Jury selection, which began Mon. Sept. 25 for the trial of Rudy Fleming for the Jan. 28, 2005 murder of Nicole duFresne, 28, who was killed during a street robbery on Clinton and Rivington Sts., was delayed when Fleming began shouting and acting wildly in the court room. Fleming was removed from the Lower Manhattan courtroom and the jury selection resumed and was completed Wed. Sept. 27
Fleming, who was 19 at the time, is charged also with having beaten the bouncer of a neighborhood bar shortly before the hold up during which duFresne, 28, an actress who also worked as a waitress at a new club in the area, was shot to death.
‘Lucky Bag’ case dropped
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office last week agreed to drop all changes against a Soho resident who was arrested last June in a Rockefeller Center subway station for larceny after she picked up a “Lucky Bag,” a shopping bag that had been planted by police.
Helen Calthorpe, 51, a resident of Grand St. pleaded not guilty to petit larceny and possession of stolen property when she was arrested and did so again in Criminal Court on Sept. 18. She said she picked up the bag because she was trying to return it to the owner. Prosecutors requested a postponement until November, claiming they were unprepared for Calthorpe’s continued not guilty plea. Prosecutors notified Calthorpe’s lawyer on Sept. 25 that all charges would be dropped because they felt the case could not be proved “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Civil liberty advocates have said N.Y.P.D.’s continuing “Lucky Bag” sting amounts to entrapment, but police say it has resulted in arrests of habitual thieves.
Calthorpe had never been arrested before and her lawyer said there was no evidence of an actual theft. The lawyer also cited a provision in the law that allows for 10 days to report found property.