New York state’s highest court has ruled that Robert Neulander will get a new trial in the murder case of his wife.
The state Court of Appeals posted his decision online Tuesday morning, saying it “concluded that the trial court abused its discretion.”
The former DeWitt doctor was found guilty in 2015 of murdering Leslie Neulander in 2012.
Her death was initially ruled an accident caused by a fall in the shower. The case was reopened when Neulander was accused of killing her and trying to cover it up. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. The case was highlighted on national television with a profile on CBS' "48 Hours."
In June 2018, an appellate court ordered Neulander released and granted him a new trial after Neulander appealed when his attorney was informed that one juror failed to follow the judge's explicit instructions to not talk to anyone about the trial. A hearing revealed that juror 12, Johnna Lorraine, spoke with friends and family members about the trial through text message. One message from her father read, "Make sure he's guilty." Another message from a friend referred to Neulander as a "scary person."
“In this case, a sworn juror, when examined by the court about the breadth of her outside communications was repeatedly and deliberately untruthful about the scope of that misconduct and affirmatively sought to conceal evidence of her misconduct,” the Tuesday decision read. “That extraordinary and dishonest behavior by a juror purposefully selected to be a fair and objective arbiter of the facts in the case causes irredeemable injury to the judicial system and the public’s confidence in it.”
It’s unclear when the new trial could take place.