Murdered girl's family furious about release of convicted man

May 6, 2013 2:55:49 PM PDT
The family of a murdered girl is speaking out about the release of the man convicted of killing her.

A judge in the Bronx released David Bryant last month after he'd spent 38 years in prison.

The Bronx District Attorney's Office announced on Monday it is appealing a judge's decision that vacated the conviction of David Bryant. He has maintained his innocence for 38 years, but the family of the girl he was accused of raping and killing believes he should still be in prison.

Karl Smith says he looks at his little sister's face every day.

"It's a picture. One of her happier pictures, when she was just 7 years old," he said.

Karen Smith was raped and murdered when she was 8 years old in a landing leading to the roof of an apartment building in the Bronx in 1975. The family lived downstairs. The next day, an acquaintance, David Bryant, was arrested. He was later convicted, but then released last month.

A judge vacated the conviction of the now 56-year-old, claiming his original defense had been bungled. His current attorney says forensic evidence was ignored.

"He's not the victim. My little sister is the victim. Our family is the victim here," Kevin Smith said.

The Smith family gathered at the Bronx courthouse to stare down Bryant and some chased after him following a brief court appearance.

"We're living the horror of this whole thing again. It's horrible. And to see him? It made me sick to my stomach," Arleen Wolterding, the victim's aunt, said.