SOMERVILLE, N.J. – A New Jersey man imprisoned for nearly two decades for murder has had his conviction overturned after a successful challenge to bite-mark evidence.
Gerard Richardson was granted his release Monday on $5,000 bail, though he won't be freed for a few days. He had appealed his conviction in the murder of 19-year-old Monica Reyes, whose body was found in a ditch in Bernards Township in north-central New Jersey in February 1994.
The Somerset County prosecutor's office allowed Richardson's release, even though it has not dismissed the charges against him.
Richardson's attorneys say DNA testing shows a bite mark left on the victim's back is from another man. Prosecutors cited the DNA evidence in their decision to allow the conviction to be reversed.
The bite mark was the primary physical evidence against Richardson at his trial.