DNA evidence prompts court to overturn sentence

Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:17:50 AM EDT
Updated On: Jun 26 2014 02:13:55 PM EDT
Paul C. Hildwin

Florida Department of Corrections photo of Paul C. Hildwin

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

The Florida Supreme Court is throwing out the conviction of a death row inmate after new DNA evidence raised questions about whether or not he murdered a woman nearly 30 years ago.
    
A divided court on Thursday overturned both the conviction and death sentence imposed on Paul C. Hildwin.
    
Hildwin had been sentenced to die for killing 42-year-old Vronzettie Cox, whose nude body was found stuffed in the trunk of a car parked in some Hernando County woods in September 1985. She had been strangled with a T-shirt.
    
Prosecutors in 1986 contended DNA found at the crime scene matched blood characteristics of Hildwin. But recent tests show the DNA belonged to Cox's boyfriend.
    
A majority of the court said this "completely discredits" the scientific evidence used by prosecutors at trial.

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