The U.S. Attorney in Orlando asked a judge to dismiss the drug conviction of a businessman.
The Orlando Sentinel says the rare request acknowledges flagrant errors in the prosecution of Antonino Lyons, who owned two clothing stores and a nightclub in Central Florida. Convicted of conspiring to sell more than 750 pounds of cocaine and facing life in prison, the former local NAACP official has protested that he had been framed by convicted felons who traded their testimony for shorter sentences. Such claims by defendants are common, but U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell listened to Lyons.
The judge ordered a review of the case last year by U.S. Magistrate David A. Baker, who found repeated instances of withheld evidence and what Presnell described as “additional evidence of prosecutorial misconduct.” Presnell had accused Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Hinshelwood of misconduct, but the U.S. Court of Appeals found nothing improper.