News 09.19.14

Philadelphia District Attorney Agrees to New Trial for Man Who Served 22 Years for a Murder DNA Proves Was Committed by Another Man

After initially denying requests for a new trial, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office today announced that it will agree to a new trial for Anthony Wright. New DNA testing of the rape kit identified a man with a lengthy criminal record as the real perpetrator.

 

Wright, of Pennsylvania, was convicted of the rape and murder of an elderly woman. Today, post-conviction DNA testing excludes him as the source and points to another suspect.

 

The

Philadelphia Inquirer

reported that Wright, who has been serving a life sentence since 1993, has maintained his innocence since 1991 and said he was working a construction job when the crime was committed. He also maintains that his confession was coerced by a police officer who threatened him while he was handcuffed to a chair.

 

During the investigation, a rape kit was taken of the victim’s corpse and police claim to have collected blood stained clothes from Wright’s house. Recent DNA testing of the rape kit has revealed that Ronnie Byrd, a career criminal and crack user who was living in an abandoned house next door to the victim’s was the real perpetrator. DNA testing of the pants reveals that they did not belong to Wright but rather had been worn by the victim. Wright will appear in court on Monday before Common Pleas Court Judge D. Webster Keogh who, given the prosecution’s consent, is expected to vacate the conviction and grant Wright a new trial.

 

Read the

Inquirer

’s coverage here:

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140919_DNA_tests_from_1991_rape-murder_point_to_a_new_suspect.html


 

and here:

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140920_New_trial_for_lifer_after_DNA_raises_questions_about_murder_conviction.html

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