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Marcia Hintz

Other Official Misconduct related to this Case
On September 22, 2006, police officers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania used a search warrant to enter Marcia Hintz’s home in the Mayfair neighborhood. According to information on the warrant, Hintz had sold Xanax to a confidential informant and a “concerned citizen” had told police about drug sales at the property.

During the raid, the police found Xanax, which the 44-year-old Hintz would later say had been prescribed to her partner as part of his treatment for renal failure. She said she hadn’t engaged in any illegal activities.

Hintz was charged with five drug crimes: possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of an instrument of crime.

The officers, including Jeffrey Walker and Thomas Liciardello, who conducted the search, were members of the city’s Narcotics Field Unit. During a preliminary hearing on August 22, 2007, Liciardello testified about the chain of events, including the alleged sale to a confidential informant, that led to the raid on Hintz’s home. At the time of her arrest, Hintz worked as a health-care aide and had only a misdemeanor fraud conviction from 1992.

She chose to have her case heard before a judge, rather than a jury, in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. At the trial, Liciardello again testified about the search warrant and the raid. Judge Genece Brinkley convicted Hintz and sentenced her on March 5, 2009 to between five and 10 years in prison. Hintz was released on parole from prison on May 5, 2013.

Just two weeks later, on May 21, 2013 Walker was arrested on federal charges of corruption and theft. As part of his plea agreement, Walker agreed to cooperate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a wider probe of misconduct by fellow officers in the narcotics unit. That led to indictments against six other officers, including Liciardello, on July 29, 2014. The officers were acquitted by a federal jury on May 14, 2015.

After the alleged corruption became public, Hintz filed a petition seeking to vacate her conviction, claiming that the officers testified falsely about their investigation and that impeachment evidence of their longstanding misconduct had not been provided to her defense. Her petition was granted on August 11, 2014, and the district attorney then dismissed her charges.

In 2015, Hintz filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Liciardello, Walker, the other officers, and the City of Philadelphia, seeking compensation for her wrongful conviction. It was settled in 2016, with the city paying her $625,000.

– Ken Otterbourg

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Posting Date: 4/8/2021
Last Updated: 4/8/2021
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:Conspiracy
Reported Crime Date:2006
Sentence:5 to 10 years
Age at the date of reported crime:44
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No