News Release, March 20, 2017
David Nenner, a top rated Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer and partner at Nenner & Namerow, was interviewed by the Philadelphia Daily News about his client who was wrongly accused of murder and spent the last 17 months in jail. The murder trial was set for the beginning of March. However, due to Mr. Nenner’s investigation and research, his client was released from jail.
Mr. Nenner’s client, Kevin Prince of North Philadelphia, was arrested for a murder that he did not commit and spent the last 17 months in jail, without bail, waiting for trial. If he was convicted, Prince, who is 27, could have gone to jail for life without parole.
On November 8, 2014, a man was shot outside Chance Lounge at 18th and Girard in Philadelphia. On that night, Prince was four miles away at another bar watching a light-heavy weight boxing match on TV.
During the murder investigation in the days and weeks that followed, Prince’s name never came up in the investigation. There was no evidence, forensic or any other type, that linked Prince to the shooting.
Then, nine months after the shooting, the DA’s office got a call from Mikel Smith, a career criminal who was waiting to be sentenced after pleading guilty to four armed robberies. In hopes of reducing his own sentence (he faced 32 years to life), Smith contacted the Philadelphia DA’s office from his jail cell. Smith told the DA that he saw Prince, a friend of his, shoot the victim.
Although the statement was nine months late, lacked specifics, and was uncorroborated, it was enough for Philadelphia prosecutors to issue a warrant and arrest Prince.
Mr. Nenner Uncovers Crucial Evidence
Due to Mr. Nenner’s investigation and research, he uncovered evidence which challenged the DA’s theory that Prince was the shooter.
Mr. Nenner presented the evidence to the DA’s office more than a year ago, but the commonwealth continued with the case. Mr. Nenner said that it should have been clear that the DA’s theory of Prince being the shooter did not make sense. Mr. Nenner further said, “The commonwealth should have known all along that there was something wrong with the case, seriously wrong.”
So what went wrong? How did an innocent man spend 17 months behind bars for a murder he did not commit?
Mr. Nenner blames a subpar investigation and the commonwealth’s arrogance. “I think it’s a philosophy or feeling over there that they can never be wrong, and they’ll just go with what they originally had rather than seek out the truth. It’s the detectives, too.”
Mr. Nenner’s research and investigation persuaded Smith’s attorney to have a heart-to-heart talk with Smith, who then had a change of heart on March 1, a week before Prince was going on trial. Smith’s lawyer said that Smith realized what he did was wrong and falsely implicating Prince could have sent Prince to prison for the rest of his life.
This case and result obtained by Mr. Nenner was covered by Philly.com. Click here to see the entire article dated March 16, 2017 or visit: www.philly.com/philly/news/Freed-after-17-months-college-grad.html