2011-06-24 / Top Stories

DA Goes To State’s Highest Court On Bellamy Case

By Howard Schwach

Bellamy with detective Ed Henson and ex-FBI agent Joseph O’Brien, the two men who found the “new evidence” that led to his freedom. Bellamy with detective Ed Henson and ex-FBI agent Joseph O’Brien, the two men who found the “new evidence” that led to his freedom. Convicted murderer Kareem Bellamy will remain free for the remainder of the summer and perhaps even longer, as the Court of Appeals, New York State’s highest court, takes up an appeal from Queens District Attorney Richard Brown to overturn a May decision that upheld a lower court’s decision to vacate his 1994 murder conviction.

On Wednesday, the Queens DA asked for leave to appeal the lower court’s decision to the higher court, and prosecutors were given until September 27 to make the appeal.

Court officials say that the highest court has the option of hearing the appeal or not.

If they do not take the case, then the lower court decision stands, and Brown has to decide whether or not to retry Bellamy in the face of new information that could show that he did not commit the crime.

Kareem Bellamy (center) with his defense team. Kareem Bellamy (center) with his defense team. If they do take the appeal, then the highest court’s decision regarding the appeal will be delivered at the September court date.

Bellamy’s proponents, who speculate that the Court of Appeals will not take the case, say that he is living in Rockaway with relatives and seeking employment.

Bellamy had been in prison up until August of 2008, after being convicted of murder in the second degree and weapons charges in relation to the Arverne stabbing death of James Abbott in 1994.

After a series of events that rival a television soap opera, the state’s Appellate Division for the Second Circuit said that Supreme Court Justice Joel Blumenfeld had made the right decision in vacating the conviction.

“The Supreme Court properly determined that the likely cumulative effect of the newly-discovered evidence, including the informant’s original statements to investigators and counsel concerning Ishmael’s alleged confession, his recantation of those statements and the testimony concerning the faked confession tape would have been a verdict more favorable to the defendant,” the three-member appeals court ruled. “A reasonable jury could find, as the Supreme Court did here, that the informant’s original unsolicited implication of Ishmael was truthful regardless of the informant’s later recantation of those statements. Moreover, the fact that the informant implicated Ishmael and an accomplice, who were the same people implicated on a police report contemporaneous to the homicide, could raise a reasonable doubt in the jurors’ minds, especially given the less than overwhelming evidence against the defendant at trial.”

At Wednesday’s hearing, Brown could have ordered a retrial or allowed Bellamy to go free, rather than asking for a reversal of the appellate court’s decision.

Bellamy’s public defender, Steve Silberblatt, thinks that forcing a new trial would not be in anybody’s best interests.

“It is hard to believe that taxpayers’ money would be well-spent in pursuing a new trial,” Silberblatt added. “But it is their right to retry. That the DA is pushing all out to maintain the guilty verdict, to me, is pure vanity.”

Detective Ed Henson, who first turned over the new evidence that pointed to another killer, thinks that the DA will “try and save face” in the light of the decision and say that Bellamy can’t be retried.

In July of 2008, Blumenfeld vacated Bellamy’s conviction because the court was provided with new evidence that pointed to the guilt of another man, Levon (Ishmael) Melvin, in the stabbing murder.

At the time of the appearance of the new evidence, which was in the form of a tape that was purported to be the voice of Melvin admitting to a Rockaway murder on that date, Brown said, “The sole basis for the court’s setting aside the defendant’s conviction was a recorded conversation proffered by the defense, which purported to be between a defense witness and a third party, in which the third party confessed to having stabbed the victim – the crime for which the defendant was convicted.”

In mid-August of 2008, Judge Blumenfeld released Bellamy from jail pending a new trial.

But the informant who provided the tape to defense lawyer Thomas Hoffman and private detective Ed Henson had since told authorities in the Queens District Attorney’s office that he staged the recording “to create false evidence because I was paid thousands of dollars by the attorneys for Kareem Bellamy.”

Since that time, the Bellamy case has taken many twists and turns.

Charges and counter-charges have been made by prosecutors; by Michael Green, the man who made the tape; by Melvin, who detectives investigating the crime fifteen years ago thought might have been involved, and whom Green implicated as the murderer on the now-infamous tape; by prosecutor Brad Leventhal, who had accused Hoffman and Henson of feeding Green information about Melvin to make the phony tape; and by Hoffman and Henson, who say they had no knowledge that the tape was bogus until after Bellamy was released.

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Hello my name is Levon

Hello my name is Levon Ishmael Melvin. I am writing you to ask for your assistance in a very serious matter that seems to be almost forgotten. In the year 2008 there was a story that was in all the newspapers and the TV news. The story was about a lawyer that got his client out of jail for a murder that he was convicted of in 1994. The lawyer was to supposed to had a tape of someone else admitting to the murder that his client was in jail for. The person that they accused of this heinous crime was me. The lawyer and a private investor paid a drug addicted to make a fraudulent tape. They paid him to make this tape and to testify under oath to it’s authority. When I found out what was going on thru the newspapers I contacted a lawyer. I explained to the lawyer that I was being accused of something that I didn’t do. I told him that it all over the news paper. He got in touch with the D.A’s office and explained that I didn’t have anything to do with this crime. The DA told the lawyer that he need to meet with me. I met with the DA and he listen to my voice. He compared my voice with the voice that was on the fraudulent tape. He said that it was not my voice on the fraudulent tape. He ask me about the guy Michael Green who made the tape. I explained to him that Michael Green had work for me before in my cleaning business. The DA ask me why did I think he would do that to me. I told him I reality didn’t know. I told the DA that I had to fire him. And that he is also a drug addict that will do anything for money. Other than that I didn’t know why he would do something like that to me. The same day that I was meeting with the DA, the judge was over turning the guy name Kareem Bellamy murder conviction . The judge name is Joel Blumenfeild. Judge Blumenfeild stated in his written decision that the fraudulent tape was the reason why he over turn Kareem Bellamy murder conviction. A couple of days after I left the DA office they bought Michael Green in to see why he lied. Michael Green admitted to the DA that I Levon Ishmael Melvin Had nothing to do with this crime. He also told the DA that he had a cab driver make the fake tape acting like he was me. Michael Green told the DA that the lawyer paid him a lot of money to do what he did. He also said that the lawyer and the private investigator told him what to say on the stand and what to put on the fraudulent tape. The DA knew that it was true because of the things that was said on the tape. The DA also pick up the cad driver that help Green make the tape. The cab driver told the DA that green paid him to help make the fake recording. The DA believe him because how would he know what to say on the tape if green didn’t tell him, And how would Green know what to say about the case if the lawyers and the P.I. didn’t tell him. The DA told the Judge that the lawyers had perpetrated a fraud on the court and Michael Green perjury his self at the hearing that the Bellamy murder conviction was over turn. The DA made the judge hold another hearing to expose the fraud that was perpetrated on the court. At that hearing Judge Blumenfeild told Kareem’s lawyer to step down off the case. And he order another hearing. At that hearing I testified that it was not me on the fraudulent tape. I also testified that I never had anything to do with the murder. Michael Green testified that he had lied on the stand. He also testified that they paid him more money that was disclosed at the first hearing. The P.I perjury him self at that second hearing. At the first hearing the P.I was ask was that my voice on the fraudulent tape. He said he could not swear by it because he hadn’t spoke to me in over two years. At the second hearing they show him me and his phone records. It had four phone call from me to him. These phone calls were a couple of week before he was under oath and said he hadn’t spoke to me in over two hears. After all of this the judge still rule to keep Kareem murder conviction over turn. The judge didn’t want to put Kareem Bellamy back in jail because he would had to say that he made a mistake. The judge didn’t want to say that the P.I. lied on the stand and perjury himself. He also didn’t want to say that this lawyer perpetrated a fraud on the court. So in his final decision after all this he still ruled in the lawyers faver. The DA knows that I didn’t have anything to do with this case. Please help me in any way you can. Back in 2009 three Columbia student was investigating this case. There names was Jonah Engle, Danielle Friedman , Vergat Sriniviasan they wrote a three part report in a newspaper called The Rockaway Wave. They got in touch with me and I told them the true story that I didn’t have anything to do with that case, We spoke over the phone for about two hours. They told me that they wish that they had spoke to me alot sooner because they was finish with there three page report and they was getting ready to graduate. I have all the court reports. I have all the testimony from the hearing If you googol these name that I am going to give you this case will come up. (Kareem Bellamy) (Michael Green) (Levon Ishmael Melvin) (Judge Joel Blumenfeld) (ADA Brad Leventhal) .This case goes back in front of this same Judge in June of 2011. This guy Kareem Bellamy is still in the street a free man The Judge is letting a convicted murder go. This judge has a history of doing this. My Email is

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