Tracy McCarter: Abused nurse to be TRIED for murder of husband despite DAs PROMISE not to prosecute victims
Tracy McCarter claims to have killed her estranged husband, James Murray in 2020 in an act of self-defense
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: Tracy McCarter, a nurse from Manhattan, is now headed to trial after being charged with murdering her estranged husband James Murray in 2020. She had earlier claimed that his murder was an act of self-defense. Notably, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, as one of his campaign promises, had reassured victims of domestic violence that they would not be prosecuted.
On Tuesday, August 30, the Acting Supreme Court Justice Diane Kiesel denied a request by prosecutors to reduce the murder charges to manslaughter. She ruled that the DA's Office had not provided sufficient reasons or justification, arguing that their motion to reduce the charges goes against the law. It was the former DA Cy Vance whose office initially charged McCarter with murder.
According to the New York Post, McCarter had said that she had stabbed her husband, James Murray when he had shown up at her apartment intoxicated. He had been demanding money and making threats to her life. Next, other residents of the building found her crying out for help while trying to stop him from bleeding out. They also described a drunk Murray causing havoc in the building earlier that day.
Following Murray's death, McCarter was at Rikers Island where she spent six months because the Covid-19 pandemic delayed her hearing. Eventually, she was indicted for murder. However, having received extensive support from domestic abuse survivors and their advocates, McCarter and her lawyers argued that Da Vance's office had failed to inform the grand jury of the deceased's violent tendencies, abusive behavior and intoxicated state the day he died. The next DA, during his campaign trail, promised that his office would not prosecute victims of violence. Taking to Twitter, he has also expressed his support, writing, "I #StandWithTracy. Prosecuting a domestic violence survivor who acted in self-defense is unjust."
Speaking to the source, McCarter's mother, Darleen Cobb said, "DA Bragg gave us the hope we didn’t have when he was elected based on his tweet that he Stands With Tracy during his campaign," adding, "We absolutely feel betrayed and hurt, and feel that he used women and other survivors to get their vote." She also accused him of running "his entire campaign on a lie, at a domestic violence survivor’s expense."
Several domestic abuse survivors advocates have called on the DA to fulfill his campaign promise and drop the murder charges against the survivor. Moreover, the DA's office has also been accused of acting in bad faith. They had earlier offered a deal to McCarter to plea to a lesser charge, subsequently filing the recent motion, which her attorneys agreed to. However, legal experts say that there is so much more the prosecutors could do to help McCarter.
According to them, the DA's office could reconvene a grand jury in order to present the evidence that had been left out by the former DA Vance's office. They could also submit a 'Dismissal on Recommendation' which is often granted by judges. Emily Tuttle, a spokesperson of DA Bragg said, "The dignity and wellbeing of survivors is at the center of the Office’s work." She added that the office was not in a position to comment on a pending case, adding that the DA cannot drop charges now that McCarter is already indicted.
Judge Kiesel's ruling had pointed out inconsistencies in the arguments laid by the prosecution. Regarding this, McCarter's sister, Shana Cobb criticised Bragg, saying that he is "talking out of both sides of his mouth" while McCarter's daughter commented that the District Attorney is "the very injustice he ran against."