By Clive Williams

Where Itz At Magazine


This month marks five years since Maxie Dacosta achieved fugitive status, provoking a citywide manhunt for a man who was also on suspicion of murder.  DaCosta had been arrested in the Bornx on suspicion of murder, arising out of the shooting death of one Darnell Angevine in Jamaica, Queens.  His subsequent escape from police custody, reputably slipping out of handcuffs and jumping from a window to the ground three stories down, i sthe stuff of television crime dramas.  New York's leading newspapers trumpeted the news with headlines stating, "Slay suspect pulls a Houdini" (N.Y. Post), "Thug bolts Precinct" (N.Y. Daily News).

The slay suspect, dubbed Houdini because of his so-called, "spectacular escape," was aprehended for months later none the worse for wear.  At 6feet 1 inch and 190 lbs., if DaCosta had jumped three stories and didn't end up in the hospital, he should at least be in the Guiness Book of Records.  Maxie DaCosta, by any stretch of the imagination had big problems, a murder charge pending, a brazen escape  which embarrassed the police, (actually causing the suspension of one detective), and at least three priors.  By any measure this guy was in very deep stuff.

Enther attorney-at-law Garnett Sullivan whose legal skills were honed in the Brooklyn District Attorney's office as a homicide prosecutor in the eighties; since then he has amassed an impressive record of trial victories in major Criminal and Civil cases as a private practitioner.  If DaCosta's escape earned him the title of Houdini, then his defender had better be of the caliber of a David Copperfield complete with an abundance of skills that will mesmerize any audience.  Evidently, Mr. DaCosta found his David Copperfield when he retained Garnett Sullivan because whats eemed to be a slam-dunk, open and shut case for the prosecutor, became a sensational and celebrated victory for the very erudite and persuasive Mr. Sullivan.

Attorney Sullivan persuaded the court through his convicing and logical legal arguments that his client's previous admission to the police was illegally obtained; Sullivan also argued successfully that eyewitness testimony was not consistent with actual forensic evidence.  as to the matter of Mr. DaCosta's escape, Attorney Sullivan argued that an escape is only credible if his client had been placed under arrest instead of being merely held in cutsody.

Apprximately three weeks ago Mr. Maxie DaCosta was acquitted by the Queens Supreme Court of all charges.  This decision came down after Garnett Sullivan conducted a brusing and highly effective cross examination of the witnesses and detectives and then delivered his coup de grace, a stirring and persuasive two hour closing argument which resulted in the exoneration of his client.