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Court orders new trial for men convicted in 1985 murder case

Connecticut Supreme Court and State Library building in Hartford.

HARTFORD, Conn.  — The Connecticut Supreme Court has ordered new trials for two men who were convicted more than three decades ago in the stabbing and beating death of a 65-year-old New Milford man.

The court found that Ralph “Ricky” Birch and Shawn Henning were convicted of the Dec. 1, 1985, murder of 65-year-old Everett Carr based in part on false testimony about blood stains on a towel, which later were proven not to be blood.

The men were teenagers when they were charged, two years after the crime. Birch has been serving a 55-year sentence for felony murder, Henning 50 years.

Supporters say no evidence was ever found linking the pair to Carr, who was stabbed 27 times, had his throat cut and suffered seven blows to the head with a blunt object.

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