Bronx County Hall of Justice (NYLJ/Rick Kopstein)
Citing the Bronx District Attorney’s Office failure to disclose an informant’s testimony in the 1995 slaying of a retired police officer, a judge has ordered a new trial for a man who has spent 20 years in prison for the crime.
Edward Garry was sentenced to 25 years to life for the death of retired New York City detective Oswald Potter, who was shot during the robbery of an illegal gambling operation in a bodega.
Two eyewitnesses picked Garry out of a photo array. But in 1996, an informant told a detective investigating a different homicide that another man, Steven Martinez, admitted to being the shooter, according to court papers.
That information was not disclosed to Garry’s attorney.
Several years later, Lawrence Broussard, who was facing a federal weapons charge, told investigators that he took part in the bodega robbery and picked Martinez out of a photo array as the shooter.
In a decision provided to defense attorneys on Wednesday, Bronx Supreme Court Justice Michael Gross granted Garry’s 440 motion to vacate his conviction. The judge said failing to disclose the statements Martinez made to the informant constituted a Brady violation.
But Gross rejected Garry’s actual innocence claim, saying Broussard’s testimony was inconsistent and Martinez’s statements amounted to “double hearsay,” and were thus unreliable.
Glenn Garber and Rebecca Freedman of the Exoneration Initiative represented Garry.
“Finally he’s reached a point where he’s received at least some vindication,” Garber said in an interview.
Assistant district attorneys Nancy Killian, Peter Coddington and Eric Washer represented the Bronx DA on the 440 motion.
Bronx DA Darcel Clark said the office has yet to decide if it will retry the case or appeal Gross’ decision.