Video: Jonathan Fleming Released After 1989 Brooklyn Murder Conviction Overturned


After serving 24 years of a 25-to-life sentence, Jonathan Fleming has been released as his 1989 wrongful conviction in a Brooklyn murder case was overturned.

The key piece of evidence was a receipt from a Quality Inn in Orlando, Florida, where the family had been vacationing. Four hours after the time stamp, the murder was said to have taken place.

The receipt was never turned over to the defense attorneys those 25 years ago. The Brooklyn prosecutor had made the case based on the testimony of an eyewitness. However, that witness later recanted her testimony, saying it was done as part of a deal to drop grand larceny charges, but the DA argued that she was lying, and Fleming was sentenced.

Fleming’s defense attornyes also obtained statements taken by the Orlando Police Department, which had questioned Quality Inn staff about Fleming, who had been vacationing at Disney World. They had remembered him, but these reports did not make it to the defense for two decades. With the new documents, attorneys for Fleming approached Brooklyn’s relatively new Conviction Integrity Unit.

It is Brooklyn’s new district attorney, Kenneth P. Thompson, who had campaigned on reforming the DA’s office. In February, the office released two prisoners serving sentences for murder based on new evidence.