David Ranta walked out of prison Thursday after being falsely imprisoned for 23 years. Friday he suffered a heart attack. By family request, the name of the New York hospital was not released, but doctors say one artery was completely clogged, and one partially. They put in a stint, but he will undergo other procedures.
Ranta, 58, was convicted in 1991 in the murder of Brooklyn rabbi Chaskel Werzberger in 1990. Werzberger was shot and killed by a fleeing robber. Ranta was identified as the shooter in a police lineup. He was released when the witness recanted his story. He had been a child at the time and said he had been coached to pick Ranta out of the lineup. Upon review prosecutors said their case had fallen apart.
As he left the courtroom, he told reporters: “I’m overwhelmed. Right now, I feel like I’m under water, swimming.”
Friday evening Ranta was at home with his family and felt pain in his shoulder. Then he started to feel excessively warm. At first his family thought that the excitement of the last two days was causing a panic attack. Then they realized it was something worse.
He was taking high blood pressure medication, but had never been diagnosed with heart problems.
Judge Miriam Cyrulnik cleared his name. Ranta’s parents died, while he was in prison. “It’s clear that the effects of this case have been devastating,” Cyrulnik said. “To say I’m sorry for what you have endured would be an understatement.”
Prosecutors have identified a man who they now believe was the actual murderer. He died two months after Werzberger was killed.
Columnist-The Guardian Express