The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear arguments next month in Gage County's appeal of a $28.1 million verdict for six people wrongfully convicted for a Beatrice woman's 1985 rape and murder.

Judges Duane Benton, Bobby Shepherd and Jane Kelly will hear the case at the Roman L. Hruska Federal Courthouse in Omaha on Nov. 16.

A jury in 2016 found that Gage County, Sheriff's Deputy Burdette Searcey and Reserve Deputy/psychiatrist Wayne Price violated the civil rights of the so-called Beatrice 6.

The jury awarded $7.3 million each to Thomas Winslow, Ada JoAnn Taylor and the estate of Joseph White for the nearly 20 years they spent in prison, plus $6.2 million shared between James Dean, Kathleen Gonzalez and Debra Shelden, who each served five years or less in prison.

The six were arrested following a 1989 cold-case investigation, but DNA testing in 2008 pointed to Bruce Allen Smith as the person who killed Helen Wilson.

 

1
0
0
1
0

Reporter

Lori Pilger is a public safety reporter.

Load comments