Federal Appeals Court Says 5 of Beatrice 6 Can Sue

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A federal appeals court says the lawsuits of five people wrongly convicted in the 1985 killing of a Beatrice woman can continue.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued opinions Monday in the cases of Joseph White, Thomas Winslow, Ada JoAnn Taylor, James Dean and Kathleen Gonzalez. They were convicted in the 1985 murder of Helen Wilson and served time in prison. They were exonerated in 2008 after DNA testing implicated another man.

They sued Gage County officials in federal court. Last year, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit brought by Winslow, Taylor, Dean and Gonzalez. A different judge allowed the lawsuit by White to proceed.

On Monday, the 8th Circuit allowed all of the cases to proceed, saying Gage County officials manufactured evidence and recklessly investigated the five.

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