Practice Area: Criminal Defense
Outcome: Not Guilty Verdict
Description: In perhaps the biggest victory of his career -- and after a 3-week trial -- Attorney Yannetti today succeeded in achieving a Not Guilty Verdict for his Client in a First-Degree Murder case. Client was a learning-disabled man who was arrested in 1989 because he signed a detailed typewritten confession to having murdered his next-door neighbor nine years earlier. In 1990, represented by another lawyer, Client was convicted by a jury of 1st-Degree Murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Client languished in state prison for over a decade, with little or no hope of ever winning his freedom. In 2003, his family retained Attorney Yannetti to continue a new investigation into the case begun by another attorney. After an evidentiary hearing, Attorney Yannetti convinced a Superior Court judge that Client should receive a new trial because his former attorney had overlooked exculpatory evidence regarding another suspect. Although the D.A.'s Office appealed that judge's ruling, Attorney Yannetti persuaded the Supreme Judicial Court in 2006 that the ruling was correct. The S.J.C. therefore ordered that Client would indeed receive a new trial -- something that is a very rare event. Attorney Yannetti thereafter petitioned another Superior Court judge to release Client on electronic monitoring, so that he could await his re-trial at home with his 87 year-old mother. Client therefore won his freedom -- albeit restricted to his home -- after unjustly serving 16 years in state prison. Trial then began on February 19, 2008. Attorney Yannetti hired three expert witnesses to testify for the defense: a forensic serologist, a forensic psychologist and the leading expert in the world on false confessions. In addition, Attorney Yannetti unearthed witnesses whom the prosecution had never interviewed. Finally, Attorney Yannetti's star witness was a former police officer who took the report regarding the other, uninvestigated suspect. Today, Attorney Yannetti (along with his sister and co-counsel, Attorney Tanis Yannetti) succeeds in convincing the jury to reject the detailed confession signed by Client. After a hard-fought trial with many twists and turns, Client walks from court a free man for the first time since being convicted 18 years ago. Result: Not Guilty Verdict after a Jury Trial. Client is Released from State Prison after unjustly serving sixteen years.