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Trial opens in shooting death of LIC mom

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The 49-year-old woman was driving her son to meet a prospective buyer for his 1999 Lexus when a gun-wielding man charged the car with the intent to kill Kevin Green, Assistant District Attorney James Quinn said. But his mother, who lived in Long Island City and was sitting in the driver's seat in the parking lot on the corner of Sutphin and Linden boulevards, was hit by gunfire and died.The defense depicted the slain woman's son, Kevin Green, as a weak key witness who pointed a finger at Manley only to skirt charges being brought against him in connection with a burglary after the shooting.Quinn told another story of a bereaved son who was avenging his mother's death as part of a feud that had transpired between the younger Green and Manley for weeks, a feud that involved a bar fight, car shooting and car explosion - none of which claimed any lives.Wearing a pink and red button-down shirt, jeans and white sneakers, Manley listened to these accounts during opening arguments at the trial in State Supreme Court Judge Robert McGann's Kew Gardens courtroom Tuesday morning.The Green-Manley battle began after a bar fight that spilled into the streets in Long Island City on Feb. 23, 2002 - less than a week before Rosa Green was killed, the prosecution said.Kevin Green, according to the assistant district attorney, was jumped by a group that included Manley when he returned to the scene of the argument that night. The younger Green was caught with a firearm but was bailed out of prison later that day, Quinn said.The next morning, Manley allegedly shot at Rosa Green's empty car, parked behind the Ravenswood public housing complex in Long Island City, to send a message to Kevin Green, Quinn said.Kevin Green retaliated by spreading fuel and setting a fire in a car owned by one of Manley's friends, the prosecutor said. He has since been convicted of that crime and sentenced to a year in prison, Quinn said.Meanwhile, Rosa Green and her husband placed an ad in a newspaper to sell Kevin Green's car. Responding to a call about the car, the family drove out to Jamaica to show Kevin Green's Lexus to a prospective buyer when they pulled into the McDonald's parking lot so that Rosa Green's husband could use the restroom."A few moments later, Mr. Manley walks over to the car - he knew it as Kevin's car - and fires several shots into the car," Quinn said. "James Manley thought he was shooting Kevin Green, but he hit Kevin Green's mother instead."Allan Brenner, Manley's defense attorney, said two witnesses identified the shooter at the crime scene as a shorter and slimmer man than his client. Neither of the two bystanders picked Manley's photo from a series of potential suspects nor did Kevin Green single him out at the time of the shooting, Brenner added.The defense attorney contended that the following day Kevin Green, along with his brother and father broke into an apartment inhabited by some of Manley's friends."All they could say is 'Bitch, who shot my mother?'" Brenner said.After being detained in connection with the burglary, Brenner said investigators took Kevin Green's word that Manley was the man who killed his mother - a fact he left out in prior questioning. Another key witness who was being detained on drug and assault charges also came forward to identify Manley as the gunman, Brenner said."Joe Manley has been falsely accused and prosecuted by that false accusation," Brenner said. Summing up the morning's opening arguments, he added, "I submit to you that this is complicated."Reach reporter Cynthia Koons by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 141.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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