Man convicted of double murder returns to court

Updated: 06/23/2014 11:18 PM
Created: 06/23/2014 4:37 AM WHEC.com
By: Amanda Ciavarri

He has been in prison for the last 12 years, serving time for a double murder on the city's west side. But Charles Pierre’s attorney says another man confessed to that crime. Pierre was convicted in 2002 of killing two people and then setting their house on fire.

Is it possible that Pierre was wrongfully convicted? That is the question the judge will have to decide at the end of the hearing. On Monday, Kathy Boyd was expected to take the stand, but she never showed. She is the wife of Darrell Boyd, the man who allegedly confessed to the killings. The defense says her testimony is vital in their fight for a new trial.

Mary Ann Wolfe, friend of Charles Pierre, said, “He did not do this. He knew them. They were friends of his and that's why he was getting emotional in there.”

Friends of Charles Pierre defended him outside of court Monday. This has been a long, emotional process for them. 

On the stand Monday was a man who never knew Pierre. Dolph Sturgis says he was in prison with Darrell Boyd after he was convicted in a similar homicide in 2007.

Dolph Sturgis said, “He said he admitted to the murder on First Street and that he beat them with a baseball bat and set the house on fire. He was concerned about his wife turning him in, she had told on him and he was wondering if it was enough evidence to convict him on.”

Strugis says inmates often came to him, asking for advice, because he earned his paralegal certificate while in prison. Strugis says he contacted the district attorney's office with what he heard.

Sturgis said, “An innocent man is in prison serving time. I know what it is like to be in prison. It is hard enough when you did something. If you didn't do something, it is even harder.”

Also on the stand was Rochester Police Department Investigator John Brennan. He says he interviewed Kathy Boyd, the wife of Darrell Boyd, while investigating a different homicide. Brennan says, during that interview, Boyd broke down in tears, saying "there's a man in prison for two murders he didn't commit."     

The defense says Charles Pierre is that man. Pierre's attorney says that woman's testimony is crucial to getting him out of jail.

Because Kathy Boyd did not show up to testify, the judge ordered a subpoena for her to show up for the next hearing on July 10, or be arrested.

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