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Twisted Justice: A night that changed three lives forever
March 2nd, 2012
02:49 PM ET

Twisted Justice: A night that changed three lives forever

On October 3, 1996, Richard DiGuglielmo stopped by his family’s deli in Dobb’s Ferry to help his father, who was recovering from a heart attack, with the pre-dinner rush. Due to tenants’ complaints about the lack of parking, Richard Sr., was protective of the small lot in front. So when Charles Campbell pulled into a spot reserved for “patrons only,” DiGuglielmo Sr. asked him to move to a nearby lot. Campbell refused. A fight ensued. DiGuglielmo says he tried to save his father’s life, but what happened next changed his life forever.

Deborah Feyerick examines the case against a former NYC transit officer who is sitting in prison - maybe for life - even after the trial that put him there was found by a judge to be full of holes. It is a story of anger, and a death that started over a parking space.

Was it murder or a miscarriage of justice?

Twisted Justice is one of two revealing investigations you won’t want to miss on CNN Presents this Saturday at 8:00 pm ET, reairing at 11:00 pm and 2:00 am.

soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. redgundogs

    After reading all this, I saw that there were a lot of contradictory things being said. I watched the segment again, I thought I missed something. What I found was:

    1) Campbell parked in a posted patron parking only space
    2) Father put sticker on window regarding parking policy, as per police instructions. Told Campbell not to park there in future.
    3) Campbell hit DiGuglielmo in face for putting sticker on his car (one witness)
    4) Campbell was wrestled to ground by family, subsequently let up (there were two witnesses that confirm this)
    5) After being let up, Campbell returned to his car. Rather than get in and leave he got a bat out of his trunk (two witnesses)
    6) Campbell hit father twice, ready for third (two witnesses)
    7) DiGuglielmo shot Campbell three times.
    8) Racial angle brought up with charge of depraved indifference, protests ensued, media event.
    9) The two witnesses statements were the same at the time of the conflict
    10) Witness1) Harassed daily, told he would be harassed until his statement was redone in favor of racial angle. He finally (time span not stated). Testified to changed statement in trial. Afterwards
    he retracted, said he was harassed. This was not followed up.
    11) Witness 2) Also harassed, but refused to change statement. This witness was not called in the trial, and was not mentioned either.
    12) ME findings support initial version given by witnesses, that Campbell was ready to swing again
    13) Non-witness testimony referred to third hand information that there were racial slurs. Both witnesses refute this.
    14) Racial angle, though initially said to be the motive, was never mentioned by prosecution (DA)
    15) DA wrote a book after the trial resurrecting the unused racial argument

    With three to one, Campbell should have left. He was, at the point that he returned to his car, in the wrong but there was no problem. I don't know why he shot in the chest, though if someone had a bat and was going to hit my dad, possibly fatally, I would have shot him to stop him. Is it possible that there was a car between Campbell and DiGuglielmo? There may be a reason he did not shoot in the thigh. Maybe his father was between him and Campbell's shoulder. We don't know any of this from the program. Campbell's family stands behind the story that the DA told, (which is in complete contradiction to the eye witness statements, and they were no more than 10 yards away), that's clear. That is natural. But Campbell is not a passive person. He had been a boxer, there was some level of an agressive tendency. I tend to think that the initial witness statements, which were repeated for cameras multiple times, and each agreed with the other, were the most true. Suppressing the witness that would not change his story (he has the same story of harassment as the witness with the changed story) is suspicious. The fact that the jury never heard about that witness, or that the witness they heard had changed his story, or had charged that he was harassed, is suspicious. Did DiGuglielmo go too far? No way to know with the information on the show. there are a number of variables. The racial story has no real support. Witnesses said directly that they did not hear it, and it was completely left out of the trial. This seems like a way to get press for a story by inciting racial tension, and to then get a book deal, but it was not going to hold up in court. It was a means to an end, not found in fact.

    Why did the defense not bring up the changed testimony? The missing witness? The changed story? How much did the DA get suppressed as evidence? What was her motivation? What was the fallout in the prosecutors office when DiGuglielmo was released? Enough to give them a reason to get DiGuglielmo back in jail to quiet people down? I do think that the reason for shooting was good. An aluminum bat can kill with one good connection. Why was it lethal when training should say otherwise? Maybe it was the only safe shot, maybe not. Depraved indifference? That is not supported by anything. That was a story becoming reality as far as was told. I think that CNN Presents might want to follow this up with some good information that addresses the assumptions that being made, and the partially discussed aspects.

    March 5, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Ann Marshall

      I agree with you. There seem to be some holes in the story. My question is – why was the police not called? Campbell should have walked away and challenged the ticket in court. However, excessive force was used and the aggressor should do time – 3 bullets. The sentencing should be lighter.

      March 6, 2012 at 2:49 am |
  2. Kim

    Few people that comments the off duty cop should've fired a warning shots in the air. Well morons that made those comments where does that round goes? I hope that round would land right on top of dumb head. Please black people the societies don't owe you nothing stop playing the race card because you guys are ruined for other minorities that deserved the right to equal justice. As far this black guy goes, well he asked for it, one is not his property , second he should've shut his mouth and moved on and stop acting like he the victim here. The third if he done 1 &2 and 3 he'll be alive today and out driving his black sports car.

    March 4, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • David

      Black people ruined for other minorities? If it wasnt for black people, these other minorities would be in china, mexico etc...let alone talking about equal rights. Oh, let get this right, America was always such a free place to live, right? So yeah, you owe us respect and stop riding the backs of other people. And read "your" US history book too.

      March 4, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
      • Kim

        Your slavery history is yours buddy not mine. As far as me owe black people something i don't owe you shit that between your black ass and a white man. So stop feeling sorry for yourself and do something productive instead crying racism every damn time someone do something to black people.

        March 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • David

      Once again, read "your" history book, because I never said anything about slavery. I said equal rights(like you said in your post). You being being a minority wouldnt be here – and women didnt have equal rights either, so you have nowhere to talk. You jumped on the backs of black people because your people cowardly never stood up for anything, and now youre on the backs of white people. I only feel sorry for spineless people such as yourself – you're a coward and very ignorant. Again, read "your" history book.

      March 4, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
      • Kim

        Like i said David thats your black history and not mine. My people wern't free loaders like yours so whos riding on whos back here? Black people have done nothing for my people. So go a head and cry me a river because thats all your people are good for beside running from the police. David please go read your history you might learn something like shut your black ass up and show respect to societies. And please find someone else to cry too because i dont care about what your sorry ass has to say.

        March 4, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • David

      Once again, read "your" US history book – and black history is part of US history, so dont TRY to separate the two. If you read "your" US history book, then yes, black people like MLK, Rosa Parks are the reason why you' are here. Like a cowardly minority(except blacks of course), you wont even state what ethnicity you are because I have jokes too. So keep free loading off of MLK, and now white people, because you will never get any respect. You are the butt of the joke when you walk away from a group of white and black people. lol

      March 4, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
      • Kim

        David, blackpeople are butt of jokes around the world. All over the world where there are blacks the slavery seems to associate with black people. So dont worry, blacks are not just hated here they also hated everywhere in the world simply because they thinks and act like monkeys with big lips. Oh let me tell you, black people needs to stop reading the history book and read how to educate them selves how to use birth control. They definitely need to put their ghetto asses on birth control we have too many of those monkeys running stealing property, selling drugs, pimping their own moms and sisters and sucking up welfare at the end of the month.. Blacks are scums of the earth.

        March 4, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
      • Ann Marshall

        Kim –

        Go take off your KKK cap and gown and learn to read and write properly. You sound like what I think you are – trailer trash. Also, monkeys don't have big lips – take a good look in the mirror and see whose got their features – hairy and thin lipped.

        March 5, 2012 at 12:01 am |
      • Kim


        Monkeys do look like black people you moron. And if I take a good look in the mirror i see your dumb monkey looking ass look clueless about anything. So come suck on these kkk nuts of mine to calm your monkey face down.

        March 5, 2012 at 12:18 am |
      • Ann Marshall

        Trailer trash – I'm not black.

        March 5, 2012 at 8:04 am |
      • Kim


        9 thousand people voted that justice was not served over 900 of your dumb asses that voted yes. Ok Ms. Ann so call the educator of the blog, how you like the majority of the people that out voted you? Yea keep telling yourself that your are so educated and everyone else who are against your views are stupid. You are definitely a libtards. Sign trailer trash, lmao.

        March 5, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  3. David

    Definitely a rogue cop abusing his powers. Trained police officers are trained not to shoot to kill, unless in danger. He's in jail were he is supposed to be. And shame on CNN for reporting this one-sided story – just looking at the poll suggest that this cop is a "victim" of the justice system protecting blacks.

    March 4, 2012 at 4:04 am |
  4. Lorinda

    DiGuglielmo Jr should not be in jail.

    March 4, 2012 at 4:02 am |
  5. Kim

    In American you the right to defend yourself or someone else by any means nescessary. Well in this case thats exactly what happen here regardless if he was an off duty cop. The black guy should've walk away and that would be end of it. People need to stop playing the black victim card because the only victim here is the guy sitting in jail. I'm pretty sure if the black guy had any commonsense he would've act civilized but instead the ghetto mentality came out of him, lmao. Well to bad he didn't lived to tell his side of what happen.

    March 4, 2012 at 3:44 am |
    • Ann Marshall

      Bye white nigger!!!!!!!

      March 5, 2012 at 8:05 am |
  6. Kim

    The shooting was justified without a doubt. Regardless if he was off duty police officer because any grown man facing the same situation will react the same way as this off duty police officer did. I know I would done exactly like he did with no questions ask. The DA needs to be in jail for misused of justice for her personal gain and that is an ethic code violation.

    March 4, 2012 at 3:28 am |
  7. jeff collins

    People are calling this self defense , I thought it was called self defense when the actuall person being attack defends self . Not when a person not being attacked shoots a so call aggressor. Also as transit cop he should of known better. This is a case murder by an overly aggressive transit cop. I understand it was his dad.being attacked but murder is murder and that's what he committed.

    March 4, 2012 at 12:22 am |
    • Ann Marshall

      I AGREE With you. Something is missing in this story. The shooter claims that the defendent attacked his father, but he., his brother and father were the aggresser how convienent that the left their father to be attacked by Campbell again.

      It smacks of rascism – a black guy with an expensive new car – Corvette parked illegally on their property. I don't believe that the dead man attacked them first.

      The defendant on the other hand was wrong to park where he did, however, an "execution" by the aggressors were highly inappropriate. In fact they did not even need to ticket him. They saw him when he left the car and could have warned when he returned.

      March 4, 2012 at 3:16 am |
  8. Terrell Roberts,

    First off, this was a very compelling report. While no person will ever come out a winner in this particular case, it does strike a lot of questions in my mind. Since none of us were there, to now exactly how the events took place is impossible. Did race play a factor? Perhaps. This was a case in a historically rich ethnic environment but to say that this was strictly a act of racism is grossly negligent in thought.

    I personally would need to see all of the evidence in the case in order to feel like I'm able to make the best decision, beyond a reasonable doubt. I want to know more about both, the victim and the assailant. Do they have any history of running in to law enforcement or have they been convicted of anything else prior to the tragic events that took place?

    While this was a great watch, I'm still left feeling as if I do not have enought evidence to either confirm or deny any wrong doing on both sides.

    Lastly, if I were to witness a person and happen to see someone assaulting my father would stimulate rage and I would do whatever I could to see to it that my father is not seriously injured. If a gun was what I felt was the only way to remedy this conflict and keep my family safe, I would use it. But was this the case or will a man continue to be imprisoned wrongfully for the next 20 years to the rest of his life.

    Interesting stuff. I hope the truth will prevail and all parties are put to ease as much as possible.

    Terrell, Los Angeles, CA

    March 4, 2012 at 12:16 am |
  9. Sadick Wassira

    According to the story, Richie as a trained police officer could try to neutralize the situation by even shooting a gun to the air as a warning (common sense) since Campbell did not possess an immediate fatal weapon.
    This shows how motivated Richie was to end the other guy life by firing three bullets at the chest. Police need to be reminded that they can stop a lot killings by injuring people who threaten their lives.
    The poll shows how this case is racially based and not a true justice is searched. Richie deserve at least 20 yrs in jail.

    March 4, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  10. Dave

    It all comes down to one issue! Race.
    He's white and in the right and the blackman started it and had a chance to walk a way but instead he decided to assault and nearly kill the elderly man. A son who defended his dad is in jail Becausr he is white and the system isn't strong enough to stand up for his rights. thank crist I don't live in USA.

    March 4, 2012 at 12:12 am |
  11. Matt

    This is a joke. Another example of a liberal prosecutor doing whatever it takes to satiate the welfare mob that is the black community. Why don't the prosecutor answer the question of how Campbell could be struck 3 times with one bullet if NOT holding a bat high in attack position. Total joke, still trying to make up for slavery by giving in to the black community on issues like this. The only collateral damage is the DiGuglielmo family, small price to pay for a win at any cost prosecutor. We need to just build walls around these communities and let these people do whatever they want to each other. Move to suburbs, take your city and property tax dollars with you and watch these communities fail. It is not our responsibility that these communities have so many problems. Do not even put yourself in a position to allow liberal prosecutors to try to make your life a peace offering to a failing community.

    March 4, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • ana behebek

      its amazing how utterly stupid and ignorent you are but im glad your convincing yourself you have some intellegence. im pretty sure you dont live in a suburb or hold anything higher than a ged certificate . good luck you trash

      March 4, 2012 at 3:05 am |
    • Ann Marshall

      Actually, if you were educated that statement would not be made. It is a known fact that more white people are on welfare than any other group. Also, black people are the last to be hired and first fired, if they are given jobs. You should try living in their skin for a day and stop being so damn judgemental.

      It is often said that most Italians are mobsters or have relatives who are in this criminal organization, and that's how they survive. This is because there was a time when Italians were subjected to the same brand of rascim that you are hurling at black people and were not hired for most well paying jobs.

      March 4, 2012 at 3:31 am |
  12. El

    I watched this show and the one thing that made my decision of that justice was served is that at no time did i hear that charles campbell actually hit the father of richard digulielmo, if he hit the father like they say he did, with such force were there bruises, fractures, etc. Him holding the bat to ward off the attackers sounds more reasonable. Why was that never mentioned.

    March 4, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • redgundogs

      The show said that he was hit several times, and the witnesses said that they heard the crack of the bat on his head, and in fact could have heard it "a block away. The question about the 'victim' was whether he was defending himself from the father, or if he was just beating an old man.

      March 5, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  13. fred

    Diguglelmo got what he deserved. 3 on one is already abusive and requires self defense not to be further abused and shot dead.

    March 4, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  14. Eboni

    I am an African-American and feel as if this is a clear case of an adult child being overly concerned for a father who'd just began recovering from a heart attack. This does not appear in my opinion to be racially motivated. I, in no way, condone murder. However, I feel that once the victim got to his car, he could have left and not retrieved the bat.

    March 4, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  15. Ricky James

    Justice was served! If Richard DiGuglielmo was a Black man who killed a White man, there would not have even been any controversy, or appeal......there would have been a damn near hanging. Murder is murder...he deserves the sentence.

    March 4, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Ann Marshall

      I whole heartedly agree.

      March 4, 2012 at 3:20 am |
  16. Robert

    Jeanine Pirro was motivated by power and personal greed during this trial. SHE is the ultimate criminal in this case. SHE should be spending 20 yrs to life in prison...

    March 4, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Ann Marshall

      You must be white and/or a member of the KKK. Judge Perrine showed couraged. Kudos to her.

      March 4, 2012 at 3:21 am |
      • Ann Marshall

        I'll edit a little of what I said. I should said "rascist white" person cuz there are good and bad people in every race.

        March 4, 2012 at 3:22 am |
  17. Brad Toellner

    Definitely a miscarriage of injustice. The DA and police department wanted a murder conviction and took the necessary steps to see that it happened.

    March 4, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  18. robert

    Prosecuter looking fo r votes, no truth, no justice. Give her life.

    March 4, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  19. Tony

    Richard DiGuglielmo had no right to use deadly force. find it interesting a trained police officer was unable to stop a man with bat without using deadly force. If DiGuglielmo where not white this would not be a story. DiGuglielmo is in jail where he belongs.

    March 4, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  20. Jonas

    This was a complete miscarriage of justice and Richard DiGuglielmo jr. Shoudn't be in jail

    March 4, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Ann Marshall

      Excessive force was used. A man was shot three times to the chest and is dead. I don't believe the witnesses. They were all white and are probably friends of the aggressors.

      March 4, 2012 at 3:19 am |