Watchmaker and jeweler Isadore Rozeman was a fixture in his Highland neighborhood for more than 20 years. A soft-spoken man, he drew the respect of his neighbors and was known for his love and dedication to his family.
When his body was found in a pool of blood inside his shop on the afternoon of Nov. 5, 1983, it's understandable the news was met with disbelief and shock. No one could comprehend who would hurt, much less rob and kill, a man neighboring business owner C.D. Allen called a "first-class person."
Four men were eventually accused of murder and theft of assorted jewelry items from Rozeman's store. But only one man, Glenn Ford, stood trial.
Ford, who did occasional yard work for Rozeman, repeatedly denied any part in the homicide. But a Caddo Parish jury convicted him of first-degree murder and decided he should be put to death. Ford has been on death row at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola since being transferred there in August 1988.
Fast forward to this year, when recent federal court filings now indicate someone other than Ford has confessed to being Rozeman's killer. Exactly what this means for the man who's sat on death row for almost 30 years is uncertain.
The Caddo Parish District Attorney's office is being tight-lipped about the impact of the new information on Ford's status. And Ford's attorney, Gary Clements, of the New Orleans-based Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana, has not responded to repeated telephone calls and emails seeking comment.
Isadore Rozeman's nephew, Shreveport physician Dr. Phillip Rozeman, said the district attorney's office has let him know there is new movement with the case but has provided few details.
"As a family, we're always open to the idea that if someone else was involved we support any effort to make the others accountable for what happened to my uncle," he said.
As of Thursday, Ford, now 63, was still confined to his cell. Numerous state and federal appeals have come and gone. Even though the appeals have raised questions about Ford's conviction, none resulted in his exoneration.
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