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Conviction Overturned For Man Accused Of Murdering Wife In New Jersey

Stephen Scharf (Credit: CBS 2)

Stephen Scharf (Credit: CBS 2)

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TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A man serving a life sentence for throwing his wife off of a 120-foot cliff in northern New Jersey has now had his conviction overturned.

“It’s a good day for Stephen Scharf,” said defense attorney Ed Bilinkas.

Conviction Overturned For New Jersey Man Accused Of Murdering His Wife

stephen scharf 0409 Conviction Overturned For Man Accused Of Murdering Wife In New Jersey
WCBS 880's Jim Smith reports

Bilinkas, Scharf’s original defense lawyer, said during the trial in 2011, he objected to the hearsay testimony of some of the witnesses.

“It was devastating during the trial. The expressions of the juror’s face,” he told WCBS 880’s Jim Smith.

A three-judge appellate panel agreed, overturning Scharf’s murder conviction on the basis that the hearsay testimony should not have been allowed.

Bilinkas said he feels Scharf has an even better chance now of winning a potential retrial.

“It’s a long time coming,” Bilinkas said. “I felt Scharf was innocent from day one.”

Scharf was arrested in 2008, some 16 years after his wife’s fall from the cliffs of the Palisades, Smith reported.

There is no word yet from the Bergen County prosecutors on if they are planning a retrial.

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