Man convicted of double murder to get new trial

Updated: 07/17/2014 5:43 PM
Created: 07/17/2014 7:40 AM WHEC.com
By: Rachel Spotts

He has spent 12 years in prison for a crime he says he didn’t commit and today, he was granted a new trial.

A judge threw out Charles Pierre’s conviction Thursday afternoon. He was convicted of killing two people inside a home before setting it on fire more than a decade ago. Now another man has come forward, confessing that he committed the murders.

Charles Pierre is one step closer to being a free man. On Thursday, Judge Doug Randall decided to grant Pierre a re-trial and vacated the conviction for that double murder back in 2002. But Pierre will remain behind bars for now.

Charles Pierre fought back tears Thursday. After spending twelve years in prison, he now has a chance at freedom. Judge Randall says he made the decision to grant a retrial based on new evidence. 

The most compelling evidence of all was a confession by another man to the killings. Darrell Boyd allegedly admitted to his wife that he beat two people with a baseball bat and then set their apartment on fire back in 2002. Kathy Boyd took the stand a week ago. 

Another key witness was Dolph Sturgis. He says he was in prison with Darrell Boyd. Sturgis says Boyd confessed to the killings and said that he feared his wife would turn him into police.

The third and final witness to take the stand for the defense was Investigator John Brennan with the Rochester Police Department. He says he interviewed Kathy Boyd, who broke down in tears and told him quote, "There's a man in prison for two murders he did not commit." 

Thursday's decision is a victory for the defense. 

Van White, Pierre’s attorney, said, “I'm extremely gratified. I feel very blessed to have been a part of making justice happen. As you can see, it was not an easy endeavor.”

Brian Green, Monroe County Assistant District Attorney, said, “The burden to proceed lies with the defendant. This is the opposite of a criminal trial and we don't believe that the defense met that burden.”

The prosecution is planning to appeal Thursday's decision. 

For now, Charles Pierre will remain behind bars until next month when bail could be lowered. Pierre will be transferred from state prison to the Monroe County Jail. 

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