DNA Evidence Prompts Court to Overturn Sentence

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

News Release: Associated Press
June 26, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Supreme Court is throwing out the conviction of a death row inmate after new DNA evidence raised questions about whether or not he murdered a woman nearly 30 years ago.

A divided court on Thursday overturned both the conviction and death sentence imposed on Paul C. Hildwin.

Hildwin had been sentenced to die for killing 42-year-old Vronzettie Cox, whose nude body was found stuffed in the trunk of a car parked in some Hernando County woods in September 1985. She had been strangled with a T-shirt.

Prosecutors in 1986 contended DNA found at the crime scene matched blood characteristics of Hildwin. But recent tests show the DNA belonged to Cox's boyfriend.

A majority of the court said this "completely discredits" the scientific evidence used by prosecutors at trial.


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