The Alice Crimmins Case
Who Was Lying?
Anthony King came into the court and said that the Weinsteins had not visited him that night. Lyon cast doubt upon Kings testimony by bringing out that he and Weinstein had once been friends and business partners but were now personal enemies. He then brought in a witness who told the court that King was a notorious liar.
Vincent Collabella, the gangster said to have been the hit man, was brought into court by the Crimminss attorneys. Tall, handsome, and swarthy, Collabella had a lengthy and serious criminal record. The arrogant career criminal denied knowing Alice Crimmins, Anthony Grace or even having ever been to Queens. The prosecutors tore into him but were unable to get any sort of admission out of him.
The trial was winding down and the Crimmins attorneys were in a quandary. Should Alice take the stand in her own defense? They knew that, although they are admonished not to, juries hold it against defendants when they remain silent. However, they also knew that the last time she had been on the stand, she had been hammered at because of her sex life and that that had, and probably would again, prejudice a largely working class, middle-aged, and old-fashioned jury.
Herb Lyon asked for a meeting in the Judges chambers. He requested that the justice rule that Alice could not be questioned about her sexual history during cross-examination. The judge refused to do so. Alice didnt take the stand.
Lyons summation was eloquent and impassioned. He decried the prosecutions case as a bunch of garbage. He described Rorech as a man scorned. [Anthony] Grace replaced Rorech in Mrs. Crimmins affections, Lyon told the jury. He cant match Anthony Grace in business and now he has lost out to him with Mrs. Crimmins.
Earomirski started this whole thing, Lyon said. And Im going to finish it. I dont care if Mrs. Earomirskis compensation case runs into a big award. But I do care when it runs into a murder case. He pointed out the way her recollections dramatically changed from the letter about something that may not be connected at all, and noted that a doctors report said that Earomirski had neurotic tendencies to subconscious exaggeration. He asked the jury to ponder Earomirskis bizarre assertion that she could hear people talking in normal tones from two hundred feet away. I dont know if you need a doctor to explain that kind of hearing, he said. This is worse than the yellow mouse.
Finally, Herb Lyon wound up with a moving plea on behalf of a client he strongly believed had been grievously wronged. Mrs. Earomirski said she heard the children crying from their grave. If they are crying from their grave, they are saying, Let our mother go! You have had her long enough. Six years of torture. In addition to loving us, she is accused of killing us. Six years based on a letter that comes anonymously, based on a snake who stings like a viper, and based on a misconception of the analysis of the food.
Thomas Demakos was no less passionate in his Peoples summation. He told the jury, She doesnt have the courage to stand up here and tell the world she killed her daughter -- "
Because I didnt kill my daughter! Crimmins wailed.
And the shame and the pity of it is that this little boy had to die too, Demakos said. He ridiculed the idea that she was being persecuted. If the people think that all the district attorneys office has to do is go out and frame a woman for publicity, then God help this country of ours!