Gounden’s attorney Ron Kuby exposed Adorno as a habitual liar. Photo: Op-Ed TV screenshot.
[Speaking Truth To Power: Column]
Yesterday was a rough day for Joseph Adorno the prosecution’s key witness in the alleged hit-and-run case against Kris Gounden in Queens criminal court.
During cross examination, the defendant Kris Gounden’s attorney, Ron Kuby, calmly used Adorno’s own words as documented in previous statements he’d offered to the police, medical employees, the prosecution and to his lawyers, to expose Adorno as a habitual liar and ungrateful narcissist who blames everyone else in the world for his problems.
Adorno constantly bites the hands that feed him — including those of his wife Evaline Orosco (whose name has been spelled Orovco elsewhere). Hadn’t he beat her up in May, 2019, Adorno would still be driving one of the two BMW’s he testified that she leased, a black one and a white one. He’d also still be living with her in the house they shared in Queens, and he’d still have the $500 a week job she gave him, as manager of her two ultrasound office businesses.
Instead, Adorno took a disorderly conduct guilty plea earlier this week in connection to that assault case and his wife now has an order of protection case against him. Adorno is homeless and for the past four days he’s been staying in a hotel courtesy of the Queens County District Attorney who wants a jury in the case against Gounden to believe his version of events in connection to a motor vehicle incident on Feb. 5, 2018.
Adorno is simply unbelievable; not an evenly remotely credible witness. In addition to the other previous numerous inconsistent statements by Adorno, repeated on the stand yesterday— and that, during his own opening statement on Wednesday the ADA warned jurors that the witness is not the “smartest guy” they may have ever met; it didn’t help that assistant district attorney Peter Lomp and Adorno repeated a scenario during direct examination that can be proven is completely false. This was in connection to a video of roughly 10 seconds that Adorno says his wife recorded of Gounden fleeing from the scene as they chased him in their own vehicle; Lomp in his opening statement, and Adorno yesterday, claimed the arresting officer later viewed the video before arresting Gounden. I’ve already discussed in a previous column that the officer himself said he never viewed the video –which in any case does not show any vehicle hitting Adorno– before arresting Gounden. Carlos Bello, the arresting officer’s statement that he didn’t see the video was captured in a surreptitious recording made by Gounden at the time of his arrest on the day of the Feb. 5, 2018 incident.
In a previous column in which I discussed Bello’s statement, I also wrote that on Feb. 26, 2019, I sent a copy of this audio recording made by Gounden to: the Queens DA’s office, to the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau; to Bello’s boss, Brian Bohannon, the commander of the 106 precinct; NYPD headquarters at 1 Police Plaza; Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office; and to the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James. At the time, I reported that after receiving a copy of the audio, NYPD spokesperson Jessica McRorie told Black Star News, “We are looking into the matter.” The DA’s spokesperson at the time declined to comment about the audio.
Also in the same audio recording, Bello can be heard saying to Gounden that Adorno told him that he had been inside V.J’s an auto repair-shop near 117 Street and Rockaway Blvd., and that Gounden struck him with his car “as soon as he came out of the store.” In subsequent statements to the police and yesterday on the witness stand Adorno claimed he was struck after he exited his car, not after stepping out of V.J’s.
Bello is expected to testify today. It will be interesting to hear what he says considering he’s already been captured on audio stating that he never heard the cellphone video even though Adorno and Lomp claim he did.
It’s not worth going over all the inconsistent versions Adorno has offered about the nature of the injuries he suffered, as I’ll return to them in a followup column; he confirmed what Gounden’s attorney Kuby had outlined in his opening statement covered in my first column about this trial. That, Adorno told the arresting officer Bello, that he’d been hit on his hand by the car Gounden was driving after he’d exited his car to go into the auto repair-shop; miraculously, by the time Adorno ended up on the stand as a witness this week, as will be shown in more detail in my column after he completes his testimony, the injury had morphed to his left knee, both his shoulders, his lower back, his head, his neck, his ribs, internal organs, and his nervous system, just to mention a few body parts. In one version of the alleged hit-and-run, Adorno claimed he was hit by the front of Gounden’s car; in many other accounts, it was the side-view mirror that struck him.
Adorno’s shifting accounts are contained in documents, including Bello’s police report, statements he gave to EMT staff who transported him in an ambulance, emergency room staff at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, a sworn deposition he gave to the Queens DA, an insurance claim against Allstate, and a civil lawsuit he only just recently filed against Gounden and his mother. When challenged about these shifting accounts by Kuby during cross-examination, Adorno claimed he either didn’t understand “100 percent” the documents he’d agreed to and signed –or did not sign– or he seemed to blame the people who wrote down the accounts, including the EMT staff and the hospital staff, or his lawyer Matthew Marchese whom he practically accused of making him file the insurance claim and the lawsuit.
Adorno’s testimony continues today.
Judge Eugene Guarino, who is presiding over the case, will also decide whether I get to testify today about articles I’ve written about the case. ADA Lomp handed me a subpoena in court Wednesday.