NYC subway shooting suspect receives DNA sample from FBI, defense raises alarm


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Federal investigators questioned New York City subway shooting suspect Frank James again this week, then took a DNA sample that his attorneys say violated his rights.

“FBI agents entered his cell at MDC Brooklyn, questioned him, took several mouth swabs of his DNA and ordered him to sign certain documents,” his federal defenders wrote to Judge Roanne Mann, referring to the Metropolitan Detention Center, a federal detention center. . “Contrary to normal practice, the government committed this intrusion without notice to counsel, depriving us of the opportunity to be heard or to be present.”

The attorneys, Mia Eisner-Grynberg and Deirdre von Dornum, also alleged that the FBI violated federal criminal procedure.

Left: New York police, left, and law enforcement officials direct subway shooting suspect Frank R. James, 62, center, away from a police station in New York on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. Right: Mia Eisner-Grynberg and Deirdre von Dornum, assistant federal defenders for the Federal Defenders of New York and attorneys for Frank James, speak in federal court in Brooklyn following the James’ arraignment in New York, United States, on April 14, 2022.
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig | REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

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“Because the government failed to notify the attorney prior to questioning and searching Mr. James, their practice risked violating Mr. James’ fundamental constitutional rights under the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments,” they said. they wrote. “The use of a swab on the inside of a person’s cheek in order to obtain DNA evidence is a search subject to constitutional review.”

James is accused of throwing smoke grenades and opening fire at a crowded N train in Sunset Park on April 12. He reportedly shot 10 people and injured more than two dozen before slithering through the streets of New York. All the victims survived.

In this image obtained by Fox News, Frank James is seen walking on Wednesday, April 13 in Manhattan.

In this image obtained by Fox News, Frank James is seen walking on Wednesday, April 13 in Manhattan.
(Jack Griffin via Twitter)

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Police located the 62-year-old suspected shooter on April 13 after reports from the public, including an apparent call he made to Crime Stoppers himself.

“Mr. James now faces a federal charge for his actions: a terrorist attack on mass transit,” Michael J. Driscoll, deputy director in charge of the FBI’s New York field office, told a conference call. press after the arrest. .

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NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said James’ arrest history includes nine prior arrests in New York between 1992 and 1998, including for criminal sex acts, four cases of possession of burglary tools and two cases duty flight. He was also arrested at least three times in New Jersey in 1991, 1992 and 2007, for trespassing, theft and disorderly conduct.

Now he faces life in prison if convicted of the subway attack.


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