RICHARD SPARACO, ESQ.
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HIGH PROFILE CASES OF RICHARD SPARACO
Ruling overturns attempted murder convictions in police officer's shooting. May 7, 2021
ATLANTIC CITY - An appeals court has overturned the attempted murder convictions of two men in connection with the near-fatal shooting of a police officer. Demetris Cross had been serving 32-year prison terms as a result of an armed robbery interrupted by Atlantic City police officers in February 2016. A three-judge panel said Cross, 33, and a codefendant were wrongly convicted of attempted murder because the prosecution failed to prove they "shared an intent with [Jerome] Damon" to shoot and kill the officers. Richard Sparaco, a Cherry Hill attorney representing Cross on appeal, said his client was "very happy" and viewed the ruling "with great relief." "This was an horrific Atlantic City shootout that my client had no control over nor involvement in," he said. Cross, who previously had a parole eligibility date in 2043, "looks forward to his resentencing," Sparaco said.
Plea Agreement: April 17, 2021: Murder Defendant Darnell Konteh, represented by Cherry Hill attorney Richard Sparaco, was facing life imprisonment for a 2017 shotgun shooting death in Camden. He got his charges reduced to Aggravated Manslaughter pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement with the Camden County Prosecutor's Office. Koneth was sentenced to 10 years in prison, credit for four years already served on this and unrelated charges. The sentence runs concurrent (at the same time) with the prior sentence he was already serving.
Bloomfield Police Officer's Conviction for Official Misconduct Upheld Despite Errors of Trial Court
May 12, 2020: Attorney Richard Sparaco represented Bloomfield police officer Orlando Trinidad in his appeal from conviction of official misconduct for the alleged assault on a black motorist. Sparaco raised the issue that his client did not receive a fair trial because the trial court allowed the alleged victim to testify that he was in fear because of other high provide cases such as the Rodney King trial in Los Angeles, Sean Bells, the Amadou Diallos, and the Oscar Grant case. The Appellate Division (and recently the New Jersey Supreme Court) upheld the conviction despite acknowledging the trial court's errors. Instead, the court held the errors the be "harmless." Justice Albin disagreed in a well-written dissent, stating that "[I]n a trial of a police officer for allegedly assaulting a person of color (Jeter), no testimony could have been more incendiary. The only issue in this trial should have been … Trinidad’s individual guilt …. Permitting the jury to draw a connection to those past cases of police misconduct created an intolerable risk that the jury condemned Trinidad on the basis of collective guilt."
Sentencing in 2018 Murder
Richard Sparaco represented Curtis Miller in a circumstantial evidence case, where Miller and his brother were found guilty in the 2018 shooting death of Thomas Reyes on the streets of Camden. Camden County Detectives weave together a convincing case of evidence, including surveillance video tracking Miller and his brother, Ryan Wilkins to and from the murder scene, with DNA, gunshot residue, and phone records connecting the brothers to the murder. Miller was caught on surveillance video discarding his jacket minutes after the shooting that later proved to contain gunshot residue. He then called his cousin to ask her to report the van allegedly used in the murder as stolen. Miller was identified by family members and others as being the person depicted in the several surveillance videos. (Miler's brother, Bronk Miller, also represented by Sparaco, was previously acquitted of murder. See next article.) Curtis was sentenced on October 28, 2020 to 45 years in NJ State Prison for the murder, and an additional 10 wars for being a certain person not to possess a firearm. His brother received 30 years for acting as his accomplice.
Murder Acquittal and Murder Dismissal in 2018
CAMDEN – Two men who once faced the possibility of life in prison on murder charges have received substantially shorter terms. Laquan Shaw, a 25-year-old city man accused of a gruesome slaying in April 2013, got a five-year term Friday after admitting guilt to a drug crime under a plea agreement, court records show. Shaw’s trial for the slaying of Adrian Rivera, a 23-year-old who allegedly stole from a Camden drug set, ended with a hung jury earlier this year.
In the other case, Bronk Miller of Pennsauken was sentenced to 10 years for the slaying of a Camden man shot 11 times in November 2015.
June 18, 2018: Bronk Miller, represented by Cherry Hill attorney Richard Sparaco - Not Guilty of Murder, Not Guilty of Aggravated Manslaughter, Not Guilt of Weapons Possession, but Guilty of second-degree manslaughter. Sentenced to ten (10) years.
August 22, 2017: Wilbert Shively, represented by Cherry Hill attorney Richard Sparaco, was found Not Guilty by a jury of all charges related to an August 2013 Murder in Camden. The jury took only about three hours of deliberations before totally exonerating Shively, who allegedly shot and killed the victim from the rear seat of a vehicle driven by the victim. (8/22/17)
Sexual Assault Acquittal
March 23, 2017: Jury acquits masseuse, represented by Cherry Hill attorney Richard Sparaco, who was accused of sexual assault. A Gloucester County jury acquitted the man accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a local spa in 2012. The man worked as a massage therapist at a spa in Washington Township when a woman visiting for her first massage claimed he touched her inappropriately and assaulted her. Following a two-week trial, the jury deliberated for 50 minutes before finding Sparaco's client not guilty on all counts
April 15, 2016: Richard Sparaco, Esq.: 2012 Murder Trial in Camden - Third Consecutive Murder Acquittal in Camden County, New Jersey.
Jury Acquits Camden Man, Taurean Houston, represented by Cherry Hill attorney Richard Sparaco, of Murder in 2011 Innocent Bystander Shooting (9/30/15)
Jury Acquits Man, Duron Williams, represented by Cherry Hill attorney Richard Sparaco, of Murder in 2010 Shooting on Camden Streets (6/14/12)
Read ESPN's interview of
Richard Sparaco on Ray Rice