NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – Anthony Golino, a New Haven man who was wrongly charged in the high-profile 1973 killing of Penney Serra in a parking garage, has died of cancer. He was 57.

In 1984, Golino, a former classmate of Serra’s, was charged with her murder. On the eve of his trial, Golino was released after tests showed that his blood type did not match the killer’s.

Golino’s lawyer, Hugh Keefe, said his client was permanently damaged by the accusation.

“He never recovered from the stress he had from this charge,” he said. “The degradation, the humiliation. He spent most of the rest of his life fighting the reputation.”

Golino sued the New Haven police for $40 million for malicious prosecution, but it was rebuffed by a federal jury in 1993. He said he had rejected a settlement offer of $300,000 because it didn’t begin to compensate him for what he had endured.

Edward Grant of Waterbury was convicted of fatally stabbing the 21-year-old Serra. The Connecticut Supreme Court in April upheld the conviction. Grant is serving a prison sentence of 20 years to life.

He was arrested in 1997 after a random search of a state police database matched his thumb print to a print found on a tissue box inside Serra’s car.

Authorities matched his DNA to blood evidence found on a handkerchief at the end of a blood trail leading from Serra’s car.

Golino told the New Haven Register in a 1999 interview that he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, two mental breakdowns and colon cancer. He said he was forced to move out of his house, incurred expensive medical and legal bills and became estranged from his family.

“Years later, passing sirens would wake me up from a sound sleep,” Golino said. “I’d start to sweat and put myself in a corner, waiting for the police to come to my door.”


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