Freed Ex-Cop Heading Back to Jail After Murder Conviction Reinstated

Attorney for former officer pledges to fight "terrible injustice"

Saturday, May 29, 2010  |  Updated 10:30 AM EDT
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Freed Ex-Cop Heading Back to Jail After Murder Conviction Reinstated

Handout

Richard DiGuglielmo

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A former NYPD cop was ordered to return to prison after an appeals court reinstated his murder conviction for killing a man during a dispute over a parking space.

Richard DiGuglielmo, who had been free since 2008 after serving 11 years of a 20-year sentence, must return to court "promptly" and then return to prison, the court said Tuesday. He's expected to return to court next week.

DiGuglielmo was off-duty on Oct. 3, 1996, when he killed Charles Campbell, 37. Campbell was arguing with DiGuglielmo's father outside the family's Dobbs Ferry deli and hit him with a baseball bat.

DiGuglielmo, fearing Campbell would kill his father, grabbed a gun from under the deli counter and shot Campbell.

A Westchester County judge freed DiGuglielmo in 2008, finding that one witness was pressured into giving testimony favorable to the prosecution.

The Appellate Division ruled that even if the jury had heard the claim of undue pressure, it would have convicted DiGuglielmo.

DiGuglielmo's attorney, Andrew Schapiro, decried the ruling.

"The shooting of Charles Campbell was a tragedy, but it was not a crime," Schapiro said in a statement. "What measure of justice does it serve to take a man who was wrongfully convicted in the first place, free him from prison and then send him back after 18 months of freedom during which he led an exemplary life with his family and friends.

Pointing out that DiGuglielmo served nearly 12 years for coming to the aid of his father, Schapiro pledged to fight the reinstatement of his murder conviction.

"This is a terrible injustice, but one that we will continue to fight until he is free once and for all," he said. "We will be asking the New York State Court of Appeals to review this decision and right a terrible wrong."  

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