Last week the Daily News told the story of Kareem Bellamy, recently freed from prison when an informant’s audiotape allegedly revealed the confession of one Levon Melvin for the 1994 Far Rockaway murder of which Bellamy had been convicted. The tape turned out to have been fabricated by the man who passed it on, Michael Green — which was discovered when the alleged killer, Melvin, read about the case in the New York Law Journal (!). Bellamy is free but ankle-braceleted pending a hearing.
Today’s Rockaway Wave tells the story with more detail — and with the input of Michael Green, who is talking because the News “jeopardized my life and my family’s life” by branding him an “informer,” a dangerous title to hold around his way, where folks are more likely to read the News than the New York Law Journal.
Green tells the Wave that one of the private investigators retained by Bellamy’s lawyer told him that Bellamy was innocent, and he was moved to help Bellamy and also get some money for himself. He created and proffered the tape, for which he said he was paid “expense money” by Bellamy’s lawyer totalling between four and five thousand dollars, much of which Green frankly confesses he extorted from the lawyer after Bellamy’s release.
The lawyer and PIs insist they didn’t know the tape was fake, and Green, given immunity by prosecutors, is looking forward to clearing his name. “Everybody in Rockaway knows that peoples pull scams,” he says. “They don’t care about that. What they care about is that a man is not an informer, and I am not.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 7, 2008