A potential witness in the New York City shooting deaths of a Muslim cleric and his assistant picked out someone during a police lineup who was not the suspect now facing murder charges, a prosecutor said on Thursday.
Assistant District Attorney Peter McCormack said during a court appearance in the borough of Queens that the potential witness identified a “filler” from the lineup.
It was not clear if the result of the lineup would affect prosecutors’ case against the suspect, Oscar Morel. A lawyer for Morel, Michael Schwed, told reporters he thought the police lineup might have been “prejudicial” but said he still expected a grand jury to indict Morel as soon as Friday.
Morel, 36, has denied charges by police that he shot and killed Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 64, in a brazen daylight attack on Saturday that horrified the neighborhood’s Bangladeshi community.
Authorities have said the gunman’s motive remained unclear, and the possibility it was a hate crime was one theory being explored.
New York Police Department detectives searched Morel’s basement apartment in the borough of Brooklyn and found a revolver hidden in a wall that authorities believe he used in the execution-style killings, New York media have reported.
Police also found clothes in his apartment that matched what the gunman had been wearing, according to the media reports.
Morel, handcuffed and wearing a tan jail outfit, appeared briefly in court again on Thursday, his birthday, but said little. As the appearance ended, men in the courtroom yelled to Morel that they loved him. The men declined to speak with reporters afterward.
Morel is scheduled to return to court on Monday.
He faces up to life in prison without parole if he is convicted. He is charged with one count of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Alistair Bell)
Former Fox & Friends co-host Clayton Morris flees the US as he faces two dozen lawsuits
Facing more than two-dozen lawsuits alleging he committed real estate fraud, former "Fox & Friends Weekend" co-host Clayton Morris has reportedly fled the United States, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Morris, who previously resided in a $1.4 million home in New Jersey, moved his family to a coastal resort town in Portugal, the newspaper reported, citing a Facebook post from his wife.
Morris's wife and business partner, former MSNBC anchor Natali Morris, told the IndyStar that she and her husband plan to continue fighting the lawsuits from abroad.
Trump defenders argued his latest tweets weren’t really racist — but he just completely undercut their arguments
If you try to defend President Donald Trump, you will always end up having the rug pulled out from underneath you. It's a law of nature.
And yet, so many of the president's allies have failed to learn this simple lesson. So when Trump launched a new attack at progressive Democratic lawmakers that was one of his most obviously racist smears, inevitably, some of his defenders tried to deny the obvious truth.
His screed attacked a group of women who have come to define the left wing of the Democratic caucus, which includes Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Rashida Talib (MI), and Ayanna Pressley (MA). Though only Omar is an immigrant (she was a refugee from Somalia as a child), Trump seemed to assume all four women of color weren't born in the United States, and most egregiously, he suggested they should "go back" to other countries:
UK prime minister hopefuls slam Trump tweets — but refuse to call them racist
The two candidates vying to become Britain's next prime minister both condemned on Monday US President Donald Trump's xenophobic tweets about progressive Democrat congresswomen as "totally offensive" and "totally unacceptable".
But front-runner Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt refused to call the tweets racist when pressed to do so during their last debate before next week's announcement of who will succeed Prime Minister Theresa May.
May's spokesman had earlier said that the outgoing leader's view was that Trump's comments were "completely unacceptable".
On Monday Trump doubled down on a series of his tweets from the day before urging the four congresswomen of colour to "go back" to the countries they came from.