Connecticut court tosses murder appeal that cited witness’ help from God

Pedro Miranda
In this July 22, 2011, file photo, Pedro Miranda listens to a translation of a family victim impact statement during his sentencing at Superior Court, in Hartford, Conn., for the 1988 murder of Carmen Lopez. –Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s top court has rejected the appeal of a convicted murderer who argued the jury was tainted by testimony from a witness who said God helped him identify the defendant in a photo array.

The state Supreme Court ruled 7-0 Tuesday in the case of Pedro Miranda. He is serving a life sentence for the 1987 killing of 13-year-old Mayra Cruz, who disappeared while walking to school in Hartford.

The witness testified he saw Mayra get into a car and that God later helped him identify Miranda in a police photo array.

Miranda is serving a second life sentence for the 1988 slaying of a 17-year-old girl for which an innocent man served more than two decades behind bars.

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Miranda also was charged but not tried in a third teenage girl’s killing.