A Philadelphia judge has cleared a 37-year-old man charged in connection to the death of an off-duty cop in July 2012.
Until Tuesday afternoon, Kareem Alleyne of East Germantown was facing possible jail time for fatally striking Philadelphia Police Officer Marc Brady with his car as Brady rode on his bike toward the home of his ex-girlfriend in Mt. Airy.
He was charged with homicide by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter.
Now, he’s a free man.
“I’m just thankful that the courts heard the case and gave it my favor,” said Alleyne. “I’m going to have the opportunity to go back to school and apply for more work because I was being denied opportunities because of this situation.”
At trial Tuesday, James Funt, Alleyne’s lawyer, argued that prosecutors had not made a strong enough case for testimony to continue.
Specifically, that they had not proved Alleyne acted in a reckless and grossly negligent manner the night of the crash.
Common Pleas Court Judge Lillian Ransom agreed and acquitted Alleyne on all charges.
Hearing Ransom’s decision, Alleyne cradled his head in his hands, then hugged Funt and breathed a big sigh of relief before walking out of the courtroom.
Assistant District Attorney Mark Levenberg, who was prosecuting the case, appeared speechless and had few words following Ransom’s ruling.
“Obviously, I disagree strongly with the judge’s decision,” said Levenberg. “The evidence was that this was an avoidable accident, and it wasn’t avoided.”
Throughout the trial, Funt maintained the opposite. He argued that Alleyne only had seconds to avoid hitting Brady as the two headed toward one another on Musgrave Street.
And that Brady’s reckless behavior, not Alleyne’s, ultimately led to the fatal head-on collision the night of July 15.
“This was always an accident pure and simple,” said Funt.
Alleyne and Brady had a history of “bad blood.” Much of it swirled around Brady’s ex-girlfriend Romara Glenn, whom police say Alleyne was dating at the time of the crash.
For months, Funt said, Brady harassed, stalked and threated Alleyne.
One incident in October 2011 became the subject of an internal affairs complaint that was closed out due to Brady’s death.
Police had referred the case to the Philadelphia district sttorney’s office for potential prosecution on charges of stalking and harassment.
An internal affairs hearing had also been scheduled.
After months of torment, Funt said, his client was looking forward to telling his story to police and had no interest in harming Brady.
Levenberg argued that the relationship between the two was irrelevant to the crash.
Either way, he maintained, Alleyne had acted recklessly that night.
“Nobody would put money on the victim to get the better of that,” said Levenberg.
If convicted, Alleyne would have faced up to 12 years in prison.