Leonard H. Cohen

Prior to my Berkshire Superior court trial, those in the legal community would have said, “Boy, you’re extremely lucky. You’re being represented by Leonard H. Cohen, a criminal defense attorney who, according to Lawyers Weekly, served as the criminal defense attorney in more than 5,000 cases, including 50 first-degree murder cases and hundreds of high-profile proceedings.”

If only I’d been legally represented by a second-year law student instead. I definitely wouldn’t have served eight years in state prison for a crime that occurred while I was two towns away. Even the most wet behind the ears, inexperienced lawyer would have won my case. A case where Leonard H. Cohen — from the prestigious law firm of Cain, Hibbard, Myers, and Cook — took $30,000 of my family’s hard earned money and then did nothing.

In 2005, one of the most corrupt individuals to ever wear a badge and gun was Pittsfield Police Crime Scene Investigator Mark Trapani. During my trial, Trapani willfully and intentionally lied under oath on the witness stand. Documented forever in Section IV, Page 85 of my trial transcript, Trapani testified that he personally fingerprinted me on the evening of March 1, 2005. There are two gaping holes in Trapani’s testimony. Holes so big you can drive a truck through them.

Yet, Leonard H. Cohen failed to spot the gaping holes because he never bothered to look at evidence. He conducted no research, and unlike his colleagues, he didn’t hire a private investigator to do so . . . opting instead to keep all the money for himself. His opening and closing statements sounded as if he’d written them last minute, in his flashy BMW, while driving to the courthouse.

Hole number one: The only fingerprint card given to Cohen, by the prosecution during discovery, is a ten print card dated February 23, 2005. When my prints were electronically scanned on February 23rd during booking, the police department’s computer software automatically date/time stamped the ten print card the moment it was created. Had Cohen taken five minutes to analyze my ten print card, a task any second-year law student would have performed instinctively, he’d have seen the date.

The interim between my arrest and trial was almost two years. Cohen was afforded two years to look at a sheet of paper, yet he never allocated five minutes to do so. But he had no issue allocating ten minutes to processing the money my family had paid him.

If Mark Trapani had created an ancillary ten print card on March 1, 2005, as he testified, the district attorney’s office would have possessed a copy. The prosecution in turn, would have been legally obligated to provide Cohen with a copy during my discovery hearing. But during trial, both sides possessed February 23, 2005 fingerprints only. While on the stand, Pittsfield Police Inspector Mark Trapani had been caught in a lie. He had perjured himself in Berkshire Superior Court.

Leonard H. Cohen never said a word during trial . . .

Hole number Two: Thanks to a court order, I have complete copies of the Pittsfield Police Department attendance rosters, encompassing all three shifts from Wednesday, February 23, 2005 through Tuesday, March 1, 2005. Nowhere on the rosters does Mark Trapani’s name appear. So apparently, he didn’t work that entire week. How could Mark Trapani have fingerprinted me on the evening of March 1, 2005 when he wasn’t even at the police station? While on the stand, Pittsfield Police Inspector Mark Trapani had been caught in a lie. He had perjured himself in Berkshire Superior Court.

Leonard H. Cohen never said a word during trial . . .

Had Cohen bothered to examine my March 1, 2005 arrest report, a task any second-year law student would have performed instinctively,  he would have found things amiss. It was common knowledge that the case had been assigned specifically and exclusively to Mark Trapani. It was his baby. In addition, Trapani testified to personally fingerprinting me on March 1, 2005.

Well then, on the evening of March 1, 2005, why was I arrested by detective James Casey if it was Mark Trapani’s case? There are three names listed on the arrest report: Reporting Officer: Patrol James Casey, Assisting Officer: Patrol Gary Herland, Booking Officer: Sergeant Mark Lenihan. Why is Mark Trapani’ name not listed on the arrest report if the case was his? Why didn’t Trapani conduct his own arrest in his own case? Especially if he was present at the police station, waiting to fingerprint me?

Trapani wasn’t there.

Trapani didn’t fingerprint me.

This, for $30,000? If only I could travel back in time, I’d have gladly accepted a second-year Boston College law student any day!

 

 

 

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