A Staten Island judge on Thursday refused to grant a new trial for a man who spent over two decades in prison, for a murder he says he didn't commit.
Foster Thompson's attorney Abe George claimed the person who actually killed Cynthia Browning following a 1992 robbery in New Brighton had confessed. There was also an eye witness who supported the confession, George said, but Judge Alexander Jeong found that the defense's witnesses weren't credible.
"There's never been a wrongful conviction in this state where attorneys have found the real murderer who confesses on video, and then an accomplice who says it's not your client," said George. "This is the strongest case we've worked on and for us to not prevail is surprising."
In Judge Jeong's 37-page decision, he said there were inconsistent testimony and testimony that didn't prove Thompson was "factually innocent."
The Staten Island District Attorney's Office also says it investigated allegations by Thompson's lawyers and found that there was not enough credible evidence that would have support the defense's application to set aside the jury's verdict.
Thompson's mother, Brenda Thompson, appeared Thursday at a news conference, pleading for the judge to make her son a free man again.
"My child has missed his children growing up, his grandchildren, now his great-grandchildren," she said.
After watching the 53-year-old spend 27 years in prison, his supports are not giving up. Thompson's attorneys say they plan to file an appeal and advocate for change, specifically on Staten Island.
"The rest of the boroughs have moved on with the times and realized that 'hey we could have gotten something wrong,' but not Staten Island," George told reports on Thursday.