Retired NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella acknowledged using a crack-smoking prostitute as a witness in five separate homicide cases as lawyers argued for convicted murderer Eliseo DeLeon to receive a new trial for his 1996 conviction in a sixth killing.
The controversial Scarcella defended his investigation of DeLeon in the shooting of Fausto Cordero during a botched armed robbery, testifying Wednesday at a Brooklyn Supreme Court hearing where DeLeon’s lawyers asserted that he was framed in the long-ago street slaying.
Testimony centered on Teresa Gomez, a drug-addled hooker who became a recurring witness in Scarcella’s murder investigations. DeLeon’s lawyers claim the evidence against their client is bogus, and that their client’s “confession” was concocted by the detective and his partner.
Asked by defense attorney Cary London if he used Gomez to make the other five cases, Scarcella initially replied, “Probably.”
Once pressed, the ex-detective finally answered, “Yes.”
Gomez gave Scarcella the nickname “Gunsmoke” because he was smoking a cigar when they first met — while she was lying in bed with a customer, according to London.
London had earlier argued that Scarcella was a hostile witness prone to “insisting that things didn’t happen, even when faced with evidence.” Scarcella instead responded with “incredulous testimony,” the defense lawyer asserted.