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Attorney points finger at Dannemora escapee in decades old murder case

Posted at 12:00 AM, Nov 04, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Brian Scott Lorenzo and James Pugh were convicted for the murder of Deborah Meindl in 1993. The North Tonawanda mother was strangled and stabbed to death.

Before being sent to prison, Pugh made one last plea of innocence to the judge.

“What do I have to say from the beginning, James Pugh, to prove that I could not have done this crime, that I am not a murderer. I am not. I was never there,” said Pugh at his sentencing.

Now, their new attorney, demanding the court take another look at their case.

“It's not just a sham, but it's a scandal,” said Ilann Maazel.

He says their DNA was never found at the crime scene.

“All of the evidence that was tested excluded Mr Pugh and Mr Lorenzo, all of it. There's not a shred of DNA in this horrible, brutal, bloody murder scene that connects Scott or James Pugh, to this murder,” said Maazel.

Maazel believes the evidence points to Richard Matt. Matt is the serial killer who escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora in 2015. Matt was shot and killed by a federal agent.

According to a report from New York Times, Maazel believes a Tonawanda Police Department detective, covered up Matt's criminal acts and fabricated evidence.

The Erie County District Attorney, John Flynn, responded to these allegations:

"There is no credible evidence to link Richard Matt to the murder of Deborah Meindl. There is also no evidence that Deborah Meindl had a romantic relationship with Detective David Bentley. These two narratives asserted by defense counsel representing Brian Scott Lorenzo and James Pugh are false."

A judge will consider if the case goes any further. If it does. the next scheduled court date is December 13th.