David Ranta: Wrongfully convicted man freed after 23 years, has heart attack
NEW YORK (AP) - A New York City man whose murder conviction was overturned after 23 years in prison has suffered a heart attack on his second day of freedom.
David Ranta's lawyer tells The New York Times the former inmate had a serious heart attack Friday night and is being treated at a New York hospital.
Ranta walked out of jail Thursday after a judge threw out his conviction in the 1990 killing of a Brooklyn rabbi.
Brooklyn prosecutors had recently concluded Ranta's prosecution in the death of Rabbi Chaskel Werzberger was fatally flawed.
Werzberger was killed by a bandit fleeing a botched robbery. One witness said a police lineup that helped convict Ranta had been rigged. No physical evidence linked Ranta to the crime but a jury found him guilty anyway.
But Ranta's liberty could mean the murder will never be solved.
At least one other potential suspect is dead, witnesses' memories have faded and there's an absence of police paperwork on the case. Authorities say any opportunity for a clear-cut resolution has slipped away.
Ranta is 58. He told reporters Thursday that his new freedom was emotionally overwhelming.