In 1977, 92-year-old Emma Crapser was murdered in her Poughkeepsie, New York apartment. Police alleged that Crapser walked in on a burglary that was being committed by a then 18-year-old Bozella, who then killed her. In 1983, Bozella was convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. He continued to claim he was innocent and refused to admit to the crimes he was alleged to have committed, even when in front of the parole board, who denied him parole on four occasions. Bozella contacted the Innocence Project, who agreed to examine his case. When the Innocence Project discovered that there was no DNA evidence remaining to be tested, they referred the case to WilmerHale. Lawyers at WilmerHale discovered new evidence that had been suppressed by prosecutors showing Bozella was in fact innocent and had been framed. Supreme Court Justice James Rooney of Putnam Countyagreed that the Dutchess County District Attorney, John King, had failed to disclose crucial evidence which would have proved Bozella's innocence. On October 28, 2009, Bozella was finally released from prison after serving 26 years.
Bozella was imprisoned in New York State, including at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. While incarcerated at Sing Sing, he became the prison's light heavyweight boxing champion.
On October 28, 2009, after being released from custody, Bozella began working with youths at a local gym in Newburgh, New York. At the gym, which is now closed, he worked with teenagers teaching them about boxing and about the dangers of joining gangs. He frequently visits various organizations to deliver speeches about his life experiences. Bozella is a frequent sight at New York City area boxing cards.
Bozella currently lives in Fishkill, New York with his wife, Trena. While accepting an award in 2011, he told an ESPN reporter that he still dreamed of having at least one professional fight one day. In 2011, boxing champion Bernard Hopkins helped Bozella's dream come true.
What a great yet sad story, this guy has spent nearly as many years in prison fighting for justice as i have been alive.
take a look at his story here.