13 yrs on, US man acquitted of murder Wins a $13.2-mn civil rights suit
Cincinnati (AP): The tears flowed as a federal jury exonerated David Ayers of murder after he spent 13 years in prison, with jurors finding that two...
Cincinnati (AP): The tears flowed as a federal jury exonerated David Ayers of murder after he spent 13 years in prison, with jurors finding that two police detectives violated his civil rights by coercing and falsifying testimony and withholding evidence supporting his innocence. The jurors awarded him $13.2 million. The verdict on March 8, including the money for Ayers' pain and suffering, brings an end to the legal battle he's been fighting since his arrest in the 1999 killing of 76-year-old Dorothy Brown. Ayers, 56, was released from prison in 2011 after the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati reversed his conviction and the state decided not to seek another trial. Ayers, who was a security guard for the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, had been found guilty of killing Brown at her CMHA apartment in Cleveland. She was found bludgeoned to death, covered in defensive wounds and naked from the waist down; she also had been robbed. DNA testing later proved that a pubic hair found in her mouth did not come from Ayers. "This should have been stopped a long time ago," Ayers told the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper after the jury's verdict Friday. "My goal is that it never happens to anyone else ever again." Ayers filed a civil rights lawsuit in March 2012 against six Cleveland police officers, the city and the county housing authority. Allegations against three of the officers, the city and the housing authority were dismissed by a judge who found that their roles did not violate Ayers' rights. One of the remaining officers settled out of court with Ayers for an undisclosed amount. The Friday verdict was against Michael Cipo and Denise Kovach, who were the lead investigators in the case.