The Essex County District Attorney's office has reportedly decided not to appeal a Judge’s decision overturning the conviction of a 48 year old man who served 21 years in prison for a murder he insisted he did not commit. The DA's office, however, has yet to determine whether it will seek a new trial.
Angel Echavarria was convicted in 1994 of murdering a Lynn man. But a 10-year investigation by the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis uncovered numerous inconsistencies, including a key witness who identified Echavarria’s Spanish accent as Puerto Rican. But both the witness and the accused are from the Dominican Republic. No physical evidence connected Echavarria to the crime. Anne Driscoll was one of the Schuster investigators on the case :
"It was a very challenging case because people had moved around a lot," said Driscoll. "They had different identities. And so it was difficult to find a lot of the witnesses that were involved in the case. And fortunately we were able to come up with evidence that supported Angel’s innocence."
Echavarria was released on May 18.
Judge David Lowy of Salem Superior Court has scheduled a hearing for June 16 on the question of a new trial for Echavarria.