Barket, Leisenring Recount Teen's Acquittal of Murder

This summer, partners Bruce Barket and Aida Leisenring packed over a half dozen bins of discovery and relocated to Poughkeepsie to embark on a murder trial that would turn out to be among the most memorable of acquittals they ever experienced.

Nestor Ortiz-Ocampo was 18 years old when he was arrested for a fatal single stabbing at a high school parking lot. He is intellectually disabled, was outnumbered 6 to 1, had a small build, and he defended himself after being repeatedly kicked and punched and suffering head injuries as his skull bounced on the concrete of the parking lot grounds. The case is tragic on both sides.

A 16 year old died. And our client, who honestly feared for his life, faced 25 to life. They tried this case –which consisted of over 20 witnesses--aggressively, but with empathy. The jury acquitted Nestor of murder and manslaughter and found that he had a legal right to defend himself.

We will forever be grateful to this jury in this very difficult and sad case. Bruce and Aida picked up Nestor from jail, where he had lived for two years, and returned him to his father. Representing a kid is a responsibility like no other.

The firm is grateful and honored to have been picked by the family and entrusted with their beloved son.