Reopening a 20-year-old murder case is not so difficult; compiling enough evidence to convict someone of the crime probably will be.

That's what lawyers and experts said of Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice's announcement yesterday that she has reopened the investigation into the 1989 murder of Kelly Ann Tinyes, 13, of Valley Stream. Her mutilated body was found in her neighbor's basement.

Rice said there is no doubt that Robert Golub, the man serving 25 years to life for the crime, is guilty. But she said she is looking into whether he had an accomplice.

However, experts say unless there is strong new physical evidence, such as DNA, it will likely be difficult to prove to a jury that a second person is guilty.

Tinyes' parents say they have long suspected that Golub's younger brother, John, played a part. Rice convened an investigative grand jury in the case last year, but no new charges came of it, said John R. Lewis, of Farmingdale, who represents John Golub. John Golub was asked to testify before the panel. Now Rice is asking anyone who knows anything about what happened in the Golubs' home on March 3, 1989, to come forward.

"If there are new witnesses, the jury is going to wonder why didn't they come forward until now, and how they can remember what was said," said Rachel Barkow, a professor at New York University Law School.

In the Tinyes case, there may even be a steeper hurdle, Lewis said. That's because detectives and prosecutors who looked into John Golub's involvement then determined there was not enough evidence to charge him.

Salvatore Marinello of Mineola, who represented Robert Golub in the 1990 trial, said John Golub was with two friends in an upstairs room at the time of the killing and stepped away from them for only moments at a time. He said DNA evidence, including samples of Robert Golub's blood mixed with Tinyes' blood, pointed squarely at his client and no one else.

Mitchell Benson, who heads Rice's Major Case Bureau, would not speak specifically about the Tinyes investigation. In general, though, he said old cases are a mixed bag. Witnesses die or disappear, evidence is lost. But time also gives people a chance to reveal secrets. "A person may let down their guard and tell someone the story of what they did a long time ago," he said.

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Summer camp complaints . . . Suffolk double dippers . . . LI's best BBQ Credit: Newsday

Global tech disruption's effect on LI . . . Trump's big speech . . . Suffolk double dippers . . . LI's best BBQ

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