A Bronx man accused of fatally shooting his best friend — who happened to be his co-plaintiff in a lawsuit against the NYPD — calls the case a frameup.
Salim Wilson, 25, is charged with killing Julio Velasquez, 24, at the McKinley Houses on E. 161st St. in Morrisania on Aug. 29.
Wilson’s lawyer says her client’s arrest is the result of payback because he is suing cops from the local precinct.
“The family feels this is again another situation that the 42nd Precinct is trying to get back at him,” Florio said.
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Wilson and Velasquez filed a lawsuit against NYPD Detectives David Terrell and Daniel Brady in July, claiming the cops pressured the witnesses who helped get them arrested in a murder they said they did not commit.
Velasquez and Wilson spent more than two years in jail, awaiting prosecution in the Jan. 31, 2014, murder of Darin Capehart.
The cases against them were dismissed on Sept. 6, 2016.
Wilson was charged in Velasquez’s death on Monday and pleaded not guilty to killing his pal during his arraignment in Bronx criminal court on Wednesday.
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Prosecutors allege Wilson shot Velasquez during a fight.
The two men were arguing over the potential windfall they were expecting from their lawsuit against Terrell and Brady, according to Terrell’s attorney Eric Sanders.
Velasquez and Wilson received a “pre-settlement funding” payout from the Brooklyn-based company LawCash, which provides financial assistance for those with pending lawsuits.
“The argument was over the money,” Sanders said. “We knew about that months ago. There’s evidence that (Wilson) did it.”
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“Unfortunately these guys are involved in crimes… and it’s all coming to fruition now,” Sanders said.
Florio rejected allegations that the two men were brawling over money — and said her client has cooperated with police before his arrest.
“I believe my son was framed,” said Wilson’s mother Regina Wilson. “I don’t believe my son did this. My son is not a murderer.”
“(My son and Velasquez were) like brothers,” she said. “The cops are trying to bring him down. My son is innocent and the 42nd (Precinct) is full of dirty cops.”
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The arrest left Velazquez’s mother, Leticia Palacios, confused.
“I didn’t think he’d want to do that to my son because he used to be like family to us. He used to call me ‘mom,’” said the 62-year-old mom, who claims Wilson never visited her home after her son’s death.
“He used to call my son ‘brother.’ I’m shocked right now because I (didn’t) think he’d want to do this to my son.”
“What goes around comes around,” she said. “He’s going to pay.”
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