Some 2,423 days have gone by since one New York City man has tasted freedom.
The last of Carlos Montero’s teenage years, and then some, have been spent behind bars. However, the 24-year-old Manhattan man, who was jailed when he was 17, has yet to be convicted. In fact, he has not even had a trial, the New York Post reports.
According to the report, Montero has spent six years and eight months at the city’s Rikers Island penitentiary awaiting a trial on a murder charge, all the while maintaining his innocence. Montero was allegedly with two friends when one stabbed a man to death and the other friend slashed another individual during a robbery in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan in 2008.
Montero tried to get his case tried separately. However, he had no luck with the judge, and his lawyer reportedly won’t attempt to get him released on bail at this point, saying “there’s no point,” based on the charge.
The site notes that New York’s statute guaranteeing a prisoner a speedy trial does not apply to murder cases.
“I’m depressed in here. I just want to go home,’’ Montero said, according to the Post.
The young man is reportedly aware of the recent suicide of Kalief Browder, who spent three years in prison while he awaited a trial that never happened. However, Montero says he does not think about taking his own life at this point, believing that he can still “get justice.”
Officials say witnesses place the then-teen at the scene of the deadly robbery with the two friends, Jairo Peralta and Diangelo Enriquez. Montero insists he wasn’t there that day.
“I don’t have the heart to kill someone,’’ he said, according to the Post. “I wasn’t there. I know I could sue, but no amount of money could get me justice for this. I just want my freedom.”
Prosecutors had offered him a plea deal for 15 years in prison, but he refused, based on his claimed innocence.
Read more at the New York Post.