Last Friday, New York City police made their first arrest to date in the death of 55-year-old Frank DeSena, who was shot and killed during the armed robbery of an underground NYC poker club on November 2. The suspect, 35-year-old William Delvalle, was arrested on East 21st Street, just seven blocks away from the building that housed the underground club where the crime took place.
Police charged Delvalle with second degree murder and robbery, though he was not believed to have been the gunman. Since his arrest, Delvalle was being held at the Manhattan Detention Complex. According to a report on the New York Post's website, Delvalle has since been released from jail because prosecutors in the case failed to secure an indictment within the allotted time. However, the charges against Delvalle remain in force.
New York State law indicates that a defendant remanded for a felony charge must be released from custody unless a statement is filed by the prosecutor affirming that the grand jury has voted on an indictment. In this case, prosecutors had 144 hours to procure the indictment, but were unable to do so. Delvalle was scheduled to be arraigned yesterday in New York Supreme Court, but Manhattan Criminal Court Justice Evelyn LaPorte was forced to order Delvalle's release per the absence of an indictment.
Delvalle is no stranger to the criminal justice system, having previously served eight years in prison for a 1992 manslaughter conviction after he fired into a small crowd of people, fatally injuring one bystander. According to the Post's report, Delvalle's parole ended October 12, just a few weeks before the tragic incident at the newly opened club. In Delvalle's defense, Delvalle's lawyer, Brian Konoski, was quoted by the Post as saying, "There's nothing here – there's no meat on the bones."
As of yesterday, prosecutors would not offer an explanation as to why an indictment was not reached in time, though DA spokeswoman Barbara Thompson said, "He (Delvalle) remains charged, and the investigation is continuing." The other suspects in the case are all still at large.