DiGuglielmo conviction upheld in ’96 deli shooting

Former New York City Police Officer Richard DiGuglielmo (left) lost any chance of getting out of prison before 2019 today. That’s because the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, rejected his bid to have his conviction overturned.

In a tersely worded two-page statement, the court found there was “no reasonable possibility” that DiGuglielmo would have been found not guilty had a jury been told that a witness felt he had been coerced to change his initial account that DiGgugliemo was justified in shooting Charles Campbell.

“We are pleased that our State’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, found no merit to Mr. DiGuglielmo’s appeal and unanimously affirmed what has been our position all along, that Mr. DiGuglielmo’s murder conviction was properly obtained and the County Court was wrong in vacating the conviction,” Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said in a written statement today. “The jury in the case soundly rejected the defendant’s claim of justification after hearing eyewitness testimony from twelve people during his trial that the victim Charles Campbell was backing away when he was shot three times by Mr. DiGuglielmo. With today’s order, the Court of Appeals has rejected all claims against that the conviction.”

The Campbell family will be releasing a statement later today.

DiGuglielmo, who was convicted of second-degree murder, will be eligible for parole in eight years. He was released briefly in September 2008 after a former Westchester County court judge threw out his conviction, but was sent back to prison a year ago after an appeals court reinstated it.

DiGuglielmo family speaks out about reinstated sentence

The family of Richard DiGuglielmo (pictured), who was sent back to prison today after his conviction for shooting Charles Campbell to death, once overturned, was reinstated last week, issued a written statement following his incarceration:

“Richard DiGuglielmo served 11 years in prison until a judge, after a lengthy hearing and careful consideration, freed him. That decision cited new evidence that eyewitnesses who supported Richie’s version of events were essentially coerced into changing their statements at the original trial.”

“The death of Charles Campbell was a tragedy and there are no winners in this case. While we cant turn back events from that day in 1996, the courts should not compound this tragedy by ignoring all the evidence that shows Richie acted to defend his father’s life.”

We simply do not see how the court can say that the testimony of witnesses supporting Richie’s actions would not haver raised reasonable doubtt among the jurors, had that testimony not been manipulated by the police.”

“We are all devastated by the appellate court’s decision to send Richard back to prison. What measure of justice does it serve to free him and then send him back to prison after 18 months during which time he led an exemplary life with his family and friends? This is a cruel injusice for Richard and his family.”

“We are hopeful that the New York State Court of Appeals will recognize its responsibility to review this very poorly reasoned decision.”

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