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Court Rejects Paterson NJ Man’s Bid to Overturn Murder Conviction

A Paterson man serving 55 years in New Jersey State Prison for murder lost his bid to overturn the conviction.

In 2011, Julio Graciano was convicted of killing a pregnant Westwood woman, 23-year-old Elisha Wordelman. When she was murdered, Ms. Wordelman was standing outside the Riverview Towers housing complex in Paterson, New Jersey.

Mr. Graciano was reportedly upset after receiving phone calls from his girlfriend, who lived in the housing complex. Court records indicate that Mr. Graciano’s girlfriend had told him about a man in the building who had harassed her and touched her inappropriately.

Mr. Graciano fired a shot into a crowd of about 25 people standing outside the complex. The bullet struck Ms. Wordelman in the head.

Mr. Graciano was convicted of first degree murder, aggravated assault, and weapons offenses. He was sentenced to a term of incarceration of 55 years in state prison.

Recently, an appeals court rejected Mr. Graciano’s attempt to overturn the conviction. Mr. Graciano’s lawyers had argued that the sentence was excessive and that prosecutors in the case had improperly influenced the jury with “inflammatory remarks.”

To learn more about this case, read the NJ.com article entitled “Paterson Man Loses Bid to Overturn Conviction for 2007 Murder of Pregnant Westwood Woman.

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