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Bethlehem, Pa., February 17, 2006— Moravian College’s chapter of Amnesty International along with Witness to Innocence will sponsor a talk by Ray Krone on Thursday, February 23. In a presentation called “Life after Death,” Krone will tell his powerful story of two wrongful convictions for murder. The program will take place in the UBC Room of the College’s Haupert Union Building at 7:30 p.m. The talk is free of charge and the public is welcome.
Originally from York, Pennsylvania, Krone joined the Air Force after graduating from high school. He was last stationed in Arizona, and decided to make his home there as a postal carrier after his honorable discharge. His life suddenly fell apart when he was charged with the brutal murder of cocktail waitress Kim Ancona in December 1991.
Although his roommate verified his alibi that Krone was asleep at the time of the murder, prosecutors convicted him on flimsy circumstantial evidence. Krone liked to play darts at the ABC Lounge where Ancona worked, and he was friendly toward the victim in passing. The center of the prosecution’s case focused on a bite mark found on the victim’s left breast. Dr. Raymond Rawson, an Arizona state dental expert, testified that a Styrofoam impression of Krone’s bite matched the pattern of the mark left on the victim. Krone was sentenced to death in a 1992 trial.
Three years later he won a retrial on the grounds that the prosecution did not give the defense adequate notice that it was using the bite evidence. Krone felt sure that justice would finally be served, but he was once again convicted despite testimony about the unreliability of bite mark matches. A hesitant judge sentenced him to life in prison.
Krone’s family hired a second lawyer to work on his case. By this time, DNA testing became more common. The lawyer argued for a court order to perform testing on saliva found on the victim’s tank top. The DNA results not only proved Krone’s innocence, but they implicated another man in Ancona’s murder. This man, Kenneth Phillips, was already imprisoned for another crime. After this disclosure, Krone was released immediately, and the charges against him were dropped. He became the 100th man exonerated by post-trial DNA evidence.
Since his release, Krone has dedicated his time to reforming the American justice system. He speaks throughout the country discussing what can be done to prevent others from suffering the same fate. He has also appeared on Extreme Makeover. In his free time, Krone lives on the Dover, Pennsylvania farm that he bought with reparations from his wrongful incarceration.
The Haupert Union Building is located on Monocacy Street of Moravian’s Main Street Campus in Bethlehem. Krone is scheduled to speak at Lehigh University and Muhlenberg College. For more information, call 610-861-1491.