The Brooklyn gangbanger charged in the fatal shooting of tourist Ethan Williams has been forced into a confession, a lawyer says

The Brooklyn gangbanger’s attorney, who is accused of fatally shooting an Indiana tourist in a mistaken identity case, claimed his client’s confession was coerced and should be thrown out.

26-year-old William Freeman, who on Friday pleaded not guilty to the 2020 murder of college student and avid skateboarder Ethan Williams, 20, admitted to the crime after police traced the gun to him.

However, his attorney Jay Schwitzman accused the detectives of making improper promises to Freeman to get him involved in the Williams murder, like telling him he could go home if he “admitted involvement in it.” to be”.

“My position is that this is a false confession,” Schwitzman said. “I’m confident that at the end of the day promises were made either officially or unofficially to trick him into making false statements.”

Law enforcement sources said the murder was gang related. The shooter mistook Ethan’s group for rival gang members he believed murdered his cousin.

Police identified Freeman as a person of interest more than a year ago, but had no evidence to make the case. They developed DNA evidence and matched a gun recovered at the scene, the sources said.

On November 3, after being arrested on an unrelated petty theft charge in Manhattan, Freeman made self-implicating statements to detectives and was charged with murder and illegal gun possession.

Detectives are allowed to make promises to suspects in order to get their cooperation. But in recent years there has been a movement to restrict these types of tactics by law enforcement.

Friday’s arraignment lasted only minutes, but for Ethan’s parents, Jason and Susan Williams, who traveled from Indiana, it had taken two years.

“It’s just all very sad,” said Susan Williams. “We missed Ethan. He was a good boy. He didn’t deserve any of this.”

Jason Williams added: “He would have invited this guy on the stairs to hang out if he hadn’t shot him. He would have wanted to be his friend.”

Ethan was on a dream trip to the city with friends when he was killed on October 24, 2020. They were sitting on the porch of their Bushwick Airbnb when someone across the street opened fire. A fatal bullet struck Ethan in the chest

The murdered man’s parents said their son is a promising student and aspiring filmmaker at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He is an enthusiastic skateboarder and reads voraciously.

He and his family helped raise money for a school in Rwanda, the home country of his adoptive sister Ella. He also has a brother named Aidan who is in college.

Brooklyn Superior Court Vincent Del Giudice ordered Freeman held without bail on Rikers Island. Schwitzman said he will seek bail at a future hearing.

Three young women and a man who attended the trial in support of Freeman did not comment.

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