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Richard DiGuglielmo’s Murder Conviction Appeal Rejected

A federal appeals court ruled that a jury would have found the Dobbs Ferry resident guilty regardless of whether witnesses said police pressured them to change their statements.

A U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that Dobbs Ferry resident Richard DiGuglielmo will have to serve out his 20 years to life sentence for the shooting of Charles Campbell outside his family’s deli.

The court rejected the former New York City police officer’s bid to overturn the 1996 second degree murder conviction—which found that DiGuglielmo’s didn’t intentionally kill the White Plains sanitation worker, but showed a “depraved indifference to human life.”

The federal appeals court found that DiGuglielmo would still have been found guilty regardless of whether jurors knew that some of the witnesses’ claimed that police coerced them into altering their stories.

“Even in the light of the ‘newly discovered’ evidence, a reasonable trier of fact could find that Petitioner did not reasonably believe that Charles Campbell was using or about to use deadly physical force at the moment Petitioner fatally shot Campbell, in the light of the trial testimony of Zach Connett and Matthew Kay indicating that, at the moment Petitioner fatally shot Campbell, Campbell was not standing close enough to anyone to readily inflict deadly force with the baseball bat he was holding,” the decision says.

Campbell’s death started out as an argument with DiGuglielmo’s father and brother-in-law over parking.

Campbell parked in front of Dobbs Ferry's then walked across the street to buy a slice of pizza. During the argument, the father and brother-in-law attempted to subdue Campbell who returned with a bat and struck the father. DiGulglielmo then retrieved his gun and fatally shot Campbell several times. At the time, DiGuglielmo testified his action was that of a police officer who was trying to protect his father from a bat-wielding Campbell. Prosecution maintained it was murder; and the jury agreed.

In 2008, Rory J. Bellantoni of Westchester County Court ruled to release DiGuglielmo based on that police and prosecutors had mishandled witnesses to the crime.

DiGuglielmo, who had been in prison since 1997, was set free from prison for 18 months before a panel of four appellate judges ruled in May, 2010 that despite any mistreatment of witnesses, their testimonies should still be upheld in court.

and in May 2011 appealed to New York's highest court to have the conviction overturned based on new evidence that showed police pressured witnesses to change their statements during the original trial in 1996. 

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TDFD74 September 11, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Charles Campbell was trespassing. He saw the deli owner put a noye on his car "rather than have it towed" and flew into a rage. They only subdued him after he hit the elderly deli owner. Once he got the bat out of his car (on deli owner's property mind you) he got a much deserved bullet.
steve September 12, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Another gross miscarriage of justice perpertraited by that bozo of a D. A. Pirro who was most probably guilty of tax evasion.
Rose Sawyer September 12, 2012 at 01:55 PM
What does imprisoning this man any longer serve? He is clearly not a risk to the public. Just a waste of taxpayer dollars to keep him behind bars.
Preston Faro September 14, 2012 at 02:11 AM
RG127. Your reply defies the truth. Let me say it is awful that a life was lost because of a parking spot. That said, the fight was over, the son and the brother-in-law went back into the store. It was only the father and Campbell and they were not fighting when Campbell took the bat out of his trunk. He hit the father on the wrist and broke it!! The son saw that and ran out with a licensed gun. Two of the witnesses originally said that Cambell was moving toward the father. They then changed their story. They have now changed their story again. Logic would tell you that their original story was probably true. Forget the racial garbage in this case. Think like this, if you had your father outside and saw him get hit with a bat on his wrist and a man who was 6 inches taller and 80 lbs heavier was standing above him, and you were trained to use a gun, would you use it to save your father. It is terrible that Cambell dies from this catastrophe but with al of the evidence, 12 years is enough!!
trek132 September 14, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Sad set of circumstances,but justice was done.

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