New trial set for men alleging wrongful conviction


July 22nd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A federal judge says two Omaha, Neb., men who are suing the city of Council Bluffs and two former police detectives for wrongful conviction, will get a joint trial instead of two separate ones. Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee have asked for separate trials in their civil lawsuit after the first trial ended in mistrial because jurors couldn’t agree on a verdict. The men seek millions of dollars in compensation for 25 years in prison.

They were released in 2003 after the Iowa Supreme Court found prosecutors committed misconduct. The men allege retired officers Daniel Larsen and Lyle Brown coerced witnesses and hid evidence from their attorneys during their 1978 trials. Federal judge Robert Pratt denied separate trials and ordered a new trial to begin Oct. 15 in Des Moines.