Eric Glisson and four others spent 18 years in prison for the 1995 murder of livery driver Baithe Diop Released in 2013 after two gang members were found to be the real killers
Photo: Tomas E. Gaston
Lt. William “Sean” O’Toole. Lied in court, destroyed case note. An NYPD officer committed perjury to convict an innocent man and sabotaged the re-investigation that led to the real killers, court papers say. Eric Glisson and four other people spent 18 years in prison for the 1995 fatal shooting of livery driver Baithe Diop. Glisson, who was 20 when he was convicted, was released in 2013 along with Cathy Watkins, Michael Cosme, Devon Ayers and Carlos Perez when two gang members were found to be the actual killers.
Baithe Diop: The victim
Now, Glisson and the others say Lieutenant William O’Toole lied in court about how he caught Glisson and got in the way of a detective trying to find the real murderers, the New York Post reported.
O’Toole said at the time that he had seen Glisson in the building where he lived and grabbed him just before Glisson dashed into his apartment.
But Glisson, who was imprisoned at New York’s maximum security facility Sing Sing, said O’Toole actually tricked him into opening the apartment’s door by using a neighborhood child.
Glisson, Watkins, Cosme, Ayers and Perez have sued the city for malicious prosecution.
Photo: PerezPhoto: Robert Kalfus Wrongfully convicted: (From left) Devon Ayers, Michael Cosme, Cathy Watkins and Carlos. Convictions based on ‘cooked’ police evidence. Now free and planning to file a law suit.
The city has admitted that the notebook disappeared, the New York Post wrote. That detective’s new probe into the case eventually led to Glisson’s and the others’ being set free.
‘I’ve been innocent, I’ve been fighting all these years and the hard work finally paid off,’ Cosme told NBC after his release in January 2013.
Another detective who worked under O’Toole’s supervision in the Bronx said he gave O’Toole a tip that could have spared Glisson and the others more than a decade behind bars.
Peter Forcelli told O’Toole that Gilbert Vega and José Rodriguez, two members of the Sex Money Murder gang who later turned out to be the real killers, were bragging about killing a lively driver in 1995, the court papers say.
Forcelli said O’Toole stayed silent and didn’t bring up Diop’s murder event though he had testified at Watkins and Glisson’s trial just months earlier
The NYPD ‘may have looked only in the open homicide drawer and never bothered to even look to see if there was anything other than an unsolved homicide that fit that decision’, Forcelli told NBC’s Dateline in an episode chronicling Glisson’s quest to be freed.
The conversation happened in late 1997 or early 1998, the New York Post reported.
O’Toole told the newspaper the allegations were untrue, adding he ‘absolutely hadn’t lied under oath’ and that Forcelli’s claims were ‘baloney’.
‘There’s no reason for me to hide the notebook or take the notebook,’ O’Toole told the New York Post.
‘Obviously, anyone can put anything they want in court documents. I have nothing to hide and I know I didn’t do anything wrong.’
Glisson opened a juice bar in the Bronx, called Fresh Take Juice Bar, a year after his exoneration. His daughter Cynthia was just a week old when he was incarcerated and almost 18 years old when Glisson was released. He had a second daughter, named Scarlett, in April last year, NBC reported.
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