DNA evidence prompts court to overturn death row inmate's conviction, sentence
Published: Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 1:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 1:38 p.m.
TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Supreme Court is throwing out the conviction of a death row inmate after new DNA evidence raised questions about whether or not he murdered a woman nearly 30 years ago.
A divided court on Thursday overturned both the conviction and death sentence imposed on Paul C. Hildwin.
Hildwin had been sentenced to die for killing 42-year-old Vronzettie Cox, whose nude body was found stuffed in the trunk of a car parked in some Hernando County woods in September 1985. She had been strangled with a T-shirt.
Prosecutors in 1986 contended DNA found at the crime scene matched blood characteristics of Hildwin. But recent tests show the DNA belonged to Cox's boyfriend.
A majority of the court said this "completely discredits" the scientific evidence used by prosecutors at trial.