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Brooklyn judge rejects motion to dismiss 1999 murder conviction for slaying of restaurant worker

A Brooklyn killer convicted of fatally shooting a Chinese restaurant worker over an order of raw chicken lost an appeal Friday to overturn his 1999 murder conviction.

Anthony Sims, 46, convicted nearly a quarter of a century ago of murder with a sawed-off shotgun, later claimed that the murder inside Mr Hing’s kitchen was actually committed by his best friend, who testified against him at trial.

But Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun, in a 59-page ruling, rejected Sim’s appeal.

“This court finds that the defendant failed to provide clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is indeed innocent,” Chun wrote. “Therefore, Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Indictment based on a finding of actual innocence is denied.”

Sims accused prosecution witness and longtime friend Julius Graves of pulling the trigger on March 18, 1998, in a murder sparked by an earlier confrontation in which worker Li Run Chen, 28, drew a gun in response to the complaints about the kitchen.

The paroled defendant and his attorney said they would appeal the judge’s ruling in an effort to clear Sims’ name.

Judge Danny Chun in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Friday, March 10, 2023.

“The system is broken,” Sims said after the decision. “I used to think that the justice system was broken, but now it protects the guilty. I lost everything, my family, I lost everything.”

His lawyer, Illan Masel, vowed to continue working on the case, vowing to “fight to the end.”

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Two years ago, Sims claimed he was framed in the fatal Bushwick shooting and produced a witness who testified about seeing Graves with a “long gun” as he ran from the restaurant.

july graves

Graves acknowledged cleaning fingerprints from the murder weapon, but was never charged in the case.

The district attorney’s office issued a statement stating that the decision showed that the correct person was convicted.

“Our office agreed to this hearing to allow all claims and arguments to be heard in open court,” the statement read. “After a long and painstaking process, the judge issued his ruling and we agree with his decision.”

Anthony Sims is comforted by his wife after leaving the courtroom at the Brooklyn Supreme Court on Friday, March 10, 2023.

Graves, in an interview with the Daily News in 2021, insisted the right man was convicted, but said he had no animosity toward Rachel Lewis, an eyewitness who was on a payphone at the time of the murder, for her efforts to implicate him for the murder.

On the other hand, Sims told The News that his former friend was “living with the guilt” of blaming him. But two other witnesses testified that they saw Sims jumping into a car with the shotgun before fleeing the scene.

Anthony Sims cries after leaving the Brooklyn Supreme Court courtroom on Friday, March 10, 2023.

Chun, in the last line of his decision, noted that “the defendant has not met the burden of proving any of his claims to mistrial, order a new trial, or dismiss the indictment. Accordingly, the defendant’s motion is denied in its entirety.”

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