John Grega appears in Windham District Court in Brattleboro, Vt., Thursday, July 26, 2012, for a status hearing. (Zachary P. Stephens/Reformer)
John Grega appears in Windham District Court in Brattleboro, Vt., Thursday, July 26, 2012, for a status hearing. (Zachary P. Stephens/Reformer)
Thursday August 22, 2013

BRATTLEBORO - Prosecutors on Wednesday dismissed an aggravated murder charge against John Grega, a man accused of killing his wife in a West Dover condominium almost two decades ago.

"Today, the State of Vermont dismissed all charges against John Grega, finally conceding that it has no basis on which to charge him with the death of his wife Christine," Grega's defense team stated in a release, Wednesday evening. "The state's dismissal is long overdue, but it is only the first step in vindicating Mr. Grega's rights and honoring the memory of his late wife."

Grega was convicted of killing his wife, Christine, in 1994, and then released from prison in August 2012 when newly tested DNA evidence suggested that someone else was involved in the murder.

The state had filed a new aggravated murder charge against Grega, and he pleaded not guilty in May.

The county prosecutor told The Rutland Herald on Wednesday that the murder charges against Grega would be thrown out because of the challenges of finding a laboratory to do DNA matching of evidence taken from Christine Grega's body.

Windham County state's attorney Tracy Shriver and Assistant Attorney General Cindy Maguire said in a statement that they "remain committed to continuing this investigation to seek justice for Christine Grega and her family."

"Although the state maintains that it may still, some day far in the future, re-charge Mr. Grega, the defense will vigorously fight any such effort," Grega's defense team said.

Grega is the first person to be released from prison under a 2008 Vermont law that allows DNA evidence to be retested in certain cases.

He was convicted of killing his wife in 1994 and spent 18 years in prison.

On Aug. 22, 2012 he walked out of the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield and Wesley later vacated the original conviction and ordered a new trial.

Tom D'Errico can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 252, or tderrico@reformer.com. Follow Tom on Twitter @Tom_DErrico.