New York Woman Files Suit for Wrongful Conviction
Two months after a New York judge ordered the release of two women who were wrongly convicted of a shooting crime that put a man in a coma, one of them has filed a civil suit against New York City for the mistakes that sent her to prison for seven years.
Malisha Blyden was convicted by a Bronx jury of a 2005 home invasion and sentenced to 40 years behind bars for a shooting she and her codefendant, Latisha Johnson, did not commit. She was cleared of all charges in March.
reported that Blyden’s attorneys filed a notice of claim against the city on Monday, charging false arrest, wrongful conviction, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and other civil charges.
According to her attorneys, Blyden’s and Johnson’s wrongful convictions were the result of series of multiple errors made during the investigation of the 2005 shooting and robbery of George Peseo. Johnson was wanted for questioning in Peseo’s shooting because investigators had a cell phone record that showed that the victim’s cell phone had been used to make a call to Johnson’s father. Investigators believed that it was one of the attackers who had made the call. In reality, it was a single-digit misdial made by Peseo. A misidentification by Peseo and a day-long unrecorded interrogation resulted in Blyden’s false confession.
Blyden’s innocence was reaffirmed in prison by an inmate who said that her neighbors were the real perpetrators. But it was too late; detectives had already made their case.
Earl Ward, who represents Blyden with David Lebowitz and Julia Kuan, said to the
, “As a result of their screwup, the real perpetrators avoided prosecution and now the statute of limitations has run out.”
Blyden is now trying to find a job and rebuild her life after the setback of prison. Her lawyers did not include a dollar amount in the suit. She told the Daily News, “I feel like the time they took from me, there’s no amount of money that can replace that. I could have been doing so much with my life right about now. It’s just not fair.”
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