Juan Catalan, the father of a six years old girl, was arrested in 2003. He was arrested in the case of a murder of a girl that he had not committed. But it was a challenge for him to prove himself innocent and his lawyer, as proves were not enough in the start.
On May 12, 2003, a young sixteen-year-old girl named Martha Puebla was murdered outside her house in California, and juan was accused of murdering her in a gang murder case. His lawyer “Todd Melnik,” tried his best to get him to bail in the very starting days of his jail, but all of his efforts were of no use.
A Question Mark on U.S Justice System:
Juan spent six months in jail, and when he got bail, several questions arose at the U.S justice, how this justice system can provide justice when it takes six months for an ordinary citizen to prove him innocent.
He was imprisoned for six months and was not sure about his future what would happen to him and his family. He was accused of a crime that he did not commit.
Juan Catalan was repeatedly saying that he was not at the crime spot at the murder time. Instead, he was with his six-years-old daughter at Dodger’s game in Los Angeles, nearly 20 miles away from the crime scene. But no way can prove that he was right.
He provided some of the photos he took at the game, but it was not clear when he took them, so they were not enough to proof him innocent. The thing that helped him was a phone call he made at the Dodger’s game entrance, but still, there was a doubt.
His lawyer tried continuously and his efforts came true. The 24-year-old guy was arrested without any proof, and no one cared. After showing his photos and phone call record, he was still accused of that murder.
Finally, Juan got solid proof of his innocence:
As the days passed, he remembered a show shooting just opposite the game, but he did not know its name. Then after contacting the Dodger’s game and with their help, juan’s lawyer met the director of the show “Curb your Enthusiasm” which was shooting at that time.
When he requested the director to let him see the whole episode of that day and its outtakes, he allowed him. Within a few minutes of the video, he saw Juan with his daughter at the show eating hot dogs and enjoying snacks.
Juan’s lawyer said,
I watched 20 minutes of the recording, and I was just about to lose hope, and suddenly I saw Juan there.
It was not less than a miracle for him. It was the only thing that could help him to prove that he was innocent.
Juan’s lawyer was not happy with the police:
Juan’s lawyer has blamed the police for not doing their duty correctly. According to him, it was the police’s duty to find the truth and do all this struggle, but the police have not done anything for them. It was their luck that juan was captured in the footage, and he got bail on it.
The footage from that show proved that juan catalan was not at the crime scene at the time of the murder. Juan remembers how he was arrested out of nothing. Although it was a serious case, police should have done proper research before arresting him that whether he was actually involved or not.
Juan was given 320,000 dollars as a settlement:
After his bail, juan catalan was awarded 320,000 dollars for settlement and arresting him without proof. He is now continuing his family’s machinery business that he was doing before his arrest. His story was then documented on Netflix by the name “Long shot.”