PASADENA — A Glendora man whose conviction for a 1984 murder was recently overturned was released from custody Saturday for the first time in 27 years on bail, records show.
Frank O’Connell, 54, was released from prison at 8:27 a.m., after family members posted a $75,000 bond set by a Pasadena Superior Court judge Friday, according to county booking records.
O’Connell’s 1985 conviction for the Jan. 5, 1984 shooting death of 27-year-old Jay French of South Pasadena was overturned last month by Judge Suzette Clover, citing recent witness recantations and improprieties in his original murder trial.
At a hearing Friday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced plans to pursue a second trial for O’Connell, and a hearing date was set for May 18.
Meanwhile, Clover ordered that O’Connell’s bail be set at $75,000 — the same amount that was originally set by Judge Sally Disco in 1984.
Family members of O’Connell were elated by the news, and quickly posted the bond.
O’Connell has consistently maintained that he did not commit the South Pasadena slaying and has convinced others of his innocence as well, including family members, fellow inmates, prison officials and the nonprofit foundation Centurion Ministries, which works to free wrongly convicted inmates and took up O’Connell’s case in 1998.
Family members of Jay French, however, said they still believe in O’Connell’s guilt, and were disappointed by the $75,000 bail amount O’Connell was released on.