[Hpn] Prosecutors OK "mistrial" of Miami police in Homeless Shooting case (fwd) case (fwd)

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Sun, 11 Feb 2001 10:43:49 -0800 (PST)

Will justice be done in the Miami "police shooting" case cited below? http://newsfinder.arinet.com/fpweb/fp.dll/$stargeneral/htm/x_dv.htm/_ibyx/cg0302 6/_itox/starnet/_svc/news/_Id/702068161/_k/OCDttwkJdY5EFQ5k FWD Associated Press - AP Wire Service - Feb 09 2001 MISTRIAL FOR TWO OF THREE MIAMI OFFICERS IN HOMELESS SHOOTING MIAMI (AP) _ A mistrial was declared Friday for two of three Miami police officers on trial for their roles in shooting an unarmed homeless man and allegedly planting a gun on the victim. The judge agreed that misstatements by the homeless man, who was shot in the leg in Coconut Grove the evening of June 26, 1997, harmed their chances for a fair trial. The lawyer for the third officer allowed trial to continue for his client. Prosecutors allege that Daniel 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, insisted during cross examination Thursday that he was not holding a gun in his hand but only his radio when he was shot. But Horban, the state's first witness, also claimed he had taken lie detector and voice-stress tests. Defense attorney Sam Rabin told the judge that neither is true. Prosecutors conceded that the statements were false. Horban also claimed on the stand that the City of Miami paid him $18,000 to settle a lawsuit over the shooting. A suit has been filed, but there's no settlement. Circuit Judge Peter R. Lopez ordered the mistrial for Officers Jorge Castello and Oscar Ronda, both charged with perjury for allegedly participating in the cover-up. Prosecutors agreed to the decision. The judge set a Monday hearing to schedule a new trial. The trial for Officer Jesus Aguero, accused of tampering with evidence, will continue Tuesday. 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 an undercover drug case, 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 say, officers planted a .45-caliber Astra pistol at the scene. The defendants say Horban did have the gun. The pistol had been stolen a year before from a drug dealer during a police raid at his home, prosecutors say. The gun later disappeared from the police property room. AP-ES-02-09-01 1626EST Received Id AP101040C4FB5B44 on Feb 09 2001 15:28 **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 ***************************************************************