Thomas Bianco

A woman was abducted and murdered after leaving a party in September 1981 in Auburn, New York.  Her remains were not discovered until two years later.  In 1985, Bianco, the victim’s former boyfriend, was arrested and charged with murder. At his trial, a friend of Bianco’s testified that Bianco had confessed to him that he had killed the victim.  Other witnesses placed Bianco with the victim shortly before she disappeared.  The prosecution argued that Bianco killed the victim after she refused his sexual advances. In March 1986, a jury convicted Bianco of second-degree murder and he was sentenced to 25-years-to-life. 
 
After Bianco’s conviction, his attorneys discovered that the prosecution had concealed a witness statement pointing to another suspect, and other statements describing a man other than Bianco who was seen with the victim before her disappearance.  Prosecutors also failed to disclose that the friend who testified that Bianco had confessed to the killing had spoken to police several times before mentioning this confession.  The friend recanted his testimony in 1992, and said that prosecutors pressured him to testify against Bianco. 
 
In 1993, a New York State Appellate Court reversed Bianco’s conviction because of prosecutorial misconduct, and charges were dismissed.
 
- Stephanie Denzel

Report an error or add more information about this case.

 

State:New York
County:Cayuga
Most Serious Crime:Murder
Additional Convictions:Kidnapping
Reported Crime Date:1981
Convicted:1986
Exonerated:1993
Sentence:25 to Life
Race:Caucasian
Sex:Male
Age:19
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID, Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No