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Bronx prosecutor, detectives allegedly bullied witnesses to make case against Pedro Hernandez

Jessica Perez, mother of Pedro Hernandez; Sierra Ewert and Wade McMullen of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights; Pedro Hernandez
Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

Bronx prosecutor, detectives allegedly bullied witnesses to make case against Pedro Hernandez

Damning new details have surfaced about a Bronx prosecutor and two investigators tied to the case of Pedro Hernandez, a 17-year-old accused of two non-fatal shootings that occurred in 2015. According to PIX11 News, Assistant District Attorney David Slott and detectives Daniel Brady and David Terrell pressured several witnesses to identify Hernandez as the gunman in both shootings, despite the witnesses’ insistence that the teenager was innocent.

On Tuesday, the New York City news station released a video in which Tyrese Revel, one of the shooting victims, states he was put in a holding cell after he refused to identify Hernandez as his shooter. Revel alleges Brady and Terrell issued threats of physical violence if he didn’t blame Hernandez — and Slott watched them do it. PIX11 News also released footage of a second witness, William Stevens, stating that Terrell and Brady bullied him as well. Stevens says he was forced to say Hernandez was responsible for the shooting of Shaun Nardoni.

“Terrell then got in my face and said if you don’t sign this we are going to take you somewhere and beat me up until I sign the photo array picking Pedro,” Stevens wrote in a statement posted by the news organization. “I kept saying the hole (sic) time I don’t know this kid. Terrel (sic) and Brady said if I don’t sign it you are not going home.”

According to Stevens’ lawyer, John Scola, the detectives’ behavior wasn’t isolated. Not only was Stevens coerced into identifying Hernandez, but he was assaulted and forced to falsely identify defendants in at least 30 other cases as well. “One to three times a week, they would take William Stevens from his bed… in handcuffs, drive him around in a patrol car and beat him until he would say that someone did the crime,” Scola said.

In spite of pressure from Slott, Terrell, and Brady, Revel adamantly denied Hernandez’ involvement. Charges related to his shooting have since been thrown out. But Hernandez is still facing charges for allegedly shooting Nardoni, even though Nardoni argues Hernandez was not involved. Stevens has also retracted his claim that Hernandez was responsible for Nardoni’s shooting, yet Bronx prosecutors are still using the false testimony to build their case.

At least nine witnesses deny the teenager’s role in the two shootings.

Hernandez insists that he is innocent. He declined a plea deal, and was subsequently detained at Rikers Island Correctional Facility for a year due to his inability to pay $250,000 bail. The teenager was ultimately released on July 27, after news of his case made national headlines and the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights donated $105,000 toward bail. Had he not been bailed out by September, Hernandez would have lost a full academic scholarship for college. He completed high school behind bars — with honors.