Entries in Wrongfully Accused (2)


Exonerated Man Suffers Heart Attack Two Days After Being Released

Kevin Horan/Stone(NEW YORK) -- David Ranta has suffered a massive heart attack just two days after being exonerated of murder and leaving prison for the first time in 23 years, his attorney told ABC News.

Lawyer Pierre Sussman said that Ranta, 58, was being treated in an New York hospital after suffering a severe heart attack Friday night. He did not provide further details.

Ranta was freed from prison Thursday after serving 23 years of a 37.5 year sentence for the murder of Brooklyn rabbi Chaskel Werzberger in 1990.

Ranta left a Brooklyn courtroom Thursday after a judge said he was free to go and his family cheered. On the way out he told reporters that the sensation of walking freely out of the courthouse was "overwhelming."

"I said from the beginning," Ranta said. "I had nothing to do with this case." When asked what he was going to do next, he responded, "Get the hell out of here."

Ranta had been spending time with his family after his release. Sussman declined to provide details or to identify the hospital to protect Ranta's privacy.

The rabbi was killed after a botched jewelry heist and Ranta was convicted of the killing despite his protests of innocence.

Over the last two decades, the case against Ranta began to crumble. In 2011 an eyewitness, who was a child at the time of the murder, came forward to say he had been coached to pick Ranta out of a line up. A subsequent investigation by the Conviction Integrity Unit of the Brooklyn District Attorney's office determined Ranta's case had been mishandled by police.

On Thursday, Ranta's family, including siblings and his pregnant daughter who was just 2 when he was arrested, were on hand when Judge Miriam Cyrulnik cleared his name. Ranta's parents died while he was in prison.

"It's clear that the effects of this case have been devastating," Cyrulnik said. "To say I'm sorry for what you have endured would be an understatement."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Wrongfully Accused Inmate Freed After Years on Death Row

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BRENHAM, Texas) -- Anthony Graves was a young man when he was first imprisoned in 1992.  Now, he's 45, but at least he’s a free man.  All charges were dropped against Graves, who walked out of the county jail in Brenham, Texas earlier this week after spending 16 years on death row for a crime prosecutors now say Graves did not commit.

Graves was arrested and convicted of being an accomplice in the 1992 murders of a woman, her grown daughter and four grandchildren.  Just 27 years old at the time of the murders, Grave insisted he was innocent. His brother testified on the stand that Graves was sleeping at their home when the crimes were committed, but the alibi was to no avail.

After Graves was sent to prison, it was later learned that the district attorney in the case encouraged murderer Robert Carter to lie about Grave’s role in the slayings and that he grossly mishandled the case.  That information, along with the dogged work of investigators, led to Grave’s freedom.

When asked by reporters Thursday what it was like to be out of prison, Graves answered, “For the first few moments, first few hours, I thought that I would wake up back in the cell, it's not real to me. It's still not real to me.”

Graves may be eligible for over $1 million from Texas for his wrongful imprisonment.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio