1996 murder case dropped after freed man’s unusual request

FILE- In this March 23, 2016, file photo, Richard Rosario, center, is joined by his daughter Amanda, right, son Richard Jr., left, and wife Minerva as he leaves Bronx Supreme Court in New York after his conviction was overturned. Rosario, who spent 20 years in prison for a killing he said he did not commit, has gotten the case dismissed, though he did not get the vindication he wanted. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York man imprisoned for 20 years for a killing he said he didn’t commit has gotten the case dismissed, though he didn’t get the vindication he wanted.

Bronx prosecutors said Monday they’re dismissing the charges against Richard Rosario. He was freed in March after prosecutors agreed his ex-lawyers hadn’t done enough to find 13 alibi witnesses.

In June, prosecutors said they would drop the 1996 case.

Rosario then made an unusual request to keep it open. He wanted a ruling saying that newfound evidence favored his claim of innocence, not just that his ex-lawyers made mistakes. The change would allow for seeking a particular form of wrongful-conviction compensation.

A judge said no last week.

Lawyer Chip Loewenson says Rosario is glad to be free of the case.

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