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Crime & Courts

NYC judge vacates conviction in 1975 child death, frees man

A man jailed nearly four decades in the death of an 8-year-old New York City girl is a free man after a judge found his trial attorney provided a poor defense.

David Bryant was released Thursday afternoon, not long after a Bronx judge determined his defense in the 1975 killing had been flawed.

The New York Times reports the judge found the failure of Bryant's attorney to consult with a blood and semen testing expert deprived him of a fair trial.

The then-18-year-old Bryant was arrested less than a day after the discovery of Karen Smith's body in the stairwell of an apartment house. She'd been raped, beaten and stabbed.

A spokesman for the Bronx district attorney's office says no decision has been made on appealing the judge's ruling.

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