JTA — A man whose sentence was overturned after serving 23 years for the killing of a Brooklyn rabbi had a massive heart attack a day after being freed.
David Ranta, 58, had a heart attack Friday. A New York State Supreme Court judge in Brooklyn had released him from jail the previous day.
No physical evidence had linked Ranta, an unemployed drug addict, to the fatal February 1990 shooting of Rabbi Chaskel Werzberger in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.
A jury found Ranta guilty in May 1991 based on witness testimony and circumstantial evidence. He was sentenced to 37 and a half years in prison.
Ranta was released following a new probe in which witnesses recanted and evidence suggested another man who died in a car accident months after the killing was the shooter.
Leaving the court on March 21, Ranta said, “I’m overwhelmed. I feel like I’m underwater, swimming,” AP reported. “Like I said from the beginning, I had nothing to do with this case.”