HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A judge on Thursday dismissed a murder conviction against a Connecticut man accused of strangling a woman in 1991 after new DNA tests showed he was not the source of bite marks on her body.
Alfred Swinton, who was ordered released on a promise to return to court next month, will remain under electronic monitoring meantime and must live with his sister.
Swinton was convicted in 2001 of killing Carla Terry in Hartford based, in part, on the testimony of a dentist who said Swinton's teeth matched the bite marks. The dentist has recanted his testimony, citing new developments in the understanding of bite mark evidence.
"It's not right," said Terry's twin brother, Curtis Terry. "They let a killer get off."
State's Attorney Gail Hardy had asked for bail to be set at $500,000. The murder charge against Swinton remains pending and Hardy made clear that she intends to take the case back to trial, noting incriminating statements Swinton made to police and others about the murder and other homicide cases.
Swinton was investigated, but not charged, in four other 1990s killings. He has denied killing anyone.
Lawyers with the Innocence Project pushed for the new DNA testing.