A Devilish Deal

A high-profile judge long ago made a deal that freed the area's most heinous killer

Lazarus handled the case involving the 33-year-old woman, who was on her way to work at a maid service when Mosley allegedly crept up from behind her on the street, put a knife to her throat, and forced her into some nearby bushes. She told police he had pulled out a small pistol, demanded she disrobe, urinated on her, and raped her before taking $20 from her at gunpoint.

Like Lazarus, Weinberg -- who now practices law in White Plains, New York -- says he didn't want to retry the case because the victim's testimony wasn't credible. And he said defense attorney Hurth's mistake had paved the way for the first conviction, and he couldn't count on another blunder.

Six months after his release in 1983, Mosley was charged with raping a 22-year-old mother. This time the victim did, in fact, have a drug problem. With her 18-month-old son present, she said, she had agreed to go into the bushes with Mosley for cocaine but had never consented to sex, and Mosley threatened her life and brutally raped her. This time Lazarus actually took the case to trial, and on October 25, 1984, a jury acquitted Mosley. "I got a weak case, but I gave it my best shot," Lazarus recounts.

When Mosley was told he could go free, he wept with joy while his mother praised Jesus. Before the killer left the courtroom, Circuit Judge Harry Hinckley Jr. said it all: "Escaped again."

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