Says accused killer deserves new trial
A state court has denied an appeal by Putnam County of a ruling that threw out the conviction of a Lake Carmel man accused of killing a 12-year-old girl in 1994.
Andrew Krivak, 39, spent 24 years in prison for the crime before a state judge in Westchester County last year threw out the conviction. (Putnam-based state judges had recused themselves.) Krivak was released to house arrest in October. Putnam County asked an appeals court to reverse the Westchester decision.
Krivak was charged with the rape and murder of Josette Wright along with Anthony DiPippo, who was twice convicted before being acquitted in a third trial in 2016. In August DiPippo received $12 million from Putnam County in a settlement of a federal civil-rights lawsuit he filed after spending 20 years in jail. The settlement cost the county $200,000, with the remainder covered by insurance.
Should Krivak receive a new trial and prevail on the same evidence presented by DiPippo, the county would likely face another federal lawsuit. A key difference between the two prosecutions is that Krivak implicated himself in a statement that the defense contends was a false confession coerced by Putnam County Sheriff investigators.
The Putnam County District Attorney’s office said it plans to again prosecute Krivak. However, all trials are suspended because of COVID-19 restrictions.