Manhattan DA drops murder charges against bodega worker

The 61-year-old bodega worker was being held at Rikers Island on $250,000 bond, but footage shows he may have acted in self-defense

Updated: July 19, 2022 - 12:05pm

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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg dropped the controversial murder charge against New York City bodega worker Jose Alba. 

The DA's office confirmed to the New York Post on Monday that it had filed a motion in Manhattan Criminal Court to dismiss the charge against the 61-year-old man after video of the incident surfaced.

The prosecutor could not prove that the "defendant was not justified in his use of deadly physical force," Bragg's office stated.

Alba was charged after the fatal stabbing of Austin Simon, a 35-year-old convicted violent felon who attacked him inside his bodega on July 1. 

Alba was being held at Rikers Island on $250,000 bond. 

"One potential defense is that Alba reasonably believed that Simon was about to use
deadly physical force," the prosecutor's office wrote in the dismissal memo, acknowledging Alba's likely criminal defense.

"Simon’s conduct in entering the store’s small, private area, throwing Alba against the wall to a place he could not escape, and grabbing him by the collar could inspire deep fear in an older and shorter man as to what might be in store next," the motion said.