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N.Y. Man Convicted for 1981 Murder

February 7, 2002

NEW YORK (AP) _ One of two men charged with killing a doctor during a $5 robbery more than 20 years ago was convicted of murder.

Daryl Whitley, 40, faces 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in state Supreme Court on Feb. 21.

Whitley _ whose first trial in 1997 ended with a deadlocked jury _ was found guilty Wednesday in the Nov. 2, 1981, slaying of Dr. John C. Wood Jr.

Wood, a 31-year-old surgical resident at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, had $5 in his pocket when he was robbed and shot while walking back to work after dinner with his pregnant wife.

Patrick McDowell, 39, was arrested in 1994 for allegedly firing the shots at Wood, but his 1996 trial ended with a hung jury. He was acquitted in 1997.

Jerry Giorgio, the city detective first assigned to the case and now an investigator for the Manhattan district attorney’s office, called Whitley’s conviction ``bittersweet.″

``But I feel terrific,″ he said. ``I can’t wait to get upstairs and call″ Wood’s parents and his widow, Diana Wood.

Diana Wood, who testified at Whitley’s trial, has remarried and lives in Massachusetts.

Giorgio said he believed that the testimony of a previously unused witness, Bernard Barnes, helped win the conviction. Barnes testified that Whitley had told him about participating in the murder.

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