Troubles are arising in the manslaughter case against Khari Noerdlinger. The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office has re-indicted him on remaining charges, including weapons possession and hindering an investigation.
Attorneys say that despite promising to respond to a motion to dismiss the remaining charges against Noerdlinger because of prosecutorial misconduct and perjury in his grand jury, Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer is refusing to respond to his new allegations.
In 2016, Noerdlinger was the victim of a vicious attack and charged with manslaughter after defending himself. Noerdlinger allegedly fatally stabbed 16-year-old Savion Lewallen as he was being attacked by Lewallen and four other people, who were armed with a bat and a machete.
In an act of self-defense, Nordlinger stabbed Lewallen with a knife in his femoral artery, a critical artery in the thigh that supplies blood to the lower limb. His manslaughter charges were dismissed in September. The incident occurred on Old River Road in Edgewater, N.J. Noerdlinger pleaded not guilty.
Charges against Noerdlinger were dismissed. Attorneys say that by refiling the same charges, the prosecutor’s office believes it can avoid having to explain the perjury and misconduct. Photos of Noerdlinger’s injuries and the knife he used were withheld from the grand jury in 2016.
Noerdlinger will face a judge Nov. 17. His attorneys plan to file a letter to the court about his mistreatment, and the judge will have to determine who’s right or wrong.
“As you can imagine, this has been overwhelming,” said Noerdlinger’s attorney Lee Vartan. “We told a consistent story since 2016 that he was attacked and we’re lucky that he was not killed.”
Lawyers also say that Noerdlinger is being denied a speedy trial. His other attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said in a statement that the Bergen County Prosecutor did all it could to delay the trial.
“Grootenboer never provided full discovery—a year and a half later, she always claimed to be too busy to set a trial date—and even did not show up to court on occasion for a scheduled appearance,” he said. “Twenty-one months passed and now the prosecutors have put us back to square one, with a new indictment with the same charges, minus the lead manslaughter charge which was permanently dismissed due to their misconduct. And we are still no closer to a trial.”