NYPD Cop Acquitted of Hiring Hit Man to Kill Ex-Wife With Screwdriver

By Pei-Sze Cheng
|  Thursday, Jun 10, 2010  |  Updated 11:35 AM EDT
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An <a title=NYPD veteran is cleared of charges he hired a hit man to kill his ex-wife with a screwdriver." />

An NYPD veteran is cleared of charges he hired a hit man to kill his ex-wife with a screwdriver.

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A New York City police officer has been acquitted of charges he hired a hit man to kill his ex-wife with a screwdriver. 

A Nassau County jury found 43-year-old Anthony Battisti of Franklin Square not guilty of attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

Battisti has long maintained his innocence.

"They locked me up without having evidence," said Battisti. "They based their entire case on one man's accusation and that was it."

Patricia Battisti was wounded with a screwdriver in a January 2009 attack outside her home. She has since recovered.  Mechanic Timothy Gersbeck pleaded guilty to attempted murder last year and is facing at least eight years in prison. Gersbeck told police Anthony Battisti paid him $5,000 dollars to kill his ex-wife.

The jury acquitted Battisti and at least two jurors said there was not enough evidence for a conviction.

Speaking to NBCNewYork from his mother's living room, Battisti expressed disappointment and fear in the Nassau County District Attorney's Office.

"How could they put me, my kids, and my family through this without doing a thorough investigation," said Battisti.

The Nassau County District Attorney's Office responded with this statement: "We are disappointed with the outcome, however we accept the jury's verdict."

It has been a rough year and a half for Battisti because he has not been allowed to see his children, who are 14 and 13 years old. Now that he is free of criminal charges, he hopes to be able to see them again. Before he was arrested, Battisti said he was very close to getting custody of his son.

An NYPD cop for 18 years, Battisti has been suspended with pay from his job. He also hopes to be able to resume his work as an officer in the near future. But, he says, nothing and no one can ever repay him for the time lost.

"Who is going to give me my year and a half away from my children?" Battisti said. "That is something that no one will ever be able to repay me."

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