A Long Island man convicted in 1995 of killing his wife while on vacation in Vermont was expected to be released from prison Wednesday, a day after a judge vacated his sentence and ordered a new trial because DNA from an unknown male was found on her body.
John Grega, now 50, of Lake Grove, had been serving a sentence of life without parole for the sexual assault and strangulation death of his wife Christine Grega while they were vacationing at a West Dover condominium in September 1994.
On Tuesday, Vermont Superior Court Judge John Wesley signed an order vacating Grega’s 1995 conviction and set bail at $75,000. He issued the order after the state and Grega’s attorneys agreed to the details.
The office of the Vermont Defender General and Burlington lawyer Ian Carleton made the request after new testing on DNA found on Christine Grega’s body found DNA that didn’t come from her husband, but from another unknown male.
Christine Grega, 31, was found dead Sept. 12, 1994, in a whirlpool bath in a condominium in West Dover, where she, her husband and their young son were vacationing. She had been sexually assaulted, beaten and strangled.
The person who answered the phone Wednesday at the Long Island home of Christine Grega’s sister declined comment.
Grega was the first person convicted and sentenced under a then-new Vermont law setting a penalty of life in prison without parole for aggravated murder. And the overturning of the verdict marked the first time a 2008 law has been used to ask a court to overturn a conviction of certain serious crimes based on DNA evidence.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.