Emotional moment man wrongly accused of murder as a teen holds hands of judge who exonerated him

Nick Reilly

Emotional footage has captured the moment that a man embraced the judge who exonerated him after he spent 17 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit.

John Bunn, 41, is seen weeping and clutching the hands of Judge ShawnDya Simpson after he was exonerated earlier this week.

Burn was only 14 years old when he was charged with second-degree murder for the death of an off-duty officer in Crown Heights, Brooklyn in 1991.

Burn and another teenager were accused of forcing Rolando Neischer and partner Robert Croon from their car, before shooting them and stealing the vehicle.

Although Neischer died, Crosson survived and became the sole witness of the incident.

John Bunn was exonerated earlier this week

But in 2016, Bunn’s murder conviction was quashed after it was revealed that lead detective Louis Scarcella had used ‘false and misleading practices’ during his time with the NYPD.

On Tuesday, emotional scenes were captured in the New York courtroom as he was finally exonerated of the murder charge.

‘I want to say thank you your honor because it’s been 27 years I’ve been fighting for my life,’ an emotional Bunn said.

Turning to prosecutors, he said: ‘I want y’all to know that y’all convicted and had the wrong man in prison.’

Bunn’s conviction was quashed after ‘false and misleading practices’ were used in his conviction

Burn and co-defendant Rosean Hargrave were initially convicted on tainted evidence, after Scarcely placed the photos of the two boys in a photo line-up for Crosson.

Although only exonerated this week, Bunn was released on parole in 2009 and went on to create the nonprofit organisation AVoice4TheUnheard.

‘Y’all had the wrong man this whole time and you have someone out there running free and y’all had no right to do what you did,’ he said during his hearing.’

‘I don’t know how I made it this far, but I believe I am here for a purpose. I just want to be proven innocent…I didn’t want to be in the dark side of the shadows they (the prosecutors) tried to put me.’ 

Describing the new verdict, Judge Simpson said: ‘I am more than emotional about this day,.

‘You were 14 at the time. This shouldn’t have ever happened.’