State news

Disabled man seeks $13.5M after convictions overturned

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut officials are fighting a $13.5 million demand for compensation by a mentally disabled man who spent 26 years in prison before his murder conviction was overturned and he was freed.

Lawyers for Richard Lapointe are asking the state claims commissioner to approve the compensation, saying DNA testing four years ago exonerated him in the 1987 rape and killing of his wife's 88-year-old grandmother in Manchester.

The state attorney general's office filed documents with the commissioner last month disputing that the testing cleared Lapointe and saying officials still believe Lapointe killed Bernice Martin.

The now-73-year-old Lapointe had served 26 years in prison when he was freed in 2015 after the state Supreme Court overturned his conviction, saying prosecutors withheld key information obtained by police.

Prosecutors declined to retry him.


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