Thursday, October 24, 2013

Gerard Richardson; New Jersey; He seeks to vacate his 1994 murder conviction on the basis of DNA testing of a never tested bite mark swab which points to an unknown male and excludes him as a match. Star-Ledger.

STORY: "With new DNA evidence, convicted murderer files motion to vacate conviction in 1994 killing,"by reporter Bill Wichert, published by the Star-Ledger on September 18, 2013.

PHOTO-CAPTION:  "Gerard Richardson is seeking to overturn his murder conviction in the 1994 killing of an Elizabeth woman in light of new DNA evidence showing he did not leave a bite mark on the victim.."

GIST:  "Defense attorneys for a man convicted in the 1994 killing of an Elizabeth woman filed a motion today to vacate the murder conviction based on new DNA evidence suggesting he did not leave a bite mark on the victim. Gerard Richardson, 48, formerly of Elizabeth, is seeking a new trial in light of testing on a portion of a swab taken from the bite mark, where analysts found the DNA profile of an unknown male. Richardson, who was convicted in 1995, is serving a 30-year prison sentence for the murder of 19-year-old Monica Reyes. “The new DNA results provide previously unobtainable scientific proof that Monica Reyes was murdered by a third party and that Gerard Richardson did not commit this crime,” according to a brief filed by Richardson’s attorneys from the New York-based Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal clinic dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing......... At Richardson’s trial in November 1995, a large part of the state’s case rested on the bite mark found on Reyes’ lower back. A forensic odontologist testifying on the state’s behalf said the bite mark matched Richardson’s teeth, but a defense expert argued that no such match existed. No DNA testing was used at the time of the trial. After earlier rounds of DNA testing – including one instance when the specimen was contaminated by an analyst’s DNA – the defense secured a court order in January to analyze a portion of the bite mark swab that had never been tested. Those test results, which were outlined in a July report by Forensic Analytical Sciences, found the DNA profile of an unknown male on the bite mark swab and excluded Richardson as a match."

The entire story can be found at:

 See: "Innocence Project says DNA exonerates suspect convicted in '94 Bernards murder; DNA may toss murder verdict." ........."After a Somerset County jury convicted Gerard Richardson in 1995 of the heinous murder of a 19-year-old Elizabeth woman, he remained defiant. He refused to admit that he had raped, pummeled and strangled Monica Reyes and left her for dead in a ditch of a private residential road in Bernards before shoving a 100-pound boulder over her head. "I'm never going to admit to something I didn't do," he declared before his sentencing in 1996. "And I'm going to keep fighting until I get my freedom back.""


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