On Wednesday, August 22, John Grega was released from prison, after serving 18 years in prison for a crime he has always maintained that he did not commit. 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. Prosecutors working on the case agreed that in light of the recent DNA results, Mr. Grega is entitled to a new trial. John Grega passed away in 2015 due to a car accident, just three years after he was released from prison.