On September 2, 1990, 18-year old Juan Carlos “Johnny” Hincapie was part of a large group of teenagers leaving a Midtown subway for a concert. Unbeknownst to Johnny and the group, six of the youths ran back into the subway, robbing and murdering 22-year old Brian Watkins. Johnny and his friend Luis Montero, who were last seen leaving the subway while the crime took place, were brought to the precinct, and beaten in an effort to force them to make a false confession. At the subsequent trial:
- • The six culprits had said no one else was involved
• No witness could positively place Johnny at the crime
• No physical evidence – no blood, no weapon, no fingerprints
• The Watkins family could not identify Johnny during multiple line-ups.
• Luis Montero, who was kept in prison for 18 months after refusing to make a false statement, was exonerated.
Johnny’s false confession was used as evidence against him.
Post conviction numerous witness statements, physical evidence, and Luis Montero’s key testimony has been obtained. These key pieces, along with the contested forced confession, form the basis of Hincapie’s actual innocence claim.
Here is some newspaper coverage of the hearings thus far:
Charges dropped Jan 25, 2017