Charges Dropped in 1979 Milford Murder Case after DNA Tests

 by TWIW StaffDecember 10, 2019

WORCESTER - Charges against Gary Cifizzari in a 1979 murder in Milford were dropped on Tuesday after results from DNA testing revealed no link from Cifizzari to the crime.

According to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early's office, Cifizzari had been charged with the 1979 murder of Concetta Schiappa in Milford and convicted in 1984. His conviction was affirmed by the Supreme Judicial Court in 1986. 

The charges were dropped on Tuesday in the interest of justice. 

“I’d like to thank our prosecutors for their hard work on this case. The conviction was obtained using bite mark evidence and one of the experts who testified at trial has since recanted his testimony. The nolle prosequi speaks for itself. This is no longer a viable case to prosecute. Our interest is and always will be in fair trials and the proper administration of justice,” Early said. 

In 2017, the Innocence Project filed a motion for post-conviction DNA testing, which the District Attorney’s office worked with them to complete. At that time, the victim’s nightgown was the only piece of evidence tested and the results excluded Mr. Cifizzari.

The DNA on the nightgown was uploaded into Combined DNA Index System [CODIS] and found to be a match for Michael Giroux, who is deceased. 

The DA's office expedited additional DNA testing on several other items of evidence. The second round of testing identified DNA from Giroux on one additional item and several other items came back inconclusive.

No additional DNA testing linked Cifizzari to the crime. 

The results from the additional testing were received late yesterday afternoon. Midday today the District Attorney’s Office filed a nolle prosequi -- a voluntary abandonment -- on the charges against Cifizzari. 

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