As it turns out, he was at Disney World.
This is what a claim made by Jonathan Fleming, who had been accused of a 1989 Brooklyn murder, came down to nearly 25 years after he made it.
Now Fleming has filed a notice of claim to sue New York City for $162 million, according to his attorney, Taylor Koss.
Fleming, 52, was released from prison in April after spending 24 years and 8 months behind bars for killing Darryl Rush in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg area. He has now filed the notice signaling his intent to sue the city, the police department and the King County district attorney’s office.
“It signifies the beginning of the process that will hopefully make him whole,” said his lawyer, Taylor Koss. “He will never be the same. It’s impossible to give him the time back.”
Always maintaining his innocence, Fleming said that he had been on a trip to Disney World in Florida with his family when Rush was shot to death early on the morning of August 15, 1989, in a dispute over stolen money. It took years of document reviews and re-interviewing witnesses as part of a joint investigation between his attorneys and the Brooklyn district attorney’s Conviction Review Unit, to determine that the only evidence tying him to the crime was an alleged witness who later recanted her statement.
Upon his release, Fleming was homeless with less than $100 to his name, according to Koss. He still has no permanent home and no job.
“It has been a struggle since he got out,” Koss said, adding that the damages Fleming is seeking include the loss of wages, companionship and emotional anguish.
“It’s tough to put a value on those things,” Koss added. “I’m not sure how you value one year in prison for a crime you didn’t commit, let alone 25.”
A New York City Law Department spokesman said the claim will be reviewed.