A Brooklyn judge has given the lawyer for an Orthodox Jewish man on trial for gang assault more time for an expert witness to challenge prosecutors’ key evidence in the case.
On Monday, Arthur Young was barred from testifying about damaging DNA evidence in the case against Mayer Herskovic after his credibility as an expert in forensic biology was obliterated by a Brooklyn prosecutor.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun had granted Herskovic’s lawyer Israel Fried the opportunity to call a DNA expert to challenge the prosecutor’s key evidence against his client last week — but found Young wasn’t qualified.
“I’m going to deny your application to have Mr. Young testify as an expert,” Chun said after Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough ripped apart Young’s resume.
Young was an important part of Herskovic’s defense case.
The 23-year-old faces up to 25 years in prison for participating in the gang assault that left Taj Patterson blinded in his right eye.
DNA matching Herskovic was lifted from the heel of Patterson’s sneaker, which was thrown to the roof of 475 Flushing Ave. during the Dec. 1, 2013 attack.
Young, who works for Guardian Forensic Sciences, had proudly told the judge that he’s testified as an expert for both defense and prosecution cases in local, state and federal courts 160 times across the country.
Gough challenged Young’s credentials by exposing that he does not have a master’s degree, was fired twice, embellished his resume as a forensic biology specialist and was denied expert status in Staten Island in 2013.
“You said on the Guardian website that you were never denied expert status?” asked Gough.
“This needs to be updated,” Young admitted after he was shown a screenshot of the web page.
Chun politely excused Young from the courtroom as Gough and Fried argued whether the witness should be granted expert status.
“While I’m not impressed with his CV (resume)…a bulk of his work is in the past…but, most troubling, he hasn’t updated his website and holds himself out as an expert, which isn’t true,” the judge said.
Afterwards Fried who said he is still confident in his defense case and declined to comment on the rejected expert reached out to five possible witnesses across the country to travel to Brooklyn in Herskovic’s defense.
The case was adjourned until Monday in order for one, Heather Miller Doyle, an associate professor at the University of New Haven, to prepare.
Chun, who is presiding over the non-jury trial, deemed the DNA evidence as “extremely critical” to the prosecutors’ case.
Four other defendants — Pinchas Braver, Abraham Winkler, Aaron Hollender and Joseph Fried indicted for the gang assault did not have DNA linking them to the vicious crime scene.
Braver and Winkler pleaded guilty to unlawful imprisonment charges and were sentenced to 150 hours community service.
Hollender and Fried’s cases were dismissed.