A Hudson Valley man who spent half of his life in jail for the murder of a 12-year-old girl was cleared of all charges.

On Tuesday in Putnam County Court, a jury found Anthony DiPippo not guilty of all charges stemming from a 1994 rape and murder of 12-year-old Josette Wright of Carmel, reports the Examiner.

Tuesday was the conclusion of the 40-year-old’s third murder trial. His two previous convictions for the killing had been overturned on appeal.

In 1997, DiPippo,was first convicted of raping and murdering Wright. Her body was found in a wooded area years after her disappearance. 38-year-old Andrew Krivack was also convicted in connection with rape and murder.

DiPippo’s conviction was overturned in 2011 due to a conflict of interest on behalf of the DiPippo’s lawyer. In a second trial, in 2012, DiPippo was again convicted of murder.

The Court of Appeals ruled in March that in 2012, the defense should have been allowed to present evidence about Howard Gombert. Gombert has a history of rape, knew the victim and allegedly told an inmate he was attracted to the 12-year-old girl.

The inmate, Joseph Santoro, who was incarcerated with Gombert in Connecticut, claimed that Gombert made incriminating admissions. According to Santoro’s affidavit, Gombert told him that Putnam County authorities were “trying to get him for the killing of two girls,” in the Putnam County area. Gombert named Wright as one of the girls, adding “they already convicted some other suckers.”

Krivak remains in prison for the rape and murder.

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