quad murders were committed in an effort by “Red Top” to eradicate “Yellow Top” a rival gang, and a conflict in which Danny had no part.[5]   

·         New evidence has been brought forth including alibi witnesses, who were not called by Danny’s trial attorney, and who have provided sworn statements that he was not near the area where the shootings took place.  

o   At the time of the shootings, Danny was 2 blocks away on Cypress Avenue speaking on the phone to his brother. After hearing shots fired, Danny came downstairs and heard the news that his friend Anthony Green had been shot. While downstairs, Danny saw Anthony’s brother Benjamin Green, and his mother Irene Green and Danny hugged Irene to console her.

o   Not only does Danny have an alibi, but weighing more than 300 pounds at the time of the shootings, it would have been impossible for him to get from the alley where the shootings took place, to the building 2 blocks away where he was seen by several witnesses.

§  In arguing for bail for Danny after his arrest, his lawyer said Danny would need to be “flash” or “Superman” and at 2 different places at the same time. Based on the strength of the alibi, the court granted bail which is unheard of in a quadruple homicide.

·         Unfortunately, Danny’s trial counsel, who was ineffective, never investigated or advanced the alibi argument.[6]    

·         Moreover, many of the actual perpetrators of the Quad murders who were not prosecuted for it have attested that Danny was not involved.

o   Mr. Rafael Perez (“Tezo”) provided a sworn affidavit implicating himself and stating that Danny played no part whatsoever in this crime.  According to the affidavit, Mr. Perez states that: “Daniel Rincon …[was] never aware without any knowledge of the action that took place on December 16, 1991 the quadruple murder…”

§  He identifies the shooters as Nelson Sepulveda, Belarminio Diaz (“Freddy Krueger “), Crazy Ray and himself.

§  Perez also released his attorney, David Touger, from the attorney/client  privilege which enabled Touger to provide an affidavit that it was known to him all along that Perez was guilty and Danny was innocent of the Quad Murders.

o   Another admitted shooter, Belarminio Diaz (“Freddy Krueger”), states: “The shooters were Platano, Nelson, Tezo, Mask and myself.” Like Perez, Diaz affirms that “Danny Rincon was not involved at all. He was not a supplier of weapons, a shooter or a getaway driver. I do not think he knew about it at all.”

o   Another man involved, Raul Vargas, who was a confidant of gang leader Nelson Sepulveda, testified in a federal trial, that he was the getaway driver for the Quad Murder. He admitted that he participated in the planning and at no time did he mention or suggest that Danny was involved.

·         Danny’s prosecution was the product of corrupt, overzealous police work. The trial was unfair and undermined by perjury and ineffective assistance of counsel. And the harsh sentence was motivated by politics.  Judge Leslie Crocker Snyder, notorious for a being a “pro-prosecution” judge, was seeking to make a name for herself.  After her retirement, she unsuccessfully ran for Manhattan DA as a “tough on crime” judge.  

·         Danny has been fighting for twenty-eight years for justice. While incarcerated for a crime he did not commit, Danny lost his mother and his brother, suffered from divorce, and has missed the chance to see his children grow up.

o   Danny has filed a series of 440 motions to vacate his conviction as well as a habeas petition in Federal Court. Unfortunately, he has not yet had success.

o   While incarcerated at the Auburn Correctional Facility, Danny helped others fight to prove their innocence as well. He and a few other men, including Derrick Hamilton, Shabaka Shakur, Richard Rosario and Nelson Cruz started a group known as “Absolute Innocence.”

·         A new 440 motion is being prepared which we hope to file soon.

·         Any attention that can be placed on Danny’s case – podcast, media, and/or dialogue with the incoming Manhattan DA – will be greatly appreciated.

 

[1] Danny has currently been incarcerated for 28 years. He spent 2 years and 3 months at Rikers Island prior to the beginning of the trial in September 1994.
[2] Two additional books were written about this case: Wild Cowboys by Robert Jackall and Gangbusters by Michael Stone.
[3] Janice Bruington was another victim of the shootings. She was shot in the arm but survived her injuries. Bruington subsequently passed away.
[4] The Sepulvedas had previously tried to get rid of Danny to protect their territory. In October 1990, Lenny Sepulveda ordered a hit on Danny which resulted in Danny being shot multiple times and hospitalized.
[5] In fact, Danny was good friends with Gerard Hurd, the head of the Yellow Top organization and the main target of the Quad Murders. They remained friendly after the shooting.
[6] Danny’s trial counsel was subsequently disbarred for failure to cooperate in an investigation relating to multiple complaints regarding his professional conduct.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!