Lawyers and supporters for Charles Wilhite were back in a Springfield courtroom Monday for a hearing on his upcoming re-trial next month. Wilhite and a co-defendant were convicted two years ago this month in the shooting death of a man outside a Springfield store in October 2008. But Wilhite’s supporters say he was wrongfully convicted based on what they claim was a botched homicide investigation by Springfield Police.
Earlier this year, a Hampden Superior Court judge granted Wilhite a new trial after two prosecution witnesses recanted their original testimony that Wilhite shot Alfredo Rodriguez in the city’s Six Corners neighborhood.
David Lewis, Wilhite’s appelate attorney says he believes that strengthens Wilhite’s case the second time around.
“You figure they did it right the first time, or did it the best they could, so I’m doubtful that there’s some amazing witness out there that they didn’t use the first time that’s going to walk in the door the second time. But you never know.”
Lewis says that Wilhite has been incarcerated since his arrest in October 2009. Wilhite’s re-trial is scheduled to begin January 7th. Lewis says a judge has not yet been assigned to the case, but he expects one to be selected soon. Calls to District Attorney Mark Mastroianni were not immediately returned.