Exclusive: Newly-released video could exonerate suspect in 2012 Bronx murder

EMBED </>More Videos

Jim Hoffer investigates.

New video evidence that investigators say exonerates a man charged with murder was left out of the courtroom, and several years after the deadly stabbing in the Bronx, the man who denies any involvement has yet to face trial.

Hansell Arias was stabbed to death back in 2012, and yet Enger Javier, charged with the killing, has yet to stand trial despite being in court 25 times. Now, the video from the crime scene held by the district attorney has finally been released to his attorney, and it raises serious questions about the arrest.

The video picks up seconds after the stabbing and shows Arias trying to run away from his attackers. Standing off to the side is Javier, holding a white soda cup. He is not part of the crowd chasing the victim, who collapses and dies in a McDonald's parking lot.

The Investigators' Jim Hoffer: "You saw the stabbing?"
Javier: "Yes."
Hoffer: "Did you participate?"
Javier: "No, I had nothing to do with it."

Javier was brought to the 44th Precinct that night, and the next day, police obtained the video from a nearby auto shop's security cameras. A police report stated the video "yields positive results," but in court, when the assistant district attorney was asked by the judge if police had the tape, the prosecutor flat out said no.

"They had videos for three years and saying for three years no video," Javier said. "Six, seven weeks ago, they say they have video. Now you see a lot of stuff on that video that should have shown from the beginning."

The crucial video showing the victim fleeing also shows Javier clearly not involved, not running but hanging on the sidewalk in the same striped shirt he was wearing hours later at the precinct.

"They got the video day after murder," private investigator Manuel Gomez said. "They had evidence to exonerate Javier the day after the murder, and the detectives from 4-4 did not do their jobs."

Also detained at the 44th Precinct that night was Jansel Paula, who witnessed the stabbing.

"They was making me, pressure, I was scared" he said. "Really scared."

Paula says police held him for three days, pressuring him to identify Javier as the killer.

Hoffer: "I want to be clear. Police were threatening you with prison time if you didn't?"
Paula: "Yes, sir, if I didn't say it. They was making me pressure, I'm going to make 20 years inside the jail."

On the third day of questioning, Paula signed an eyewitness statement and was immediately released. Javier was charged with the stabbing and was sent to Rikers Island, where he stayed for two years.

He was released with a GPS-equipped ankle bracelet only after DNA from the victim's finger nails proved Javier was not the source, and it took two years of pressuring from Javier's family to get the prosecution to do the DNA test.

"They just wanted to make an arrest," Javier said. "There was DNA evidence from the beginning, and they decided to do DNA two years after. DNA comes out negative."

It has now been more than three years since Javier was charged with murder, and still, there has been no trial.

"The DA has been constantly delay, delay, delay," Gomez said. "Tells me they weren't prepared and don't have the evidence."

Both the District Attorney's Office and the NYPD declined to comment on this case. We should note the Enger Javier is no Boy Scout. He served time for possession of an illegal weapon, but he does not have any violent criminal record.

He is due back in court for the 26th time next month, when the judge will consider his attorney's request for dismissal of the murder charges based on the video evidence.
Related Topics:
investigatorsmurderstabbingNew York City
(Copyright ©2018 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)