A Manhattan judge on Thursday lowered bail for a wine cellar worker charged with murder who fought off a violent ex-convict at his store.
Jose Alba was being held on Lex Island Friday night on $250,000 bail. The amount was reduced to $50,000, and Alba’s family and boss raised a $5,000 bond.
Jose Alba video leaked Twitter, Fury over the prosecution of ‘hard working’ NYC bodega
Alba’s attorney, Danielle Jackson of the Harlem Community Advocate Service, assured the judge that her client was not going anywhere.
“He fully intends to go back to court and defend the case,” Jackson said.
Prosecutors in District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office initially asked for Alba to be released on $500,000 bail at Saturday’s arraignment, citing his planned trip to the Dominican Republic next week as evidence that he posed a flight risk.
But prosecutors changed their minds at Thursday’s hearing.
“We believe the surrender of his passport, electronic surveillance, and restrictions not allowing him to leave the five counties will ensure that the defendant does not travel to DR as planned,” Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Siegel said.
The video shows Alba, 51, working at the counter of a Hamilton Heights grocery store on Broadway when career criminal and ex-convict Austin Simon, 35, rushed behind the counter and pushed him against the wall.
Simon then grabs Alba and the terrified clerk tries to get around him. Alba then grabbed a knife and stabbed Simon at least five times.
Simon’s friend then took a knife from her purse and stabbed Alba three times in the shoulder.
Alba, covered in blood and with a knife in his hand, waited for the police to arrive – only to arrest him and take him into custody.
In court, Manhattan prosecutors charged Alba with second-degree murder but declined to charge Simon’s girlfriend for stabbing a wine cellar worker.
More than 20 relatives and supporters packed the courtroom to watch footage of the court hearing in support of the beleaguered cellar worker.
At Saturday’s arraignment, the prosecutor’s office asked for $500,000 bail, but Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Eric Schumacher set it on $250,000 in cash or $500,000 bail. The dollar is tight.