The Latest: Former prisoner cleared of ’64 NYC killing
NEW YORK (AP) — The latest on the exoneration of a Virginia man more than 50 years after a prosecutor says he was wrongfully convicted in a New York City killing (all times EDT):
A Virginia man who spent a decade in prison after pleading guilty to a New York City murder over 50 years ago has been exonerated.
At the request of a prosecutor, a New York judge on Monday vacated the conviction of 81-year-old Paul Gatling for the 1963 shooting death of Lawrence Rothbort.
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson asked that Gatling’s conviction be vacated, saying that Gatling’s attorney and family had pressed him to wrongly plead guilty in 1964 to second-degree murder. They were afraid that he would otherwise face the death penalty if convicted.
The retired landscaper had asked the office’s conviction review unit to look into his case.
A Virginia man who spent nearly a decade in prison after being wrongly convicted of murdering an artist in Brooklyn more than 50 years ago is poised to be formally exonerated.
The New York Times reports (http://nyti.ms/24tOyx1 ) 81-year-old Paul Gatling is expected to be exonerated of murdering Lawrence Rothbort on Monday.
The retired landscaper pleaded guilty in 1964. His 30-years-to-life sentence was later reduced. Gatling was eventually paroled, but remained officially a convicted murderer.
Gatling asked the district attorney’s office to have its Conviction Review Unit re-examine his case.
Authorities requested to reverse Gatling’s conviction after investigators found he was denied many legal rights. Other accounts that Rothbort’s wife was having an affair and that the couple had violent disputes were also never told to the jury.