At a news conference on Friday, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, announced that a grand jury has recommended charges against three former Philadelphia homicide detectives, including perjury. The charges stem from the retrial of Anthony Wright, who was charged in the rape and killing of 77-year old, Louise Talley, according to The Associated Press.
Krasner said the three former detectives, Manuel Santaiago, Martin Devlin, and Frank Jastrzembski, were all in the process of turning themselves in on Friday afternoon. They face various charges including perjury, and swearing false statements during Wright’s retrial and his civil lawsuit.
DNA evidence proved that another man, who has since died, was the person who raped and killed the 77-year old. Wright’s was granted a retrial due to the new evidence. His sentence of life in prison was overturned on August 23, 2016. Former District Attorney Seth Williams’ office attempted to retry Wright in 2016, saying they had found new evidence proving Wright was the real killer. He was acquitted by a jury in less than an hour.
It was during the retrial that the officers’ testimony and their involvement in the case was revealed. The officers coerced a then, 20-year old Wright into confessing to a crime he said he knew nothing about, by promising him that he would go home tonight if he said he did it. One of the officers also lied under oath, that they had found bloody clothing linking Wright to the crime while searching his room. Krasner said the clothes had actually been found at the victims house, and had been marked “Wearer” in the evidence bag. Meaning, the clothes belonged to the victim, not Mr. Wright.
Wright ended up serving 25-years of the “life” prison sentence imposed at sentencing. Wright was facing a potential death sentence. In 2018, Wright settled a lawsuit with the city of Philadelphia for $9.8 million.