Retrial of Richard Tuite Set for Oct. 21

Richard Tuite, 44, was convicted in the 1998 murder of Stephanie Crowe, 12, but the conviction was later reversed

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBC 7 San Diego
    Richard Tuite in an earlier court appearance in November 2012.

    The retrial for a man accused of killing a young girl 15 years ago in her home in San Diego’s North County has now been set for later this month.

    At a status conference on Friday, a judge announced that a retrial for Richard Tuite, 44, would begin on Oct. 21.

    In 2004, Tuite was convicted for the 1998 murder of 12-year-old Escondido girl Stephanie Crowe.

    Richard Tuite to be Retried for Crowe Death

    [DGO] Richard Tuite to be Retried for Crowe Death
    Prosecutors filed a new charge against Richard Tuite, who is serving time in prison for his involvement in the death of a girl in Escondido in 1998.

    Tuite soon began serving a 17-year sentence in a northern California prison. His conviction was later reversed by a federal appeals court citing judicial error during cross-examination.

    In October 2012, it was announced that Tuite would be granted a retrial on a charge of voluntary manslaughter due to the seriousness of the crime and concern for public safety.

    Tuite is Severely Mentally Ill: Doctor

    [DGO]Tuite is Severely Mentally Ill: Doctor
    Dr. Clark Smith, a psychiatrist who examined Richard Tuite before his first trial, tells NBC 7 reporter Tony Shin there is a chance that Tuite killed Stephanie Crowe without realizing what he did.

    At a bail review one week later, his bail was set at $1 million. Prosecutors argued Tuite was a menace to society and should remain incarcerated.

    However, Tuite’s attorney insisted his client wasn’t dangerous and argued that the case had revolved around much speculation. His attorney argued that there was never enough forensic evidence tying Tuite to Crowe's murder.

    From the beginning the case of Crowe's murder has been filled with twists and turns.

    On Jan. 21 1998, Crowe’s body was discovered in her bedroom.

    Investigators focused on her brother, Michael Crowe, and his friends Aaron Houser and Joshua Treadway as potential suspects.

    The three boys were interrogated until Michael and Treadway confessed. A judge later threw out those confessions and the charges against the three teens were dropped.

    Tuite – a mentally ill transient seen in Crowe’s neighborhood around the time of the murder – was eventually convicted in the case.

    Before the murder, witnesses told investigators they allegedly saw Tuite walking through Crowe’s Escondido neighborhood, knocking on doors and entering homes through unlocked doors.

    The case will get a second look in a San Diego courtroom later this month. Trial selection is now under way.