Fordham Law

Bus Driver's Family: Suspect Should've Been Jailed

Jim Cohen on WCBS-TV Local News, December 03, 2008

Media Source

Bus Driver's Family: Suspect Should've Been Jailed

Suspect Horace Moore, 20, Of Brooklyn Charged In Killing

The family of Edwin Thomas, the New York City bus driver murdered on the job, says he never should have come face-to-face with his accused killer. Instead, they're outraged that Horace Moore wasn't behind bars with his extensive criminal record, and now they're speaking out.

Moments after seeing Moore, the accused killer, in court, Thomas' family left in tears.

"He's a good man, a very good man. He did not deserve this," said Janelle Nerette, Thomas' cousin.

Nor did Horace Moore deserve the chance, the family says, to still be out on the street when he stepped on Thomas's bus Monday, didn't pay the fare, then allegedly stabbed the father of two.

"The system failed me, my family, and many other people that's feeling the grief right now," says Didelot Thomas, the victim's brother.

The family points to Moore's rap sheet that includes:
   * Robbery as a juvenile
   * Attempted murder as a juvenile
   * Endangering the welfare of a child when he impregnated his 13-year-old girlfriend
   * Disorderly Conduct
   * Possession of a 4" Knife

"He cannot be out anymore because they give him chances, and he takes advantage of it. He did take advantage of it and killed my nephew," said Nicole Nerette, Thomas' aunt.

Because he was a youthful offender, Moore served a shortened sentence for the attempted murder charge, but kept getting in trouble.

"What else can we do, it's not fair. I hope now he'll stay in jail for life but I don't know," said Kelisha Thompson, Thomas' cousin.

The Brooklyn District Attorney's office wouldn't talk about any of the decisions it made with Moore, citing the current open case.

"The system as a system operated as it ought to have," said Professor James Cohen of Fordham University. Cohen said besides the attempted murder charge, Moore's other crimes didn't warrant him staying in jail. "The system can't be perfect. We set it up for certain results and we hope the results will occur, but we can't guarantee it," he said.

A fateful fact that Thomas's family now has to live with.