Man Freed After 26 Years of False Imprisonment

DNA evidence clears man of rape and murder 26 years later

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCMiami
    Anthony Caravella is happy to be free.

    Anthony Caravella was just a teenager the last time he tasted air as free as the oxygen inhaled Thursday.

    Now 41, Caravella was freed from Broward County jail after DNA evidence proved he was not the person who brutally raped and murdered a woman in 1983. Caravella's family and attorney maintained his innocence and fought for the past decade to have him freed.

    DNA Clears Innocent Man

    [MI] DNA Clears Innocent Man
    Anthony Caravella inhaled sweet, free air for the first time in 26 years after DNA evidence proved he was innocent of the rape and murder of a Broward woman in 1983. (Published Thursday, Sep 10, 2009)

    "Bitter? No, not at all," Carvellas told Sun-Sentinel as he walked out of the jail with his family. "I'm happy to be out."

    Caravella admitted to the murder on several occasions in 1983, but the borderline mentally handicapped man held an IQ of 66 and didn't seem to comprhened what he was being asked, his attorney said.

    A recent DNA test ruled Caravella out as a suspect in the death of the Miramar woman, which prompted prosecutors to ask for an immediate reversal of the 1983 decision.

    An investigation will now be conducted to find out who is the real killer.

    As for Caravella, he is prepping for a home cooked meal with his family and some catching up on the past quarter century. He must still wear a GPS monitor, obey an 11 p.m. curfew, submit to random drug tests and check in daily with pretrial release officers while the investigation continues.

    Those rules sound like privileges compared to being locked away with hardened criminals. With the Internet, cell phones and digital TV all part of the new, free world for Caravella, what's he looking forward to the most?

    "I don't even know," he said.