A Queens judge on Thursday tossed the conviction of a man found guilty of shooting a high-school basketball standout because one of the jurors knew the defendant and victim.
Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder said the verdict was tainted by the stunning revelations that one of the jurors went to middle school with both the defendant, McHarland Cotiere, 23, as well as the victim, former basketball prospect Joshua Arrington.
“The court finds that the (new information) renders the defendant’s trial unfair,” Holder said.
Arrington, now 22, was shot three times in Hollis in 2011.
Doctors amputated his leg after the vicious attack, effectively ending his basketball career.
Prosecutors had argued that the shooting was sparked by a beef Cotiere and McHarland had on Facebook, and a jury voted to convict McHarland last March. Days later, a source speaking on condition of anonymity contacted a reporter covering the case, revealing the connection between the juror and Cotiere and Arrington, defense lawyers Joseph Kasper and Daniel Kogan said.
After the news was reported, the lawyers sought to toss the conviction.
Cotiere is to be retried on the attempted murder, assault and gun possession charges starting next week.