On Monday of this week, a man from New York was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years to life in jail. A retrial was scheduled for Charquan Edwards, who was originally convicted for killing a man at a private poker game in 2015. Edwards was first sentenced to jail in 2015 by now-retired Judge John Brunetti. The 2015 trial, however, was reversed by the appellate court in 2019 after it discovered multiple flaws in the conviction.
Accused defendants frequently complain against their taxpayer-funded attorneys in an attempt to get new ones or postpone their prosecutions. However, an appeals court is unable to reverse a jury's decision relying on such allegations.
The appellate court found that Charquan Edwards argued before trial that his counsel had not submitted a series of legal claims on his behalf, known as omnibus motions. Such motions are common in high-profile criminal trials.
Neither of those statements were accurate, the appellate court found, after reviewing the case file.
Several eyewitnesses have died since the original crash in 2015. During the retrial testimony, however, US State Supreme Court Judge Gordon Cuffy allowed the deceased's testimony to be read to the jury. Edwards was re-sentenced to 20 years to life in jail as a result. As a consequence, he will complete his term concurrently, with the court taking into account the years he has now spent since his first arrest.
Edwards, who was 23 at the time, was involved in a disastrous poker game in 2015. He returned two times after losing twice to re-enter the game with more money. He returned with a pistol after losing for the third time and proceeded to escape with $9,000 from the poker table.
Edwards shot one of the players, George Smith, who was 83 at the time, before leaving the private poker game. About the fact that Smith survived the shooting, he died of unrelated causes last year at the age of 89. A surveillance camera caught Edawrds fleeing from the crime scene. He was captured shortly after that.