Judge mulls retrial over new evidence in 2004 Brockton murder

Jonas Francisque's attorney presented never-before-seen evidence that he said contradicts eye-witness testimony in Brockton Superior Court Monday

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A Brockton Superior Court judge will decide whether or not a convicted murderer should have a new trial after his lawyers presented new evidence that they say exonerates him almost 20 years later.

“If Jonas Francisque does not get a retrial, then there’s no justice in this country and certainly not in this courthouse," said Lynn Currier, director of Skweda Solutions.



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Jonas Francisque was sentenced in 2008 for the fatal stabbing of 22-year-old Mackenzie St. Juste in May of 2004. Police found the victim with a stab wound to his chest after a group fight broke out in the parking lot behind Roman’s Bar, which has since closed.

Donald Harwood, Francisque's attorney, presented never-before-seen evidence in court Monday that he said contradicts eye-witness testimony, including police reports, a letter from the mother of Francisque's child and lab results that show the victim's blood was not found on his clothing.

"All these pieces of evidence come together and, in the interest of justice, there should be a new trial here," Harwood said. "This is not how justice is supposed to work in this country."

Witnesses told police they saw the assailants leaving the scene in a dark Nissan, not the white Lexus Francisque was driving at the time. But that police report never made it to the courtroom and neither did a four-page letter from the mother of his child, where she claims he was framed. Harwood said he found it among Massachusetts State Police files after issuing a subpoena.

"The bottom line is, the letter was intercepted by jail officials, turned over to the state police and then never even sent on to Mr. Francisque," Harwood told the judge Monday.

Francisque’s lawyers also pointed to DNA lab results, which show the victim’s blood was not found on his clothes, but his blood was found on the sneakers and jeans of two other men involved in the fight. Despite the new evidence, prosecutors with the Commonwealth maintained that the newly discovered evidence "does not change the sate of the compelling eyewitness identification.”

The judge said Monday that he would review the new evidence and make a decision "as soon as possible." The Plymouth County District attorney's office declined to comment.

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