All charges against Jose Alba, a 61-year-old deli worker, have been dropped by the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg. Alba stabbed and killed an attacker a few weeks ago.
Details Of The Case
Alba was charged with second-degree murder. He also faced charges of criminal possession of a weapon.
For his crimes, he was sent to the infamous Rikers Island prison. This was though the larger and younger man, 35-year-old Austin Simon, was caught on video getting behind the counter to attack Alba.
The incident took place at a deli in Harlem on July 1.
Alba can also be seen pleading with the angry attack in the video. He was telling him, "I don't want a problem."
Unfortunately, that did not stop Simon from shoving him into the store shelves before grabbing his neck.
Simon, the attacker, was angry with Alba for taking potato chips from a 10-year-old girl. The girl was Simon's girlfriend's daughter, and her mother's benefits card had not worked during the transaction.
Homicide Could Not Be Proven
The district attorney's office has faced much criticism over Alba's murder charge, his time on Riker's, and the $250,000 bail he was required to pay to be free.
New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, defended Alba, saying he was "innocent."
Eventually, Alba was released on a $50,000 bail. He insisted that he stabbed Simon while defending himself against Simon.
Due to mounting pressure, Bragg's office was forced to drop the charges against Alba.
While dropping the case, the attorney's office claimed that a homicide case against Alba could not be proven at trial "beyond a reasonable doubt." Based on reports, the case will not go before a grand jury.
Simon Was On Parole
According to the media, Simon was on parole for assaulting a police officer when he got into the deadly encounter in the Harlem bodega. He had done some time in prison for a second-degree assault conviction for attacking the cop last year.
This was before he was put on parole. The media also reported that Simon had had eight charges, including assault, robbery, and assault during a domestic dispute.
During the deadly attack, his girlfriend also took a knife from her purse and stabbed Alba in the arm. She later denied committing the crime when questioned by the authorities.
Alba's lawyer had said during his arraignment in court that she had stabbed him in his hand and shoulder three times.
Alba's Family Reaction To The Withdrawal Of The Charges
The media reported that Simon's family was critical of the district attorney's decision to drop the charges against Alba. His cousin Candra Simon said they were disappointed that it was "OK to take an unarmed man's life."
As far as Candra was concerned, the decision to drop the case sets a dangerous precedent.