Three half-brothers have been exonerated after being convicted in two 1980s murders after a judge arrived to the conclusion that a witness in the case was unreliable.
The men, Darryl Austin, Alvena Jennette and Robert Hill, were cleared Tuesday when a Brooklyn District Attorney's Conviction Review Unit concluded they did not receive a fair trial.
"Based on a comprehensive review of these cases, it is clear that testimony from the same problematic witness undermined the integrity of these convictions, and resulted in an unfair trial for each of these defendants," Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said. "We therefore have moved to vacate these convictions and dismiss the charges in the interest of justice."
The witness, Teresa Gomez, was used as a witness for several other homicide cases Det. Louis Scarcella, whose work on the force is under investigation.
Thompson said Gomez was a heavy crack user who did not give consistent answers to police questions, even about her own drug use.
Austin and Jennette were convicted in September 1985 for the robbery and murder of Ronnie Durante on Nostrand Avenue. Austin died in prison after serving 14 years. Jennette was released in 2007 after serving 20.
Hill was cleared of the 1987 murder of Donald Manboardes on Rogers Avenue after serving 27 years of a life sentence.