LA to pay $12M in wrongful-conviction case against detective
The woman was awarded $12M for spending 17 years in prison on a murder conviction
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles City Council has agreed to pay $12 million to a woman who spent 17 years in prison on a murder conviction before a judge declared her innocent.
Susan Mellen was convicted of the 1997 beating death of a homeless man. After being exonerated and released in 2014, she sued former LA Police Department detective Marcella Winn. The lawsuit contended the detective had been told a witness against Mellen was "a habitual liar," but failed to disclose that to the defense.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously last August that the suit against Winn should go to trial.
Winn and Mellen could not be immediately reached for comment about this week's settlement.
The Los Angeles Times says Wednesday that the LAPD declined to comment.
- Wrongful Convictions