Criminal Justice

Case Over for NJ Man Jailed 22 Years

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A New Jersey man jailed for 22 years after being convicted of murdering his former girlfriend’s two children has been freed and will not face new charges after a DNA test linked another man to the crimes.

A state prosecutor announced today that Byron Halsey, 46, will not be recharged in the case, reports the Associated Press. He was released from prison May 15, after a judge vacated his conviction and granted him a new trial based on DNA evidence that implicated a neighbor in the crimes.

That means Halsey can now go on with his life, which is not easy after 22 years in prison even without a potential murder case hanging over his head, says his lawyer, Vanessa Potkin, who works for the Innocence Project at Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law. “He’s pretty much jumped back into things and immediately started working and piece by piece rebuilding his life. The process is extremely grueling.”

According to DNA tests, which were not available at the time of the 1988 crimes, semen from a neighbor, Clifton Hall, was found at the Plainfield, N.J., rooming house where Tyrone Urquhart, 8, and Tina Urquhart, 7, were murdered. Hall, now 49 and a convicted sex offender, has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of aggravated sexual assault concerning the two children.

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