Lawyers for accused subway gunman Frank James’ claimed the FBI may have violated his rights by taking DNA swabs from him in his Brooklyn jail cell without notifying them first, according to a Thursday court filing.
According to CBS News, a new court filing reveals that defense attorneys for James say federal agents improperly questioned their client on Tuesday (April 26). They also accuse the bureau of taking DNA samples from James and directing him to sign documents without alerting his lawyers.
James is accused of setting off smoke grenades and firing a gun on a crowded train in Brooklyn on April 12, leaving more than two dozen people injured.
After a manhunt that lasted a day, the 62-year-old James was taken into custody on a street in Manhattan on April 27 without incident by NYPD officers, acting on a tip from an individual who saw him walking the streets.
“The defendant terrifyingly opened fire on passengers on a crowded subway train, interrupting their morning commute in a way the city hasn’t seen in more than 20 years,” Assistant U.S. attorney Sara K. Winik told a judge at the arraignment in federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y. “The defendant’s attack was premeditated, was carefully planned, and it caused terror among the victims and our entire city.”
James was arrested in Manhattan, more than 24 hours after 10 people were shot and 13 more injured in a crowded subway car in Brooklyn. According to ABC News, He was charged in a criminal complaint with committing a terrorist act on mass transportation and was transferred to federal custody. If convicted, James faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, according to Breon Peace, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
The attack James is accused of alarmed New York, already reeling from stark increases in violent crime across its Five Boroughs during a morning commute. Police said James boarded a subway train in Brooklyn, and ignited two smoke bombs as the train moved with unwitting passengers aboard. As the train pulled into a hub station in the Sunset Park neighborhood, he pulled out a Glock 17 9mm pistol and fired 33 shots, hitting 10 people. Another 13 were injured from smoke inhalation or from trying to escape. He was unable to fire more shots because the gun jammed.
However, there were no life threatening injuries from the shooting, according to NYPD officials, and all of the victims are expected to recover.