Sex Crimes

Connecticut man wrongly imprisoned for 21 years for '86 killing is awarded $6M in compensation

The state of Connecticut has awarded $6 million to a man who was wrongfully imprisoned for 21 years for a 1986 killing.

The state claims commissioner issued the award to Kenneth Ireland on Thursday under Connecticut's wrongful incarceration compensation law.

Ireland was imprisoned at the age of 18 and released in 2009 at age 39 after DNA tests proved another man fatally beat and raped 30-year-old Barbara Pelkey in Wallingford. The other man, Kevin Benefield, is serving a 60-year prison sentence for killing Pelkey, a mother of four.

Ireland, of New Britain, had sought $8 million from the state.

Ireland worked as a bookkeeper after being released from prison. In October, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy named him to a paid position on the state parole board.