State Watch

Murder charge dropped against NYC bodega clerk in ‘self defense’ case


The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday dropped a murder charge against bodega store clerk Jose Alba, who fatally stabbed another man earlier this month in what he said was an act of self-defense.

Prosecutors filed a motion in a Manhattan criminal court to dismiss the second-degree murder charge against Alba because they could not prove his use of deadly force was unjustified, NBC New York reported.

Alba, 61, fatally stabbed Austin Simon, 35, on July 1 after a confrontation at the Blue Moon Convenience Store in Manhattan.

Alba was working at the bodega store when Simon, his girlfriend and her 10-year-old daughter were shopping, according to NBC New York. When the family’s EBT card malfunctioned, Alba reportedly snatched a candy bar from the girl’s hand because she couldn’t purchase it.

Simon’s girlfriend and daughter left the store. Simon returned and attacked Alba behind the counter. During the fight, Alba grabbed a knife and stabbed Simon three times in the heart, lung and jugular, according to the outlet.

The incident was politicized and created division between those who wanted to see Alba jailed for murder and others who said the bodega clerk was acting in self-defense.

Bodega store associations poured support behind Alba and met with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to persuade him to drop the charges, according to CBS New York.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) on Tuesday defended the decision to drop charges against Alba.

“We had an innocent hard-working New Yorker that was doing his job and someone was extremely aggressive towards him,” Adams said, according to CBS. “And I believe after the DA’s review, the DA in my opinion made the right decision.”

Tags Alvin Bragg Alvin Bragg Austin Simon Eric Adams Jose Alba murder charges New York New York City New York City self defense
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