One year after new DNA evidence proved a New York man’s innocence in the murder of his wife, a Vermont judge overturned the conviction.
John Grega was vacationing with his wife and young son in West Dover, Vermont when his wife’s body was found strangled and sexually assaulted nearly 20 years ago. He was convicted within a year and served 18 years behind bars until DNA testing revealed skin cells from an unknown male and not Grega, reported
Faced with a three month court-imposed deadline that would have expired today, prosecutors dismissed Grega’s aggravated murder charge on Wednesday.
“I’m blown away,” Grega told Newsday from his Lake Ronkonkoma home. “Imagine, after 20 years, seeing them dismiss a case against you for a crime you didn’t commit. I don’t even know how to feel.”
With a lack of physical evidence linking Grega to the murder, prosecutors at the original trial relied on circumstantial evidence and his own conflicting statements that some of his wife’s injuries were caused by rough sex they had before her death.
“I went through hell,” Grega said. “To get them to admit it was a mistake. It feels fabulous.”