UNITED STATES NEWS

New York man who served 18 years for murder acquitted at 2nd trial

Sep 29, 2023, 8:53 AM

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — A New York man who spent 18 years in prison for a murder he said he did not commit was found not guilty at a second trial.

Paul Scrimo, 66, was acquitted on Thursday in Nassau County Court in the strangulation death of Ruth Williams in 2000, Newsday reported.

Scrimo was convicted of murder in 2002, but an appeals court overturned the conviction in 2019, saying Scrimo had been denied a fair trial.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal said in its ruling that DNA under the victim’s fingernails was not Scrimo’s.

Scrimo said his acquittal after a trial that started on Sept. 18 will give him a chance to make up for lost time with his family.

“I missed all of the graduations, all of the weddings,” Scrimo, a married father of three, said. “The kids always loved me. They never said, ‘Dad, you weren’t here.’ With my wife … she’s been hurt by this. But she’s a good girl, and I’m gonna make it up to her forever.”

Scrimo was accused of strangling Williams inside her Long Island apartment on April 12, 2000. According to Newsday, prosecutors at both trials said Scrimo killed Williams after she made disparaging remarks about his wife.

Scrimo maintained that a friend who was present along with Scrimo when Williams died was the killer. The friend was never charged in the case.

Brendan Brosh, a spokesperson for Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly, said in a statement, “We respect the verdict.”

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New York man who served 18 years for murder acquitted at 2nd trial