Two men attempt to have 1993 Tonawanda murder convictions thrown out

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TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Two men convicted for a 1993 murder in Tonawanda now have a former Erie County prosecutor convinced they didn’t do it.

This is the latest on an attempt to throw out the convictions against James Pugh and Brian Scott Lorenz. Pugh has already served his full prison term for the 1993 murder of Deborah Meindl, and is a free man. Scott Lorenz still has time left on his sentence.

Their attorneys are trying to convince a judge to exonerate them. Today’s first witness was former Assistant District Attorney David Heraty, who said there was reasonable doubt about whether the pair committed the crime.

Monday, Heraty said witnesses told him the victim’s husband talked about hiring someone to kill his wife. Others say Pugh and Scott Lorenz were pressured by a Tonawanda police detective, who they claim was involved with the victim’s family.

Tomorrow, David Sweat is expected to take the stand. He and Richard Matt made international headlines when they escaped from a North Country prison six years ago.

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