Former NYPD officer's murder rap upheld
On Monday, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals threw out an appeal based on statements by witnesses that they had been coerced by police to change their stories.
"The petitioner has not shown that this evidence as a whole would be sufficient to establish by clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable fact finder would have found him guilty of the offense," the two-judge panel stated.
DiGuglielmo was convicted of second-degree murder for shooting Campbell in the parking lot of his family's deli in Dobbs Ferry. DiGuglielmo claimed that he was defending his father from Campbell, who was wielding a baseball bat.
Campbell, a sanitation worker and amateur boxer, was picking up a pizza in the plaza next to the deli when he got into a heated argument with Rich DiGuglielmo Sr. over parking in a reserved spot, according to court documents.
The argument escalated and Campbell grabbed a bat and hit DiGuglielmo Sr. with the bat. His son, who saw the attack from inside the deli, grabbed a gun from under the counter and shot Campbell three times, hitting him in the chest.
He was sentenced to 20 years in state prison, which he has been serving at the Eastern New York Correctional Facility.
Four years ago, a Westchester County judge tossed out DiGuglielmo's conviction based on testimony from two witnesses who said police had pressured several of them to change their stories about what they had seen the night of Oct. 3, 1996.
But a year and half later, a state appellate court reversed that ruling and DiGuglielmo was sent back to prison.
DiGuglielmo's lawyer filed the federal appeal last year, citing new evidence from witnesses.
DiGuglielmo lawyer couldn't be reached for comment Monday night.