$14.6 Million for Everton Wagstaffe, Wrongfully Incarcerated for 23 Years
BLH partners Jonathan Moore and Marc Cannan recently obtained a $14.6 million settlement for Everton Wagstaffe, for his civil rights claims against the State and City of New York. The State paid $3,150,000, and the City paid $11,428,125.
In 1992, Mr. Wagstaffe was wrongfully convicted of the kidnapping of a teenage girl and sentenced to 25 years. For the next 23 years, he fiercely maintained his innocence, refusing probation, which he viewed as an admission of guilt. Though hardly literate when he began his sentence, Mr. Wagstaffe taught himself to read and write, and wrote hundreds of legal documents and letters to lawyers, pleading for help.
BLH founding partner, the late Myron Beldock, received one of those letters, and proceeded to fight for Mr. Wagstaffe’s innocence for years. In 2014, his conviction, which was based on false testimony from the detectives and key witness, was reversed. See our prior release here.