[Hpn] Miami police tried in homeless shooting & "planted gun" cover-up / FL USA (fwd) / FL USA (fwd)

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Sat, 10 Feb 2001 21:33:53 -0800 (PST)

http://newsfinder.arinet.com/fpweb/fp.dll/$stargeneral/htm/x_dv.htm/_ibyx/cg0302 6/_itox/starnet/_svc/news/_Id/702000721/_k/nEMGL87bqtEEY8Be FWD Associated Press - AP Wire Service - Feb 09 2001 MIAMI OFFICERS TRIED IN HOMELESS SHOOTING, GUN THROW-DOWN CASE MIAMI (AP) _ Three Miami police officers are on trial for their roles in the alleged shooting of an unarmed homeless man and the planting of a gun to cover it up. The first witness to testify against them was Daniel Horban, the homeless man who was shot in the leg in Coconut Grove the evening of June 26, 1997. Prosecutors alleged that Horban was shot by an officer who thought Horban was about to shoot another man. When officers at the scene realized that Horban had been armed only with a Walkman-type radio, they threw down a spare gun one officer carried and claimed it had been held by Horban, prosecutors said. Horban, an admitted heroin addict, alcoholic and paranoid schizophrenic, withstood vigorous cross examination Thursday on his insistence that he was not holding a gun in his hand but only his radio when he was shot. But Horban also claimed from the stand that he taken both a lie detector examination and a voice-stress test. That prompted defense attorney Sam Rabin to urge Circuit Judge Peter R. Lopez to order a mistrial. Horban ``told the jury twice he had taken a lie detector test and voice stress test.'' Neither is true and a ``curative instruction'' to the jury won't help overcome their potential prejudice, said Rabin, who represents Officer Oscar Ronda, charged with perjury for allegedly participating in the cover-up, Attorney Harry Solomon, representing Officer Jesus Aguero, disputed another Horban claim, that the City of Miami paid him $18,000 to settle a lawsuit over being shot. A suit has been filed, but there's no settlement. Lopez said he would rule on the mistrial motion Friday afternoon. He said that if he does order a new trial, it will start with jury selection on Monday. The case marks one of the biggest police corruption allegation cases in recent years. One undercover officer, Rolando Jacobo, already has served a year in jail for his role in the purported cover-up. Horban and his friend, William Simms, were horsing around. Simms was on the ground and Horban was standing over him, nudging him to get up. Jacobo and Castello, working undercover drugs, passed Horban and Simms and thought they had stumbled on an armed robbery in progress. The radio in Horban's hand in the dark looked like a gun, they said. The officers ordered Horban to ``drop the gun.'' Here the stories of what came next diverge. Horban insisted he held the radio down at his side. The officers claimed Horban raised his arm as if pointing a gun at them. Castello fired three times, hitting Horban once in the leg. To cover up, prosecutors allege, officers planted a 45-caliber Astra pistol at the scene. The defendant deny that, saying Horban did have the gun. The pistol, prosecutors said, had been stolen a year before from a drug dealer during a police raid at his home. The gun later disappeared from the police property room. AP-ES-02-09-01 0705EST Received Id AP101040389838C4 on Feb 09 2001 06:06 END FORWARD **In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this type of information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.** Visit HPN for CONSTANTLY UPDATING NEWS on Homeless People: *************************************************************** Over 10,000 articles by or via homeless & ex-homeless people Been Homeless? Then JOIN! EMAIL Tom Boland <wgcp@earthlink.net> Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy ***************************************************************