A Brooklyn man is “ecstatic” to finally get his name cleared after almost 20 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.
“It feels great!” newly exonerated Sundhe Moses said Friday as he strode out of Brooklyn Criminal Court, where a judge dismissed his old murder charges.
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Moses was able to clear his record after two witnesses recanted their testimony against him — and after he convincingly described being beaten and threatened into confessing by scandal-scarred ex-NYPD homicide Detective Louis Scarcella.
In January, Moses became the 13th person to have his murder conviction tossed in a Scarcella-tainted case — but he remained officially under indictment for the murder, the 1995 shooting death of a 4-year-old Brownsville girl from a random bullet outside her housing project.
Prosecutors reserved the option of re-doing the 1997 murder trial.
But on Friday, that final threat to Moses’ freedom lifted.
Brooklyn prosecutors announced they would not seek to retry the case; the charges were then dismissed by Justice Dineen Riviezzo.
“I’m ecstatic,” Moses, 42, said after court.
One thing would make him feel even better, though, he said — hearing prosecutors acknowledge that they made errors in the case.
In tossing Moses’ conviction last month, Riviezzo had ruled that Moses might not have been found guilty had jurors known that Scarcella’s tactics would one day be questioned.
“I think that’s part of the healing process,” he said of getting an apology, adding, “Maybe I won’t get that.”
Moses was just 19 years old when he was arrested. He spent 18 years in prison for the girl’s murder. But although he was paroled in 2013, he worked since then to clear his name.
“Today is the first day that Sundhe Moses has not been an accused or convicted murderer, the first day in 22 years, 18 of those years spent in prison,” said the lawyer who won Moses’ exoneration, Ron Kuby.
“They certainly cannot prove him guilty at a fair trial where all the evidence comes in and a corrupt and disgraced detective is exposed for being corrupt and disgraced,” Kuby added.
“I am happy,” Moses’ smiling mother, Elaine Hill, 65, said as she walked Moses out of court.
“I thank the Lord. Nothing hanging over my son’s head anymore and I live to see it,” she said.
“I live to see him get free.”