August 21, 2010 04:23:24 GMT
Andrew Ostroy, whose actress wife was strangled after catching laborer burgling her apartment, alleges she would still be alive if the construction company has not hired illegal immigrant.
The husband of murdered filmmaker/actress Adrienne Shelly has won a crucial victory in his legal battle over his wife's death - a judge has ruled evidence heard at her killer's grand jury proceedings can be included in his lawsuit.
Ecuadorian laborer Diego Pillco was jailed for 25 years in 2008 after he was convicted of strangling the "Waitress" director in November 2006 when she caught him trying to burgle her apartment. He had been renovating another apartment in the New York building at the time and Shelly's husband, Andrew Ostroy, subsequently filed a wrongful death suit against the construction company which employed Pillco.
Ostroy alleges his wife would still be alive if bosses at Bradford General Contractors (BGC) hadn't hired an illegal immigrant. Now Ostroy's legal battle has taken a step forward after the judge overseeing the case at New York's Manhattan Supreme Court granted his request to use the minutes from Pillco's grand jury hearings, which are usually kept secret.
Officials at the district attorney's office had opposed the move, insisting the proceedings should "remain secret to protect the identity of witnesses", according to the New York Post. But State Supreme Court Justice Louis York dismissed the challenge and ordered the documents to be handed over.