Case dismissed against Glendora man, whose 1985 murder
By J.D. Velasco, SGVN
Posted: 06/11/2012 09:13:13 AM PDT
- A Glendora man will not be retried after his 1984 murder
conviction was overturned.
The case against Frank O'Connell, 54, was dismissed Monday after the
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office declined to seek a
retrial due to insufficient evidence. The District Attorney's office
did request the case be dismissed "without prejudice" so they could
pursue the case in the future, if they are able to produce sufficient
"We had no idea that they were going to dismiss today. I've been
waiting so long for this," O'Connell said. "Finally they seem to
The District Attorney's Office had been considering retrying O'Connell
after his 1985 conviction for the Jan. 5, 1984 shooting death of
27-year-old Jay French of South Pasadena was overturned by Judge
Suzette Clover in March. Clover cited recent witness recantations and
improprieties in O'Connell's original murder trial.
At a hearing in February, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's
Office announced plans to pursue a second trial for O'Connell, and a
hearing date was set for May 18.
O'Connell has consistently maintained that
he did not commit the South
Pasadena slaying and has convinced others of his innocence as well,
including family members, fellow inmates, prison officials and the
nonprofit foundation Centurion Ministries, which works to free wrongly
convicted inmates and took up O'Connell's case in 1998.
Outside the courtroom, O'Connell hugged family members and thanked
well-wishers while trying to absorb the news.
O'Connell said now that he is a "true free man," he intends to move to
Colorado to be closer to his son, Nick O'Connell, 31.
"The first day of my future is right now," O'Connell said.
O'Connell said he hopes investigators will continue looking into the
murder so that the real killer will be brought to justice.
"The victim's family, they need some kind of closure," he said.