HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's second-highest court has ordered a new trial for a brain-damaged man serving life in prison for killing his former wife's 88-year-old grandmother in 1987.
Lawyers for 66-year-old Richard Lapointe argued that new DNA evidence proves he's innocent and his previous attorneys were ineffective.
The state Appellate Court ruled Monday that Lapointe didn't prove his innocence, but prosecutors had suppressed key evidence and his previous attorney failed to pursue the evidence issue.
Lapointe was convicted in 1992 of killing Bernice Martin, who was found raped, stabbed and strangled in her burning Manchester apartment. Police obtained three signed confessions from Lapointe.
Lapointe's case became a cause celebre as advocates for the mentally retarded and high-profile supporters such as writers Arthur Miller and William Styron rallied to prove his innocence.