Hurricane: The story of Rubin Carter – BBC News

A month after the shooting at the Lafayette, Hazel Tanis succumbed to her injuries.

No dying declaration was taken from the waitress, but Detective De Simone was now investigating a triple homicide. And he was about to get a lucky break.

Alfred Bello and Arthur Dexter Bradley had been near the Lafayette Bar that night. Bello was on the lookout while Bradley, a career criminal, was trying to break into a nearby metal company.

Bello grew bored of watching Bradley and turned to walk towards the bar in search of cigarettes.

According to his testimony, he heard three or four loud bangs. More likely to be a band in the bar than a gun, he told himself, and he carried on walking.

Street lights reflected off a parked white car.

He saw two men come out of the Lafayette, one carrying a pistol, the other a shotgun. One, he said, was Rubin Carter; the other, John Artis.

The grizzled De Simone was suspicious. The two waited four months before coming forward, doing so shortly after Mayor Frank Graves put up a $10,000 reward for information.

Equally, Bello’s story wasn’t complete. It later emerged that, after watching the two gunmen leave, Bello went into the bar.

He saw Marins’ body, with Tanis dying in the corner. He stepped inside, leaned over the slumped figure at the bar and emptied the cash register of its meagre $60 (£47) takings.

Trustworthy or not, it was all De Simone had. He charged Carter and Artis and the case went to trial on 7 April 1967.

After seven weeks, the all-white jury made their decision. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

Life imprisonment awaited Carter and Artis. There was no death penalty, however; a juror later said of Artis: “We didn’t want to kill the kid.”

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