Alarico Joe Medina

In July 1990, Alarico “Rico” Medina and his cousin, Jesse Gomez, got into a fight with a man outside their Denver, Colorado house.  The man was stabbed and killed.  Four eyewitnesses saw the fight, including one who saw Medina lunge at the victim and another who saw a knife.  Several of the eye witnesses heard the victim mouth his dying words, “Rico, Rico.”  Medina was charged with and convicted of first-degree murder in a bench trial in 1991.  Medina’s wife later secretly recorded Gomez confessing to the murder and the tape was provided to the prosecution.  It was also established that one of the eyewitnesses was legally blind and was not wearing his glasses the night of the murder.  He later admitted that either man could have been the murderer.  Gomez confessed to the murder after he was promised immunity.  Medina’s murder conviction was vacated, but he pled guilty to being an accessory after the fact to the murder because he helped Gomez cover up the stabbing. He was sentenced to time served, and released in 1995.

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Posting Date:  Before June 2012

 

State:Colorado
County:Denver
Most Serious Crime:Murder
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1990
Convicted:1991
Exonerated:1995
Sentence:Life
Race:Hispanic
Sex:Male
Age:25
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No