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Andrew Craig

More Worcester County Cases
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On May 2, 2005, 24-year-old Andrew Craig was arrested in Worcester, Massachusetts on charges of assaulting his landlord and his landlord’s 72-year-old mother.

Craig was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a box cutter), assault and battery of a person over 60 and threatening to commit a crime.

Craig went to trial in Worcester County Superior Court in September 2005. Shawn Campanale, Craig’s landlord, and Mary McNeil, Campanale’s mother, testified that Craig owed about $3,000 in rent and that Craig threatened them with a box cutter when Campanale demanded payment.

On September 27, 2005, a jury convicted Craig of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery of a person over 60 and threatening to commit a crime. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

In 2006, Craig’s convictions were vacated and he was granted a new trial after his defense attorney presented a recording of a conversation between Campanale and Sharon Strain, a woman whom Craig’s wife had enlisted to record the conversation. Duringthe conversation, Campanale bragged that he had falsely accused Craig because of the unpaid rent.

According to a sworn statement from Strain, Campanale said he called the police and “lied about Drew (Craig’s nickname) swinging something at him and how his mother had lied too.” Campanale also said that “his mother didn't feel guilty about lying—she said if Drew didn't do anything this time,he had done things in the past and deserved to be in jail.”

On March 30, 2006, following a retrial before a judge who heard the case without a jury, Craig was acquitted and released.

Craig subsequently filed a lawsuit under the Massachusetts wrongful conviction statute. The lawsuit was settled for $150,000.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 10/6/2016
State:Massachusetts
County:Worcester
Most Serious Crime:Assault
Additional Convictions:Other
Reported Crime Date:2005
Convicted:2005
Exonerated:2006
Sentence:2 years and 6 months
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:24
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No