Expert: DA may be trying to justify ‘mistake’ in bodega stabbing

Banfield

(NewsNation) — The Manhattan bodega worker jailed for nearly a week while facing a murder charge over a stabbing that he says was self-defense has been freed after his bail was reduced.

Jose Alba is a 61-year-old married father of three who has worked 12-hour days at a bodega in Upper Manhattan for decades. He declined to speak with reporters as he returned home late Thursday after posting bail. A judge had previously set bail at $250,000, but the sum was reduced Thursday to $50,000 amid public outcry surrounding the case.

“I don’t know what the DA was thinking,” former prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer Michael Discioarro said during an appearance Friday night on NewsNation’s “Banfield.” “I want to know when they became aware of the video. Because if anybody sees this video, there is no way that this video says anything other than self defense.”

“There is no one more peaceful than Jose Alba, sitting at his job. So, the DA’s office either ignored the video, hoping nobody would see it. Or they just didn’t have it when they made this decision,” Discioarro said.

Criminal defense attorney Mark O’Mara also weighed in, saying that prosecutors better not have had the video available to them when they made their decision.

“I think what’s happening is the prosecutors made a rushed decision, maybe based upon some inaccurate information or certainly incomplete information, because of what the cost may have said, and now, I think they’re trying to justify their own mistake. And let’s face it, that’s terrible. Alba is probably going to get a check from NYPD for a bad arrest.”

Alba, who’s lived in New York City for 35 years since emigrating from the Dominican Republic, is set to return to court on July 20, his lawyers said. As conditions of his release, he must wear an ankle monitor and surrender his passport.

NewsNation affiliate WPIX contributed to this report.

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