Truth Frequency Radio
Sep 22, 2014

NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) — A Bronx man who was freed after serving two decades for a murder he did not commit died days before his $124 million wrongful imprisonment lawsuit was set to begin.

William Lopez, 55, was found guilty of the 1989 murder of suspected drug dealer Elvirn Surria. At the time of Lopez’s conviction, prosecution relied heavily on two witnesses because no murder weapon or forensic evidence was found at the Brighton Beach drug den where Surria was killed, the New York Times reported.


One of the witnesses gave a description that did not match Lopez. The second witness had just finished a crack binge and made a secret deal with prosecution to testify in exchange for leniency in her own drug case. She later recanted.

Because of lack of evidence, Lopez was finally freed January 2013 after spending 23 years in prison. A federal judge called the case against Lopez “rotten from Day 1,” the New York Times reported.

“It feels great to be back on Earth,” Lopez said at the time of his release. “I’m looking forward to restoring my life as best as I can.”

But his freedom was short lived, as he died Saturday following a massive asthma attack, his lawyer told the New York Post.


Lopez’s lawsuit was scheduled to begin Tuesday, Sept. 23. Since his release, he has been struggling financially and getting by with the help of donations. Lopez hoped to get whatever money he could from the case in order to enjoy the comforts not available in prison.

“He wanted to do some domestic travel to other states, and to travel internationally,” Lopez’s lawyer and friend, Jeffrey Deskovic told the New York Post. “He wanted to go to college and to go to law school. He wanted to set his wife up in business, and he wanted to be an entrepreneur.”