Man Convicted of Seymour Woman’s 1984 Murder Released Despite Objections from Victim’s Family

NBC Connecticut

A Seymour man convicted the 1984 murder of a 19-year-old woman has been released from prison after filing a motion for sentence modification.

David Weinberg, 58, was supposed to serve 60 years in prison for the murder of Joyce Stochmal in 1984.

He walked out of Waterbury Superior Court a free man after serving 26 years in prison.

This comes after Weinberg went before a judge after filing a motion to have his sentence reduced.

Many of Stochmal’s family members spoke to the courtroom pleading the judge not to free Weinberg.

Stochmal of Seymour went missing Aug. 3, 1984 and was found dead in Lake Zoar four days later. Prosecutors said she was stabbed 17 times.

About a year later, Weinberg was arrested for her murder. He was convicted in 1989.

Prosecutor Maureen Platts said in the court that since 2010, numerous items of evidence have been re-tested. Several pieces of evidence are now coming into question due to new technology throughout the years. In one instance, three hairs in the Weinberg's trunk found in 1984 we're determined then to belong to the victim. A retest of that DNA in most recent years shows only two of the hairs belong to the victim.

In another instance, blood on the knife used in the murder was believed to be either human or animal blood in 1984. Recent testing showed the blood belonged to an animal.

The defense argued Weinberg has had good behavior while in prison, accumulating 12 years of “good time credits.”

Stochmal's family was upset after learning about Weinberg’s release.

"David Weinberg walks. Everybody gets what they want except us. What we want is justice for Joyce. You have to ask the question how can this happen. Is this how the state of Connecticut protects and supports it's innocent residents?" said Maryanne Heffernan, sister of Joyce Stochmal, outside the courthouse Thursday.

Weinberg still claims his innocence in this case.

Now that he has been released, he will not be able to contest his murder conviction.

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