The man who was freed from prison after serving 23 years for a crime he didn't commit suffered a heart attack last night. In 1990, David Ranta was falsely convicted of murdering rabbi Chaskel Werzberger of Williamsburg. Ranta was released on Thursday after a judge decided that the detectives who handled his case had coached witnesses and tainted the investigation.
On his second day as a free man, Ranta's family says he began to feel pain in his back and shoulders. He was taken to a local hospital where he was given a stent to open his clogged arteries. According to his attorney Pierre Sussman, "The toll that his years in prison have taken on David is great."
Though Ranta had no history of heart problems, his family says he takes medication to treat his high blood pressure. A few weeks prior to his release, he told the New York Times that he was nervous about leaving prison. "I really don’t know what I’ll do if I get out," he said. "It’s like a whole new life."
Ranta remains hospitalized as he awaits a second surgery.