Cherry Hill Rabbi Fred Neulander vows he will walk out of New Jersey's only maximum security prison as a free man. He told NBC10 Investigative reporter Harry Hairston in an exclusive interview that he expects to be exonerated of his wife's murder.
"First of all, I'm innocent of the murder charge. Period," Neulander said from behind prison walls.
Prosecutors agree Neulander did not swing the lead pipe used to beat his wife Carole to death in side their home in 1994.
Len Jenoff confessed to carrying out the brutal attack with accomplice Paul Daniels. But Jenoff also testified that Rabbi Neulander paid him $30,000 to do it. And the jury believed him. But Jenoff recanted that statement in 2009 and that is why Neulander believes he'll get a new trial and his 30-year conviction, overturned.
"I know he lied the first time. I know and now everybody knows it," Neulander told Hairston.
Neulander said he make a mistake in his second trial when he did not testify, and if he wins his appeal for another trial, he won't make that mistake again.
"I should have been able to get on the stand and take whatever Lynch [the prosecutor' was going to throw at me and just avow that I am innocent," Neulander said.
Doug Shearer heads The Neulander Vindication Project, a group that believes Neulander is innocent. He says the prosecution had information about Jenoff that should have been shared with the defense.
"There was more information that they could have used to impeach his [Jenoff's] testimony," Shearer said.
We asked the Camden County Prosecutor's office about Shearer's allegation. They declined comment.
What will Neulander do if he does ever get out of prison?
"I really don't know and that's one step at a time. That will be a joyous step but then I have, I have no plans."