A Manhattan decide on Thursday lowered the sky-high bail on a bodega employee who was charged with homicide after heading off a violent ex-con inside his retailer.
Jose Alba, who was being held on Rikers Island on $250,000 bail within the Friday night time caught-on-video assault. The quantity was diminished to $50,000, with Alba’s household and his boss developing with the $5,000 wanted to spring him on a bond.
Alba’s legal professional, Danielle Jackson of Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, assured the decide that her consumer was going nowhere.
“He has each intention to return to court docket and defend this case,” Jackson mentioned.
Prosecutors with District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s workplace had initially requested that Alba be held on $500,000 bail at his arraignment Saturday, citing a deliberate journey to the Dominican Republic subsequent week as proof that he was a flight threat.
But prosecutors modified their tune at Thursday’s listening to.
“We imagine the give up of his passport, in addition to the digital monitoring and the restriction that he might not go away the 5 boroughs, will guarantee the truth that defendant won’t go to the DR as he deliberate to,” mentioned Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Sigall.
Alba, 51, was manning the counter at Hamilton Heights Grocery on Broadway when Austin Simon, a 35-year-old profession felony and ex-con, stormed behind the counter and shoved him right into a wall, the video exhibits.
Simon then grabs Alba because the frightened clerk tries to get previous him — then grabs a knife and plunges it into Simon at the very least 5 occasions.
Simon’s girlfriend then pulled a knife from her purse and stabs Alba 3 times within the shoulder.
Alba, bloodied and nonetheless holding the knife, is seen ready for police to reach — solely to have them arrest him and take him into custody.
In court docket, Manhattan prosecutors charged Alba with second-degree murder, however refuse to file expenses in opposition to Simon’s girlfriend for stabbing the bodega employee.
More than 20 kinfolk and supporters packed the courtroom for the video-feed court docket listening to in help of the beleaguered bodega employee.
At his arraignment Saturday, the DA’s workplace requested for $500,000 bail, however Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Eric Schumacher units bail at $250,000 money or a $500,000 bond.
Under the bail circumstances set Thursday, Alba should put on a monitoring machine and stay inside the 5 boroughs whereas the case is pending — ought to he put up the bond.
He is due again in court docket on July 20.
Bragg, who has earned a status as a soft-on-crime prosecutor since taking workplace in January, determined to play hardball with Alba.
Critics have lambasted Bragg over his newest authorized gaffe.
“It’s ridiculous,” Guardian Angels founder and former mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa mentioned exterior the courtroom on Thursday.
“Jose Alba ought to be getting a Congressional Medal of Honor,” Sliwa mentioned. “Instead, he’s locked up on Rikers and that is all Alvin Bragg. He turns unfastened actual criminals and he incarcerates victims who struggle again. What type of a message is that this?
“That’s why I’m right here at this time with the Guardian Angels to ensure that Jose Alba is launched, not put again on Rikers Island,” he mentioned.
Speaking at a press convention in Brooklyn, Mayor Eric Adams described Alba as an “trustworthy New Yorker that was doing his job.
“My coronary heart goes out to the worker who was within the retailer don this job,” Adams mentioned. “And so I hope that we take all of that into consideration, as this hard-working New Yorker was doing his job and somebody aggressively went behind the counter to assault him.”
Police mentioned Simon’s beef with Alba stemmed from an earlier encounter between the bodega employee and Simon’s 32-year-old girlfriend.
The lady, whose title is being withheld by The Post, tried to purchase a bag of chips for her 10-year-old daughter however her card was repeatedly declined, court docket papers present.
The lady grew to become irate and stormed out, returning 10 minutes later with Simon.
According to a felony criticism, Simon was demanding an apology from Alba when he attacked him and cornered him within the again room — earlier than the incident turned lethal.
Police charged Alba with homicide and felony possession of a weapon, with prosecutors submitting homicide expenses in court docket and presenting the case to a grand jury.
Alba’s lawyer and his kids mentioned the native of the Dominican Republic got here to the US about 30 years in the past and have become a citizen 14 years in the past.
The father of three as soon as owned his personal bodega and has been working on the Hamilton Heights grocery retailer for about three years.
“He’s a hardworking particular person,” his daughter, Yulissa Alba, 34, advised The Post Wednesday. “He’s by no means harm anyone. He’s by no means had an altercation the place he needed to defend himself.
“He’s an excellent citizen,” she added.
Meanwhile, Simon, 35, has at the very least prior arrests, together with for theft and assault, and served time in state jail on a 2016 conviction for assaulting a police officer.
He was launched final yr and was nonetheless on parole when he was killed.