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The former Cheshire police officer and private investigator credited with helping to exonerate two men charged with murder was charged yesterday with bribing a witness to change her story, which eventually led to the men's sentences being revoked.
Gerald "Jerry" O'Donnell, 67, worked for year to try and free George Gould and Ronald Taylor, who had been convicted for the 1993 murder of a New Haven business owner. During that original trial, Doreen Stiles provided testimony that implicated both men in the murders. However, in 2009, during a habeas corpus hearing in New Haven Superior Court, Stiles recanted her testimony, which was a driving force in the presiding judge ordering the two men freed. That decision was ultimately overturned by the state Supreme Court.
However, according to a warrant issues for O'Donnell's arrest, Stiles now claims that she was hounded by the private investigator for years, and was offered items such as a television if she would recant her testimony.
The warrant also states that O'Donnell tried to convince two other individuals to change their testimony.
For more on this story, see Thursday's Cheshire Herald.