Star Athlete’s Murderer Confesses. Why Is Someone Else Still Locked Up?

April 2, 2018 : The Daily Beast

In February, after serving almost 13 years in prison, a Brooklyn man named John Giuca had his murder conviction thrown out by an appellate court citing violations by the prosecutor—a former darling of the Brooklyn DA’s Homicide Bureau who now has her own true-crime TV show.

The court ordered a retrial but instead of letting Giuca out on bail, the trial judge sent him to Rikers, giving the DA time to ponder its next move without the political black eye of having let him go free. So far, prosecutors have filed papers seeking permission to appeal the appellate court’s decision.

In February, after serving almost 13 years in prison, a Brooklyn man named John Giuca had his murder conviction thrown out by an appellate court citing violations by the prosecutor—a former darling of the Brooklyn DA’s Homicide Bureau who now has her own true-crime TV show.

The court ordered a retrial but instead of letting Giuca out on bail, the trial judge sent him to Rikers, giving the DA time to ponder its next move without the political black eye of having let him go free. So far, prosecutors have filed papers seeking permission to appeal the appellate court’s decision.

Russo described what amounts to an execution. He told the detectives that he took the gun out of his waistband, pointed it at Fisher, took Fisher’s wallet and “told Fisher to run,” after which he “fired one shot into the ground to let Fisher know it was a real gun.” The DD5 goes on to note that “Fisher said why did you shoot me and Russo fired the rest of the bullets from the gun at Fisher, killing him.”

Asked about the interview, a spokesperson for the DA’s office said that “we don’t comment on pending cases,” referring to the fact that the office is currently appealing the vacated conviction.

Nothing in the DD5 indicates that Russo was acting on anyone else’s behalf when he decided to rob and then shoot Fisher.

Witness statements taken by police during the initial murder investigation include information that Russo had previously threatened people, engaged in violent behavior and carried a gun in his waistband.

In his recent prison interview, Russo claimed that he was seen by a “young woman in a car” who looked at him “and could identify him” before he “ran back towards his house,” disposing of Fisher’s wallet in a nearby sewer. While Fisher’s wallet was in fact recovered from a sewer near Russo’s apartment building, there are several elements of his confession that are contradicted by the evidence. Specifically, according to the DD5, Russo told the detectives he shot Fisher with a 9mm German Luger, firing all 16 shots in the magazine. In fact, the gun used to kill Mark Fisher was a .22 caliber; none of the residents of Argyle Road reported hearing anywhere near 16 shots. It is unclear whether detectives pressed Russo on these discrepancies.

It is also unclear from the DD5 whether the detectives questioned Russo directly about whether Giuca had anything at all to do with orchestrating the robbery of Fisher, or his murder. If they did not—and there is nothing in the interview document that shows that they did—it is an omission that suggests they may have been more interested in trying to find a witness to retry Giuca, waiting in Rikers, and regain the “win” the appeals court took from them, than in finding out what in fact happened to Mark Fisher.

After all, that’s what Russo, with nothing to gain by finally confessing to the crime, seems to have told them.

Copyright Free John Giuca 2019
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