PHILADELPHIA (AP/CBS) — A jury has found a Philadelphia man not guilty in his retrial in the rape and murder of an elderly woman a quarter-century ago.
Forty-four-year-old Anthony Wright was sentenced to life without parole in the October 1991 slaying of 77-year-old Louise Talley, his neighbor. The conviction was reversed two years ago after DNA evidence pointed to another man.
Jurors spent less than two hours deliberating Tuesday before returning with the not guilty verdict.
The district attorney’s office agreed to a new trial after DNA tests showed that sperm found inside the victim’s body belonged to someone else.
“Long over due, long over due, long, long over due,” said David Parker, the father of Anthony Wright. He hugged his wife, grandson and other supporters after hearing the jury deliver its verdict of not guilty.
DNA evidence linked another man, Ronnie Byrd to the crime. But the DA chose to retry the case.
Attorney Peter Nuefeld, co-founder of the Innocence Project is calling for an independent investigation.
“The people of the commonwealth should complain about how the DA’s office handled this investigation,” he said.
The DA’s office thanked the jury for their service. Wright is expected to be released soon.
Wright took the witness stand Friday and again denied he had anything to do with the crimes or had ever confessed.
Authorities say Wright had signed a confession before recanting at his first trial.
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