Homicide

Los Angeles to pay $8 million to man who spent 17 years in prison for murder he didn't commit

The city of Los Angeles agreed to pay $8 million to a man who spent 17 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit.

The settlement with Obie Anthony was reached last month in his lawsuit against Los Angeles Police detectives and the city for wrongful imprisonment, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday (http://lat.ms/1alqFA5).

Anthony, 40, and a friend were convicted and sentenced to life in prison in the 1994 killing of Felipe Gonzales Angeles during an apparently robbery attempt outside a South LA brothel.

Anthony claimed he had nothing to do with the shooting, but was convicted based on eyewitness testimony.

Lawyers later showed that a pimp who was a key witness had lied and prosecutors had not disclosed an agreement with him for a lighter sentence in exchange for his testimony.

Anthony and Reggie Cole had their convictions overturned and a judge later found Anthony factually innocent.

The two alleged detectives concealed the discovery of bullets and shell casings found on the roof of the brothel and didn't have them tested to see if they matched bullets found at the crime scene. The bullets and shell casings were given to a Los Angeles Times reporter who was writing a book that profiled the detectives.

Ballistics tests conducted by Anthony's lawyers showed the bullets were fired from the same weapon used to kill Angeles, though a city expert said last year there was not enough evidence to show a match.

"The misconduct by police led to a miscarriage of justice and Obie spending 17 years in prison for a murder he obviously did not commit," said attorney David McLane, who represented Anthony in the civil case.

The city admitted no wrongdoing and said detectives had done nothing improper.

Anthony still has a lawsuit against Los Angeles prosecutors seeking compensation for his time in prison.

"The money will never make up for it," Anthony said.

Cole has similar lawsuits pending.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/