Hudson Valley Murder Conviction Tossed Again
New York’s highest court is tossing the conviction of a Hudson Valley man in the 1994 murder of a 12-year-old girl.
In 1997, Antony DiPippo, 40, of Putnam County was convicted of raping and murdering 12-year-old Josette Wright in 1994. Her body was found in a wooded area a year after her disappearance. 38-year-old Andrew Krivack was also convicted of 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 yesterday that in 2012 the defense should have been allowed to present evidence about Howard Gombert. Gombert has a history of rapes, knew the victim, and allegedly told an inmate he was attracted to the 12-year-old girl.
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 the victim as one of the girls, adding "they already convicted some other suckers" in connection with her death.
A third trial will now be set for DiPippo, more than 20 years after Josette Wright was killed.