Williamsburg: Man Jailed In Rabbi’s 1990 Killing Could Be Freed


jail3A newspaper says a man who has been jailed since 1990 for the killing of a Brooklyn rabbi is about to be set free after an investigation found he is probably innocent.

The New York Times reports that Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes will ask a state judge to release the prisoner, David Ranta.

Ranta was convicted of murder after Rabbi Chaskel Werzberger was shot on Feb. 8, 1990, by a man fleeing a botched robbery. Thousands attended the funeral for the Hasidic rabbi.

The Times says the detectives who arrested Ranta broke numerous rules and kept few written records. The newspaper says Ranta could be freed as early as Thursday.

The investigation was done by a unit that Hynes created to look into questionable convictions.



  1. We know how the Kings County (a.k.a. Brooklyn) District Attorney operates from some recent cases with frum Jews as defendants, but just because the prosecutors tend to “cheat” to convict regardless of the evidence doesn’t prove the defendant’s innocence – so the article should have discussed some of the evidence suggesting innocence (e.g. the DA blackmailed defense witnesses not to testify, the DA made use of perjured testimony, etc.).

  2. akuperma: The story DOES discuss the points suggesting his innocence. The entire case against him was only built upon testimony of convicted felons who were seeking a deal (and got it) lowering there own sentence in exchange for testifying against this individual in this unrelated case. So they made up a story.

    It has come to light over the years that the cops coerced these testimonies and that the witnesses have since recanted and admitted to lying.

  3. Anyone with ah bissel seichal knows that the CORRUPT Charles Hynes is an enemy to the Frum community! It amazes me how so many of unzera keep voting for this bum, like blind bats! From Yankel Rosenbaum to Gideone Bush to Rabbi Bernard Freiluch to Nechemia Weberman, etc… Charles has shown his contempt for the Frum community! He see’s that you idiots keep honoring him anyway so this latest chicanery just goes in line with his mihalech! When will you people learn?!

  4. #2- you answered the question. It was the “bribed and/or blackmailed informer” issue, which is a big issue as of late – and not just in Brooklyn. It’s interesting that in halacha once someone was known as a criminal and a liar, his testimony would be almost worthless (and in fact, many other countries have come to similar conclusions).

  5. Charly, your office recently prosecuted a frum man and he was sentenced to over 100 years on very questionable evidence, would you please investigate this case as well, or he will have to ch”v sit in jail for 20 years before the truth is exposed,

    Prosecutors are not interested in the truth, their only interest is to become famous and enhancing their carriers.

  6. Akuperma:
    not all witnesses were against Ranta. Chaim Weinberger always claimed he wasn’t the one, but the jury, and almost everyone else chose not to take him seriously. We were too naive about the system back then.