100 retired FBI agents are supporting convicted former-FBI agent John Connolly Jr. Former FBI agent John Connolly was convicted in 2008 in Miami for murder. But, trial Judge Stanford Blake found that Connolly was unlawfully convicted when the prosecutors submitted to the jury the lesser charge (not included in the original indictment) of 2nd degree murder with a firearm.
The 100 retired FBI agents are supporting John Connolly because they feel he was wrongfully convicted of a murder he did not commit. The actual shooter testified he never even met John Connolly.
The jury found Connolly not guilty of 1st degree murder and not guilty of conspiracy.
The jury found Connolly guilty of the lesser charge of 2nd degree murder with a firearm. The defense objected to this lesser included offense stating that the charge of 2nd degree murder with a firearm had a 4yr statute of limitations which ran out in 1986.
To fight the objection raised by defense counsel, the prosecutors claimed by adding the words “with a firearm” under the Florida “enhancement” statute they overcame the statute of limitations. The statute states a defendant can be “enhanced” if he “carried,” “possessed,” “used,” or “attempted to use,” a firearm “during the commission of the crime.”
Case law states the firearm must be the one used in the commission of the crime. As Judge Stanford Blake stated it is undisputed that John Connolly did not pull the trigger and kill John Callahan. John Martorano testified he killed John Callahan. Judge Blake acknowledged that John Connolly was 1500 miles away in Massachusetts when John Martorano killed John Callahan. Judge Blake also acknowledged that there was no “evidence” introduced at trial to demonstrate that Connolly possessed a weapon of any kind “during the commission of any feloney” never mind being in possession of the actual murder weapon as legally required under the Florida Statute.
Prosecutors try to claim that Connolly can be convicted of a murder because as a condition of his employment witht he FBI he was authorized to carry a firearm.
Judge Blake agreed with Connolly’s defense and stated they were “legally correct” and he had to overturn the conviction BUT because Connolly’s defense attorney failed to file the motion to vacate the verdit before the 10day jurisdictional deadline the motion expired. Judge Blake told the defense to take it up on appeal.