Three men overturned after decades in prison for 1997 killing of Pennsylvania woman

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Pennsylvania A judge overturned the convictions of three men who had been jailed for decades for the 1997 killing of a 70-year-old woman, even though they were DNA It did not match what was found at the scene, but they will remain in jail while prosecutors decide whether to appeal.

A Delaware County judge on Thursday ordered the incarceration of Derrick Chappell, who was 15 at the time of his arrest, and his cousins ​​Morton Johnson and Sam Grasty. Have a new trial.

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“This case should never have been prosecuted at all. These people should never have been charged. The evidence has always shown they were innocent,” said Paul Castellello, Grasti’s attorney and legal director of the nonprofit Centurion. Five means. He said prosecutors treated the defendants “roughly.”

A Palestinian Authority judge has overturned the convictions of three men jailed for the 1997 murder of a 70-year-old woman. (Fox News)

Three people have been charged and convicted in the death of Henrietta Nickens of Chester, who in her last known phone call told her daughter she was about to watch the 11 p.m. news. She was later found severely beaten, her underwear had been removed and her home ransacked with blood on the walls and bedding.

Castello said the three defendants, all young men from the neighborhood, were arrested even though DNA tests at the time showed that the victim’s body and semen found on a jacket at the scene did not match any of them. conviction.

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He called prosecutors’ various theories about the case “ridiculous.” To explain the DNA mismatch, he said they believe the victim may have had consensual sex before the killing, or that the three defendants may have brought used condoms to the scene. However, Nix suffered from a chronic illness and had no known male partner, he continued.

“They just published this ridiculous story and made the jury believe it,” Castello said.

Common Pleas Court Judge Mary Alice Brennan dismissed the convictions at a hearing Thursday and set a bail hearing for May 23 to determine whether county prosecutors will seek new bail. of trial.

District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer plans to review the case next week before making a decision, a spokesman said Friday.

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Calls to attorneys for Johnson and Chappelle were not immediately returned Friday.this Pennsylvania Innocence Project Also involved in the case.

These men are now in their 40s. Over the years, all three have filed pro se petitions in federal court saying they were wrongfully convicted, but the petitions were dismissed.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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