Before he left office Wednesday, President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of a man who reportedly ordered the killing of a Syracuse, NY, police officer who was working an undercover assignment.
Jamie Davidson was serving a life sentence for his role in the murder of Officer Wallie Howard Jr. He was convicted in 1993.
Davidson was the leader of a New York City-based drug ring that also included Robert “Bam-Bam” Lawrence. Lawrence says he was acting under Davidson’s orders when he shot Howard in the head during a botched robbery over $42,000, Syracuse.com reports.
Howard, 31, was working undercover for the Central New York Drug Enforcement Task Force at the time and arranged to purchase two kilograms of cocaine in the parking lot of a grocery store.
Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said Wednesday Davidson did not deserve a commutation.
In a statement announcing the commutation, the White House said witnesses who testified against Davidson later recanted their testimony and said Davidson had no role in Howard’s death. The White House also said Davidson mentored and tutored over 1,000 fellow prisoners to help them earn their GED certificates.