at approximately 2:30 a.m., two armed African-American men entered the Lafayette Bar & Grill in Paterson, New Jersey. opened fired, instantly killing the bartender and a patron. Another patron died later from gunshot wounds. A third customer survived but was partially blinded after being shot in the head. police arrested Carter and John Artis.
the court it was in
The case went to the Supreme Court of New Jersey numerous times. Carter and Artis were convicted and sentenced to life, the Court affirmed the convictions in 1969, in a unanimous opinion by Chief Justice Weintraub
after, defendants tried to get a new trial. When it reached the Supreme Court, the Court vacated the convictions and granted a new trial. State v. Carter, 69 N.J. 420 (1976). held that the State had knowingly allowed two witnesses to testify falsely, and that no promises, except protection, had been made to them.
Friends on the outside
starting in 1980, Carter developed a friendship with a teenager from a Brooklyn ghetto named Lesra Martin, who had read his autobiography and sent a letter to him. The teenager was living with a group of Canadians. soon Martin's benefactors, most notably Sam Chaiton, Terry Swinton, and Lisa Peters, developed a relationship with Carter and started to work for his release.