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City Of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Settles Wrongful Imprisonment Claim For $12,250,000

The City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, will pay $12.25 million to settle with a man who spent 14 years in prison for a rape he did not commit, according to a settlement agreement filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma on June 16, 2006.

Alvin McGee Jr. was originally awarded $14.5 million by a federal jury in March 2006. But with his acceptance of the lesser amount the City agreed to forego its appeal.

McGee, 44, was convicted of abducting a woman from a Tulsa laundromat in October 1987. The woman had been driven to a remote location in her own vehicle, raped repeatedly, then locked in the trunk. She escaped and notified police.

After two unsuccessful jury trials prosecutors won a conviction. The third jury convicted McGee of rape, kidnapping, forcible sodomy, robbery by force, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to a combined total of 283 years in prison. McGee was finally freed in 2002 after DNA testing exonerated him. The testing ultimately linked another man to the crime, but the seven-year statute of limitations had already expired.

McGee sued the City in 2003 claiming that Tulsa police officer Randy Lawmaster violated his constitutional rights by failing to properly investigate the case. He also accused Lawmaster of fabricating and manipulating evidence, improperly conducting a photo lineup, and deliberate indifference.

Under the settlement McGee will receive two equal payments of $6,125,000: the first within 60 days and the second by June 1, 2007.

McGee said the case was about more than monetary compensation, however. Like I told everybody from the get-go, this has never been about money, he said after the settlement was announced. I'm glad we could get it hashed out. I hope the jury doesnt take it as a blow that we took less than what the verdict was. See: McGee v. The City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, USDC ND OK, Case No. 4:03-cv-00704-CVE-PJC.

Additional sources: Associated Press,

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Related legal case

McGee v. The City of Tulsa, Oklahoma