David Ranta, a man wrongly convicted of murder, had a heart attack less than two days after he left jail. Ranta was convicted in the 1990 slaying of a rabbi.
At the time of his exoneration, Ranta had served 23 years in jail. The 58-year-old was released from prison on Thursday after serving most of his 37.5 year sentence.
He was found guilty of the murder of Brooklyn rabbi Chaskel Werzberger. Ranta was freed on Thursday and left a courtroom in Brooklyn to be with his family.
He told reporters as he left that the sensation of being free was “overwhelming.” He added, “I said from the beginning. I had nothing to do with this case.”
David Ranta was spending time with his family after he was released on Thursday. It is not known what hospital he is currently at, or what his condition is.
The rabbi Ranta was convicted of killing died after a botched jewelry heist. Despite protests of his innocence, Ranta was convicted.
But the case against him started to crumble over the next two decades. An eyewitness who was a child when the murder happened came forward in 2011.
He admitted he was coached to pick Ranta from a line up. An investigation by the Conviction Integrity Unit of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office discovered that Ranta’s case was not handled properly.
Ranta’s family, including his siblings and his pregnant daughter, were at the hearing on Friday when the man’s name was cleared. Judge Miriam Cyrulnik stated in clearing his name, “It’s clear that the effects of this case have been devastating. To say I’m sorry for what you have endured would be an understatement.”
Now, prosecutors believe that the murderer was a man who passed away just two months after Werzberger was killed. They have not released his name. It is not clear how long it will take David Ranta to recover.