Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Jury can hear ex-Brooklyn postal worker’s boasts about criminal past in shooting threat case

May 29, 2024
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A federal jury will be allowed to hear a former mail carrier’s boasts about the “mad felonies” on his rap sheet when he goes on trial for threatening to shoot up a post office, an appeals court ruled Tuesday.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a jury could hear a series of recorded statements by Quadri Garnes telling the targets of his alleged threats how “it don’t bother me to be in jail” because of his past prison sentences.

Garnes, 47, is accused of threatening a mass shooting if he didn’t get unemployment benefits.

Their 32-page decision reverses a ruling last year by Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Nina Morrison, who said in July that admitting the statements would “risk unfair prejudice” to Garnes by introducing his criminal record and painting him as someone with “a propensity to commit crimes.”

Morrison, a 2022 appointee to the bench by President Biden, previously worked for two decades with the Innocence Project, an organization that works to overturn convictions of the wrongly accused. At the time of her ruling, Garnes would have been the first criminal trial the judge had presided over.

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