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Mentally disabled N.C. man awarded $9 million over false confession

Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:59 PM   |   Comments

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A North Carolina man received a $1.475 million settlement after being held for 14 years on a false confession to murder, court documents show.

The award from Anson County and its insurers brings to $9.325 million Floyd Brown has received for his unlawful imprisonment, The Charlotte Observer reported Wednesday. The settlement was issued in December but remained sealed until this week.

Brown, who is mentally disabled, was charged in the death Katherine Lynch, a retired schoolteacher found beaten to death in 1993 in her Wadesboro, N.C., home.

The only evidence against him was a confession a state police investigator said he wrote down word-for-word in the presence of two sheriff's deputies, the newspaper said.

Brown was released from a psychiatric hospital in 2007 after a Durham County judge ruled he had been illegally held and that the confession wasn't enough proof Brown had killed Lynch.

Brown's attorneys say the confession was fiction. Doctors said the alleged statement was too elaborate for Brown, who has the mental capacity of a 7-year-old.

None of the evidence from the crime was tested in a lab, according to the lawsuit that led to Brown's release. Neither the deputies nor the state investigator developed any evidence to corroborate the confession.

The deputies pleaded guilty in 1998 to federal racketeering charges.

Brown now lives with a full-time caretaker.

Topics: State Police
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