Charges Dropped Against Gary Cifizzari in 1979 Murder

December 10, 2019

For Immediate Release

Contact: Lindsay Corcoran (508) 368-7252 or (774) 670-8811

WORCESTER — After receiving results from additional DNA testing yesterday, Worcester County District Attorney Joseph D. Early, Jr. today ordered that charges against Gary Cifizzari be dropped in the interest of justice.

Mr. Cifizzari had been charged with the 1979 murder of Concetta Schiappa in Milford and convicted in 1984. His conviction was affirmed by the Supreme Judicial Court in 1986.

In 2017, the Innocence Project filed a motion for post-conviction DNA testing, which the District Attorney’s office worked with them to complete. At that time, the victim’s nightgown was the only piece of evidence tested and the results excluded Mr. Cifizzari. The DNA on the nightgown was uploaded into CODIS and found to be a match for Michael Giroux. Mr. Giroux is deceased.

The District Attorney’s office expedited additional DNA testing on several other items of evidence. The second round of testing identified DNA from Mr. Giroux on one additional item and several other items came back inconclusive. No additional DNA testing linked Mr. Cifizzari to the crime.

The results from the additional testing were received late yesterday afternoon. Midday today the District Attorney’s Office filed a nolle prosequi on the charges against Mr. Cifizzari.

“I’d like to thank our prosecutors for their hard work on this case. The conviction was obtained using bite mark evidence and one of the experts who testified at trial has since recanted his testimony. The nolle prosequi speaks for itself. This is no longer a viable case to prosecute. Our interest is and always will be in fair trials and the proper administration of justice,” Mr. Early said.