BY KATHY KAHN
Hollywood producer Rob Rosen contacted Goldrick & Desmond Investigations, asking Janice Desmond to help his team work on a case involving Robert Jones of Far Rockaway, convicted of murder two decades ago.
Desmond, daughter of an NYPD detective, had the street-smart savvy Rosen was looking for. He paired her with retired homicide detective Chris Anderson (“First 48”) and defense attorney Melissa Lewkowitz to chase down new clues for “Reasonable Doubt,” a reality show on the ID (Investigation Discovery) channel.
The murder victim, a young African-American street preacher who approached drug dealers to ask them to give up their way of life and save kids from addiction, was gunned down by a man riding a bicycle. The street preacher had gone to high school with Jones and both were on good terms.
Jones told police officers he went home to his companion and their child after he got off his watchman gig. “We still don’t know why police chose Jones. He had a few minor arrests but nothing violent,” Desmond said.
Two days after that murder, a homeless man was fatally shot with the same gun. Jones was picked up by police and put in a line-up along with five similar-looking men for two witnesses, who picked Jones out as the murderer. As far as police were concerned, the case was closed and Jones was the perp.
Both witnesses later recanted in writing, saying they had been forced to select Jones out of the six to satisfy investigators. Desmond is working with Anderson and Lewkowitz to free a man they believe was wrongly convicted.
“The preacher’s deathbed statement was, ‘Why did that guy on the bike shoot me?’” said Desmond. “Since he and Jones knew each other from high school, why didn’t he mention Robert’s name? Robert Jones is sitting in jail for a murder we believe he did not commit.”
The show recently debuted on the Investigation Discovery channel and can be found online at this link: http://www.investigationdiscovery.com/tv-shows/reasonable-doubt/about
Catch Rockland’s PI Janice Desmond contributing to the goal of getting Jones out of prison. “We can’t give him back the 20 years he’s lost,” said Desmond. “We can work towards getting more innocent people wrongly convicted freed.”
Need a case solved of your own? Goldrick and Desmond Investigative Services are PIs for hire.
Phone number: 845-920-8899