PROVIDENCE, RI – A Rhode Island man who was serving a 25 year sentence for the murder of his wife in the Virgin Islands is heading home. A three-judge appellate panel has overturned the conviction of David Swain of Jamestown.
Prosecutors called it the near perfect crime. David Swain and his wife, Shelly Tyre were scuba diving off the Virgin Islands when she drowned on March 12, 1999. Ten years later a jury found him guilty of murder and sentenced him to life in prison with a minimum of 25 years to serve. The verdict was unanimous; the jury persuaded by a string of prosecution witnesses who said that he attacked his wife from behind, removed her scuba mask and cut off her air supply.
The alleged motive: money and the chance for a new love life.
His verdict was overturned on the basis of flawed jury instructions. Freshly released from prison, Swain told a reporter from the BVI Beacon that he and his daughter will return to Rhode Island "sooner rather than later." But it may have to be later. His passport has reportedly expired.
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