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Queens Village man freed after wrongful conviction

The 22-year-old Queens Village man was given his freedom by Acting Supreme Court Judge Sherri Roman, who threw out...

By Adam Kramer

Lamar Palmer walked out of State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens a free man last Thursday after fighting a long battle to clear his name.

The 22-year-old Queens Village man was given his freedom by Acting Supreme Court Judge Sherri Roman, who threw out Palmer’s conviction in the 1998 slashing of a Queens Village woman.

Mary de Bourbon, a spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney, said the case against Palmer and Ronald Dudley, 22, was overturned after new evidence and a confession by Victor Cadet, 20, determined that he and another man committed the slashing and robbery of Jacqueline Doggett.

According to Cadet, the slashing was part of an initiation into the Bloods gang, of which he and his accomplice are members, said de Bourbon said. She declined to identify the other man involved and said police were still looking for him.

Palmer was sentenced on Sept. 21, 2000 to nine years in jail after he was found guilty of assault and attempted robbery. Dudley drew 15 years after being convicted of assault, attempted robbery and possession of a weapon.

De Bourbon said Palmer and Dudley were arrested about 9:20 p.m. on Nov. 14, 1998 on Hillside Avenue. The attack took place at 215th Street — two blocks off Hillside Avenue — at 9 p.m., she said.

She said Doggett testified she was heading home after grocery shopping and heard footsteps behind her. Doggett said she felt a sting on her left cheek followed by another sting on her right cheek.

Doggett needed 29 stitches to close the wounds to her face caused by the slashing. De Bourbon said Doggett testified the two men also tried to steal her purse.

“At that point she started to yell,” said de Bourbon. “She was only one house from her home and her brother-in-law came running outside with a cell phone dialing 911.”

After seeing Doggett’s brother-in-law, the two men ran off. They were described to police as two black men, one of whom was wearing a white, hooded sweat shirt.

De Bourbon said the victim identified Dudley as the slasher and Palmer as the man who tried to steal her purse. When police stopped the two men, they found a utility knife on Dudley, she said. But there was no blood on the knife, she said.

De Bourbon said after Palmer’s conviction his brother, Police Officer Dwayne Palmer, wrote Queens District Attorney Richard Brown saying it was impossible his brother could have committed the crime. The letter also said there were two witnesses who never testified in the case.

The two witnesses had supposedly talked to Palmer on the phone during the time of the slashing and through phone records the district attorney’s office determined that phone calls were made from a public phone at 214th Street and Hillside Avenue at 8:39 p.m. and at 8:59 p.m. The attack took place at 215th Street — two blocks off Hillside Avenue about three blocks away from where Palmer had made the two phone calls.

De Bourbon said the 911 call was placed at 8:58:41 p.m. by Doggett’s brother-in-law. She said there was also other evidence that pointed away from the defendants and to Bloods gang member Victor Cadet.

Last Thursday Cadet testified in Roman’s court that he and another man robbed and attacked Doggett, not Palmer and Dudley, she said. Cadet’s testimony in court and against his partner in the attack was part of a plea bargain with the district attorney. He will receive probation for the slashing, de Bourbon said.

Dudley, though exonerated of the slashing conviction, remains in jail on charges of allegedly shooting Cadet in the arm, buttocks and neck while he was out on bail in October 1999, de Bourbon said.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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