Westchester County prosecutors have approved DNA testing as evidence that contributed to the 1992 conviction of Carolyn Warmus for the so-called “Fatal Attraction” murder of her lover’s wife.
Two years ago, Warmus was released on parole after serving 27 years in prison for the Jan. 15, 1989 shooting death of victim, Betty Jeanne Solomon, at the Fort Greene townhouse.
But she continued to maintain her innocence and tried to check three pieces of evidence to see if they could prove her innocence by naming another suspect.
Most importantly, the gloves with microscopic bloodstains were highlighted in her second trial.
Judge Westchester denied Worms’ motion last year. But she appealed, and on Monday, on the eve of an appeals panel hearing, Westchester District Attorney Mimiroka approved the test.
Another piece of evidence was the victim’s semen and blood found in the handbag of the victim’s husband, Paul Solomon. No evidence has been DNA tested.
When the two started having an affair, Warmus was a young teacher under Solomon’s tutelage at Greenville Elementary School in Edgemont.
On the night of the murder, they met at a restaurant in Yonkers before having sex in a parking lot. When Solomon returned home that night, he found his wife’s body.
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She was shot nine times but managed to call 911 briefly, although the dispatcher wasn’t sure if she said “he” or “she” trying to kill her. Police did not find her immediately because the call was related to the wrong address.
There were no witnesses to the shooting and no physical evidence linking Warmus to the crime scene. The gun that killed Solomon was never found.
The crime garnered a lot of media attention, leading to comparisons to the 1987 film Fatal Attraction starring Glenn Close and Michael Douglas.
In 1990, Warmus was charged with second-degree murder. Her first trial ended in an 8-4 jury verdict. In 1992, she was convicted after a second trial in which the only new evidence was gloves.
A black glove, described as leather, was found near the body while police were dealing with the crime scene. But it was never collected as evidence after tests with white malachite failed to detect blood.
Before the second trial, Solomon found a black cashmere glove in the closet and handed it over to the prosecution. It had a small amount of blood and DNA testing was not available at the time.
Prosecutors claim the glove belonged to Warmus, who had it there at the time of the murder. They provided evidence that Warmus had purchased a pair of similar shoes from the Filene basement in Fort Greene 14 months before the murder. The Solomons’ daughter, a friend of Warmus’s, also claims Warmus made her try the gloves on.
After a number of legal battles, the judge admitted the gloves as evidence, which the defense has long insisted was the key piece of evidence leading to Warmus’ conviction.
The tests were initially approved in 2017 by then-acting District Attorney James McCarty. But the bureau later reversed course after lab officials suggested testing gloves were “neither feasible nor practical.”
Westchester County Judge Helen Blackwood denied Warmus’ request, ruling that “no matter whose DNA is found on this glove, the answer is unlikely to lead to a more favorable outcome for the defendant.”
Warmus’ lawyer Dennis Kelly argued in an appeal brief earlier this year that Blackwood’s conclusions should be overturned.
“The court’s reasoning ignored the most compelling assumption in this murder: the person wearing the gloves was the murderer,” Kelly wrote.
Kelly thought it would be appropriate to test the semen, as Betty Jane Solomon was known to have an affair. He claimed that if the seed matched anyone other than Solomon, it would tip the scales in Warmus’ favor.