“After serving over 19 years behind bars, Charles Harrelson has his new defense attorney file an appeal to a Texas court. Harrelson now claims he was in Dallas the day Judge Wood was murdered in San Antonio and could not have committed the crime,” Geraldo Rivera starts off by saying in a clip for REELZ’s new docuseries, Geraldo Rivera’s Murder In the Family: Woody Harrelson.
As RadarOnline.com readers know, actor Woody Harrelson’s estranged father was an American hitman focused on organized crime. In 1979, he was accused of assassinating federal judge John H. Wood Jr., but denied the claims throughout his years-long trial.
“In 1998, the motion for retrial was actually granted, and you could see Woody’s facial expression was an expression of hope, of excitement,” recalls Detective James Copenhaver of the Orlando County Sheriff’s Department.
Says Rivera: “Woody’s brothers also attend the hearing, joining in his quest for justice.”
Videos of a happy young Woody outside the courthouse are flashed across the screen, showing viewers that the Hollywood actor remained cheery and positive amid his father’s horrific case. But eventually, the truth came out.
“Woody’s presence loomed heavily, so heavily in fact that he wound up having a game of basketball with the judge. Of course, this led to a conflict of interest, which meant the judge had to recuse himself from the case,” says Jamilla Bey from the Washington Post.
“Even with a new judge residing at the hearing, the new evidence is not convincing,” says Rivera. “In 1998 the motion for a retrial is dismissed.”
Geraldo Rivera’s Murder In the Family: Woody Harrelson airs Saturday, December 1 at 9 ET/PT on REELZ.