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    NYC ex-con whose past murder conviction was tossed by DA now charged in fatal shootout less than two years later

    By Joe Marino, Larry Celona, Jorge Fitz-Gibbon,


    A Brooklyn ex-con whose murder conviction was tossed out by prosecutors is back behind bars – this time charged in a shooting that left a 19-year-old man dead just nine months after he was released from prison.

    Shamel Capers, 25 was found guilty in 2016 in the shooting death of 15-year-old D’aja Robinson with a stray bullet while she rode a Q6 bus in Jamaica after a Sweet 16 birthday party.

    Now, after serving just eight years of a 15-year-to-life prison sentence for murder, Capers is facing new charges in a Queens shootout last year that left another teenager dead in a hail of bullets.

    “The district attorney was too quick to overturn the previous charge,” one Queens cop told The Post Tuesday. “Hopefully, she will work a little harder on the latest arrest.”

    Another source quipped that Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz should’ve been indicted as well because “she has blood on her hands.”

    Capers was arraigned on attempted murder and gun charges Monday in the July 23 gunfight that killed Joshua Taylor, 19.

    The convicted killer had been safely behind bars until the Queens District Attorney’s Office moved to free him in November 2022 after a witness was caught admitting he lied about the case in a phone call to his mother.

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    The ex-con was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for his role in the senseless slaying. CBS News
    Police said more than two dozen 9 mm shells were recovered from the scene, and the ex-con was tied to the shooting through surveillance footage. Seth Gottfried

    Prosecutors said a co-defendant, Kevin Clinton, was the lone shooter.

    In a statement at the time, Katz called the earlier conviction a miscarriage of justice that needed to be corrected.

    D’aja’s mother didn’t agree.

    “I’m numb,” a devastated Shadia Sands told WPIX-TV News then . “I can’t believe that that is happening.”

    Capers was just 16 when he was arrested in D’aja’s murder on May 18, 2013, and charged with the homicide and reckless endangerment.

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    Prosecutors said Capers took a shot at the bus where the teen victim was riding, but Clinton then took the gun and continued to fire – hitting D’aja.

    Capers, who served just eight years in prison before his release, is now charged with playing a role in the July shootout that left Taylor dead with a gunshot wound to the chest while sitting in the driver’s seat of a car on Metropolitan Avenue, authorities and sources said.

    On Tuesday, the office defended the decision to throw out Capers’ felony conviction nearly two years ago in D’Aja’s death.

    “In the case of D’Aja Robinson’s murder, an exhaustive investigation and newly discovered evidence led us to conclude that Shamel Capers had been wrongfully convicted,” Katz said in a separate statement.

    “The court agreed and the conviction was vacated,” she said. “The defendant responsible for Robinson’s murder is in prison serving a sentence od of 25 years to life.”

    Capers is now back behind bars as well, this time on an attempted murder charge stemming from an early morning gun battle .
    The casket containing D’Aja Robinson is carried out of the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral by friends and family after funeral services conclude for the young girl who was shot in the head while on a MTA city bus. Matthew McDermott


    Taylor was shot dead around 3:25 a.m. on Metropolitan Avenue near St. John’s Cemetery, with Capers and two other men no charged in the senseless shooting.

    Alleged gunman Dante Hunter, 25, was arraigned Tuesday on murder and other charges. Damone Miller, 21, was charged with attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment, police said.

    Prosecutors said the fatal encounter started with a beef between two groups that was sparked by a friend of Taylor’s hurling a drink towards Capers and his pal.

    The dispute escalated until guns were drawn and “a four-way shootout” broke out, the DA’s office said.

    Police said more than two dozen 9 mm shells were recovered from the scene, and Capers was tied to the shooting through surveillance footage.

    The convicted felon was picked up in New Jersey on Thursday and extradited to the Big Apple to face a new round of charges.

    “Following a painstaking process of evidence gathering, we have secured an indictment on very serious charges against both defendants for the early morning shootout that left one person dead,” Katz said in a statement Tuesday.

    “We will continue to dedicate all resources at our disposal to combating the scourge of gun violence in this borough,” she said.

    Meanwhile, a spokesman for the city Law Department said the official paperwork to overturn Capers’ murder conviction was only filed in February of this year, months after Taylor’s shooting death.

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