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The Courtroom Sketches of Ida Libby Dengrove

The Courtroom Sketches of Ida Libby Dengrove

Assault Rap For Son of Civic Leader

Originally published in the New York Post, November 10, 1978

A 15-year-old "top student," son of a Bronx civic leader, today faces charges that he shot and beat a Bronx man.

Jesse Hamilton 3d of 930 Grand Concourse, the son of the community board chairman of Lincoln Hospital, yesterday was sent to Rikers Island on first degree assault charges with bail set at $15,000.

The youth was accused of shooting 30-year-old Nelson Mariani last Thursday night and then stomping on him at the intersection of 161st Street and the Grand Concourse.

Teen Son Of Lincoln Hospital Chief is Charged in Bronx Slay Attempt

By Hugh Wyatt and Owen Moritz
Originally published in the Daily News, November 11, 1978

The 15-year-old son of the board chairman of Lincoln Hospital was charged as an adult yesterday with attempting to kill a man outside the Bronx Supreme Court building.

Police quoted the youth, Jesse Hamilton, 3d, as telling them: "Yeah, he tried to rip me off. Yeah, I shot him."

The man, Nelson Mariani of 1505 Macoombs Road, Bronx is in critical condition at Lincoln Hospital.

Hamilton, of 3856 Bronx Blvd., accompanied by his father, was taken to Bronx Criminal Court by authorities rather than to Family Court, meaning that he faces the prospect of a stiff sentence under the state's tough new juvenile justice law. He is charged with assault to kill.

Andrew H. Vachss, attorney for Hamilton, said he would press to have the case removed out of Criminal Court and into Family Court.

The youth has no record and is in the upper third of his 11th-grade class at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, the lawyer said. His client was "the victim of a robbery" and should not be charged, Vachss said.

Police Officers Thomas Parker and Howard Chambers said that they were patrolling near Yankee Stadium and E. 161st St. shortly before midnight Thursday when they found Hamilton stomping a man later Identified as Mariani.

The police said later that Marian had been shot in the stomach, but that no weapon had been found.

Hamilton told the cops that Mariani and three other men jumped him in Joyce Kilmer Park, which is adjacent to the Supreme Court Building at 161st St. and Grand Concourse. Hamilton said that a radio and a religious medallion were taken. Police gave his address as 3856 Bronx Blvd.

Later, Criminal Court Judge Julian A. Hertz ordered Hamilton held in lieu of $15,000 bail for a hearing Wednesday.

Mugger & Victim Switch

By Doug Feiden
Originally published in the New York Post, November 28, 1978

First-degree assault charges against the the teenage son of Lincoln Hospital's community board chairman, accused of gunning down and stomping a High Bridge man, will probably be dropped, says Bronx District Attorney Mario Merola.

In a new twist, the hospital-bound shooting victim was himself arrested early yesterday at bedside, where he's recovering from gunshot wounds of the abdomen, and charged with mugging and holding up Jesse Hamilton 3d.

And two other Bronx men were also hauled in on robbery and weapons charges stemming from the fracas.

Officers of the Sedgwick Avenue stationhouse Nelson Mariani, 30, of 1505 Macombs Road, at Lincoln Hospital, where he's been hospitalized since the assault with a gunshot wound of the kidney, and plan a bedside arraignment today.

And they collared Israel Diaz, 20, of 1057 Grand Concourse, and Natalio Alvarez, 17, of 955 Walton Av., on a Bronx street yesterday. They were being arraigned today.

The three were charged with robbery, criminal possession of deadly weapons and stolen property. Cops scoffed when the 15-year-old Hamilton youth told them he was accosted by three men in front of Bronx County Courthouse, knocked to the ground, robbed of a $180 radio and a religious medallion, and then grabbed a handgun.belonging to one of the assailants and fired it into his side.

Rejecting the self-defense angle, police charged him in the Nov. 9 midnight incident, which took place on E. 161st Street near Joyce Khmer Park, just three blocks away from Yankee Stadium.

But now they believe he really was confronted by a trio of thugs.

The probe continued and investigators soon recovered the radio Hamilton said was lifted in the attack, giving credence to his story.

Merola now says it appears the youth was telling the truth.

There is still some question as to whether the gun used in the melee, which has not been found, belonged to the muggers or Hamilton, and the youth could still face weapons charge in Family Court, sources said.

Mariani has maintained throughout that he was walking alone on 161st Street when he felt wrenching pain in his stomach looked down, and saw he had been shot.

Hamilton, who lives at 930 Grand Concourse, is a student at a parochial school in the Melrose section.

His father is Jesse Hamilton Jr., a prominent Bronx community activist who was named to head Lincoln Hospital's community board, an unpaid post, the same day his son was nabbed on the assault charges.

Hamilton had been jailed at Rikers Island and was released on $15,000 bail last week.

Clear Hospital Chief's Son in Shooting

By Peter Mclaughlin
Originally published in the Daily News, November 30, 1978

The 15-year-old son of the board chairman of Lincoln Hospital was formally cleared yesterday of shooting one of three men who had allegedly attacked him. His alleged assailants were indicted at the same time on a number of charges stemming from the incident.

The attorney for the youth, Jesse Hamilton 3d, who was to have been tried as an adult, criticized the state's new juvenile crime law as a "panicky political joke," but praised police of the Sedgwick Ave. station for finally solving the case.

Attorney Andrew Vachss said that he did not think Hamilton had been arrested falsely.

Hamilton's father, Jesse, also praised the police. The boy's mother, Constance, broke into tears when Bronx Criminal Court Judge Anita Floria threw the case out. Mrs. Hamilton said, "Now we'll try to get back to living as we did before."

The boy was attacked on Nov. 9 while walking home through a park near Yankee Stadium. A scuffle ensued and one of the three suspects, Nelson Mariani, 30, was shot. The other suspects, Israel Diaz, 20, and Natalio Alvarez, 17, reportedly fled as Hamilton pursued and caught Mariani. The boy was arrested when police found him stomping Mariani.

Police checked out Hamilton's story that he bad been robbed of a radio and subsequently caught Mariani and the other two. They were indicted yesterday on charges of robbery, possession of a weapon, and possession of stolen property.

Youth Freed in Shooting;
3 Indicted in Attack on Him

Originally published in The New York Times, November 30, 1978

Charges were dismissed yesterday in Bronx Criminal Court against a 15-year-old youth who had been charged with shooting one of three men subsequently charged with robbing him.

The youth, Jesse E. Hamilton 3d, whose father is chairman of Lincoln Hospital's community advisory board, was arrested Nov. 9 for shooting Nelson Mariani, 30, during a scuffle that night near Yankee Stadium. Mr. Hamilton told police that he had been accosted by three men and robbed of a radio, a religious medallion and his wallet, and that he had shot Mr. Mariani in self-defense. The gun has not been found.

On Monday, a Bronx grand jury indicted the three men—Mr. Mariani, Israel Diaz and Natalio Alvarez—on charges of robbery, possession of stolen property and possession of a deadly weapon. Mr. Mariani is recovering from a kidney wound in Lincoln Hospital.

Two police officers from the 4th Precinct—Detectives James Smith and Joseph Nealon—suspicious of the circumstances surrounding the incident, began their own two-week investigation that led to the arrests of the three men Nov. 23.

"I feel all right, I feel great," young Hamilton said after the charges against him were dropped.


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