A teenage gang member has been released after allegedly killing a college student due to a technicality in the case.
Steven Mendez, 17, is accused of the murder of 21-year-old Saikou Koma, but was released on Tuesday after problematic testimony in court.
— New York Post (@nypost) April 28, 2022
A prejudiced case?
“The errors here can hardly be called harmless,” New York Supreme Court Justice Naita Semaj wrote in her ruling.
“The Court finds that the Grand Jury Proceedings were impaired, and that the defendant was clearly prejudiced,” she added.
The Bronx District Attorney’s office plans to appeal the ruling, according to the report from the New York Post.
17-year-old Steven Mendez was let back out on the streets after a judge determined that detectives delivered “problematic” testimony in his murder case. pic.twitter.com/UeCSSwpdnz
— greg w goodwin (@gwgoodwin) April 28, 2022
Not the first time
“Mendez had been previously released on five years’ probation last May after pleading guilty to a 2020 armed robbery in which prosecutors sought the maximum sentence of four years in prison,” Fox News reported.
“A victim in that incident was shot in the leg. Mendez was charged as a ‘youthful offender,'” the report added.
Bronx Supreme Court Justice Naita Semaj-Williams dismissed the indictment against Steven Mendez, 17, who allegedly shot Saikou Koma, 21, in the head in a gang-related incident when Mendez thought Koma was another manhttps://t.co/qPzFR7rdTP
— atasteofcreole (@atasteofcreole) April 28, 2022
The case will certainly be heard again, but it appears to be another New York crime that did not need to happen.
The lenient punishment on violent crimes in New York has to stop, as the controversial move only leads to more likely violence in an area already surging with crime.