The Latest: Woman's conviction overturned in '91 NYC killing

AP News
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Posted: Feb 23, 2016 3:42 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on a court hearing for a New York woman who claimed she was coerced into confessing to her involvement in the death of man targeted for robbery (all times local):

3:30 p.m.

A New York City judge has overturned the conviction of a woman who was accused of killing a man during a 1991 robbery.

Vanessa Gathers wiped tears from her eyes and hugged her lawyer as Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew D'Emic (DEHM-ihk) dismissed her conviction Tuesday. She also hugged Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson.

The 58-year-old Gathers spent 10 years behind bars on a manslaughter conviction in the death of 71-year-old Michael Shaw. She was paroled in 2007.

Shaw died in April 1992 of injuries from a robbery and assault five months earlier.

Gathers had initially denied her involvement but confessed when she was questioned five years later.

Thompson has said the confession was vague and inaccurate and questioned its validity.

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12:20 p.m.

A woman convicted of killing a man in a 1991 New York City robbery is set to be exonerated after prosecutors concluded she made a false confession.

Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson says his office will ask a judge Tuesday to overturn Vanessa Gathers' manslaughter conviction. The 58-year-old Gathers spent 10 years behind bars and was paroled in 2007.

Seventy-one-year-old Michael Shaw died in April 1992 of injuries from a robbery and assault five months earlier.

Gathers was questioned, denied involvement and was released. Detective Louis Scarcella (skahr-SEHL'-uh) questioned her again five years later, and she confessed and was convicted.

Thompson says the confession was vague and inaccurate, and prosecutors now doubt its validity.

Prosecutors have reviewed dozens of Scarcella's cases amid questions about his tactics. He denies any wrongdoing.