Vermont’s First DNA Exclusion

July 25th, 2012

The New England Innocence Project supports John Grega’s claims of innocence in light of recent DNA results excluding him as the perpetrator. NEIP is joining with his attorney Ian Carleton in calling for his immediate release and declaration of innocence.

John Grega has served 18 years in prison and has always maintained that he did not commit the crime for which he is imprisoned. Tuesday afternoon Vermont attorney, Ian Carleton, filed a motion in Windham Superior Court asking the court to overturn the conviction of Mr. Grega. NEIP has been consulting with Mr. Carleton on Mr. Grega’s case since February 2011. Mr. Grega was convicted in 1995 of killing his wife while they were on a family vacation with their 2 ½ year old son in West Dover, Vermont. Mr. Grega had no criminal record and no history of violence or mental illness, but police soon focused on him as a suspect in his wife’s murder. There were no witnesses to the crime and no physical evidence introduced at trial; Mr. Grega was convicted on circumstantial evidence alone and was the first person in Vermont’s history to receive a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

On September 2, 2011 the Superior Court of Vermont directed the State to test previously untested biological samples. On May 14, 2012 the Vermont Forensic Laboratory concluded that John Grega was excluded as the source of the major contributor of DNA in the most relevant sample.

NEIP is encouraging the court to swiftly overturn Mr. Grega’s conviction based on this exculpatory evidence. Mr. Grega has served 18 years for a crime that he did not commit and NEIP is working with Mr. Grega’s attorney Ian Carleton to secure his release.