MANHATTAN — Manslaughter charges against the son of a former top aide to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife have been dismissed, prosecutors said Thursday.
Khari Noerdlinger, then 19, was charged with fatally stabbing a 16-year-old boy who was part of a group trying to rob him in Edgewater, N.J., in January 2016, officials said.
Prosecutors called it “a crime of violence,” but Noerdlinger’s defense team maintained throughout that it was self-defense and that video evidence showed Noerdlinger being stomped on by the group.
“In order to try to negate that self-defense claim, that prosecutor and detective conspired to tell the grand jury Khari was in no danger at the time the decadent was killed,” Noerdlinger’s lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, told DNAinfo New York.
Noerdlinger is the son of Rachel Noerdlinger, the former chief of staff to first lady Chirlane McCray. She resigned from the mayor’s office in 2015 after DNAinfo first reported she failed to properly disclose that she lived outside the city.
Lichtman charged that Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer withheld evidence — including that the attackers had three knives and that Noerdlinger was injured — when she presented the case before a grand jury.
“This prosecutor should be suspended immediately,” said Lichtman, who called this the worst misconduct case he's seen in his 27 years in law. “God only knows what else she has been involved in.”
The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office said Noerdlinger still faces charges for weapons possession and hindering apprehension.
"In the case of State v. Khari Noerdlinger, the court dismissed the charge of Aggravated Manslaughter on September 7, 2017, at the request of the Bergen County Prosecutor," Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal said.
Lichtman said he and his client aren't ruling out filing a civil suit.
“We don’t want to sue them,” he said. “This is not a money issue. We want them to clean up their mess.”