A New York defense attorney representing a man accused of the shooting death of a Rome man in March, asked a judge on Tuesday for funds to investigate the possibility that his client is innocent, reported the
While the defendant, Derrick Carter, maintains his innocence, his court appointed attorney Christopher Pelli, requested the financial assistance from the court to hire a private investigator and an eyewitness misidentification expert.
According to Pelli, he needs a private investigator to track down an alleged drug dealer whose name is on a speeding ticket found at the crime scene and could have a connection to the murder. The same man bares resemblance to Carter and may also have a connection to a witness who identified him. Pelli wants to hire an eyewitness misidentification expert because the witness, who identified Carter as the suspect, misidentified him in one of the two photo lineups she was shown by police.
“I feel like I need somebody to help, not only with the investigation, but certainly an expert witness who can explain why people get things wrong,” in cases of eyewitness identification, Pelli said.
The judge asked Pelli to specify how much an investigator would cost and to outline the scope of his work before he can make a decision on funding. He also scheduled a pre-trial hearing for next month to explore whether any eyewitnesses were encouraged by police to identify Carter as the suspect.