George Collazo was 17 years old when he was shot and killed in the Bronx in 1996. Richard Rosario, who was convicted of Collazo’s murder even though he said had 13 alibi witnesses — people Rosario said could vouch that he was in Florida, not New York, at the time of the murder. But NYPD detectives had two eye witnesses. Rosario served 20 years of the 25-to-life sentence he was given before being released on March 23, 2016. Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark decided he “did not receive a fair trial” and his sentence was vacated. In an investigation by Dateline, at least nine of the alibi witnesses Rosario gave said they were never contacted by law enforcement about the case.
While Rosario has been freed, Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark did not ask that the charges against Rosario be dropped. Clark’s office will reinvestigate the case including completing the alibi witnesses’ interviews. Until then, even though he is out of jail, “the charges against Mr. Rosario remain open pending further investigation.” Dateline NBC is streaming “Conviction,” its investigative report about Rosario on Thursday, March 24.