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Phoenix, Arizona, Settles Krone Wrongful Imprisonment Suit for $3 Million

The city of Phoenix, Arizona, will pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a man who spent more than a decade in prison for a murder he did not commit. The settlement, approved by the city council in September 2005, is the second Ray Krone has received. In April 2005, Maricopa County agreed to pay Krone $1.4 million [see PLN, July 2005].

I'm just glad for it to be over, said Krone, who contracted hepatitis C, had his arm broken and was stabbed while in Arizona prisons.

Krone, now 48, was arrested in 1991 and charged with killing a bartender who worked at a Phoenix lounge where he played darts. In 1992 Krone was convicted and sentenced to death; his conviction was based largely on expert testimony that purportedly matched his teeth with bite marks found on the victim.

In 1994 Krone's conviction was overturned on procedural grounds and a new trial was ordered. He was convicted a second time in 1996. During the second sentencing the judge commented that he wasn't convinced Krone was the killer and sentenced him to life in prison rather than death.

Krone was freed in 2002 after new DNA testing exonerated him. An FBI database subsequently linked DNA from the crime scene to a man who was already in prison.

In his lawsuit, Krone alleged the county used altered and manufactured evidence and that an expert on bite marks gave false testimony which he knew to be untrue. Krone also claimed that Phoenix police did a poor job of investigating the murder and failed to look at other suspects.
Krone will not keep all $3 million from his most recent settlement. His lawyers will receive more than half, with $773,028.00 going to attorney Alan M. Simpson and $729,552 to Barham & Ostrow.

Krone currently lives in Dover Township, Pennsylvania, near his family. He serves on the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons and has spent the last few years traveling, advocating for DNA testing and speaking out against the death penalty.

In 2005 Krone was featured on ABCs Extreme Makeover reality program. Once ridiculed as the snaggletooth killer for his crooked teeth, Krone now sports a winning smile. See: Krone v. County of Maricopa, U.S.D.C., District of Arizona, Case No. 03-0734.

Sources:, Associated Press

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Related legal case

Krone v. County of Maricopa