Wrongfully convicted Lapointe cannot be retried and was set free on International Wrongful Conviction Day!
From the Hartford Courant: “A judge on Friday dismissed the notorious, quarter-century-old capital murder case against Richard Lapointe, a mentally impaired dishwasher who was released from prison when the state Supreme Court said he was wrongly convicted in the brutal death of an elderly relative.
The ruling followed a decision by the office of Hartford County State’s Attorney Gail Hardy not to retry the case and it ends the long legal ordeal for Lapointe, a small man made uncommonly naive by a mental disability.”
The state is still convinced that Lapointe is guilty. However, witnesses have passed away and what evidence there was is deteriorating. Lapointe has een incarcerated for 27 years for the 1987 murder of Bernice Martin. Martin was the grandmother of Lapointe’s then-wife, Karen. Despite divorcing him, Karen always stood by her ex-husband repeating that he had an alibi.
While Lapointe was questioned at headquarters back then, Det. Morrissey, who was secretly wearing a wire, questioned Karen. The wiretap recording was kept hidden from the defense.
Karen has cerebral palsy with limited intellectual capacities. She later told the defense that they threatened to take their son Sean away from her, if she did not cooperate. The tape proved that Det. Morrissey lied to Karen. He said that police had DNA to prove Lapointe’s guilt. They did not. He had also claimed that Lapointe had cut his hand while in the apartment, that Mrs. Martin’s neighbours had heard screams, and that Lapointe was seen carrying something inside the apartment. The recording confirmed that the detective threatened that Karen would lose her son if she did not give in.
You can find all my posts about the Martin case and Lapointe here. As stated before, I am delighted that justice finally prevails for Richard. At the same time I am saddened that we still do not know who murdered Karen’s grandmother.
We have ended a wrongful conviction case, yes. Now we need to gear up with the same materials to solve the cold case of Bernice Martin. Who’s with me?