The city of St. Louis and the state of Missouri will pay nearly $14 million to the family of George Allen, a man wrongfully convicted of the 1982 rape and murder of a St. Louis court reporter. Allen died in 2016 after serving 30 years in prison.
The city of St. Louis and the state of Missouri will pay nearly $14 million to the family of George Allen, a man wrongfully convicted of the 1982 rape and murder of a St. Louis court reporter, St. Louis Public Radio reports. Allen died in 2016. His sister Elfrieda and his mother, Lonzetta Taylor, agreed to a settlement. Neither the city nor the state admit to the allegations in the lawsuit, which included claims that detectives beat a confession out of Allen, and withheld evidence that would have shown he was innocent. State court rulings that granted Allen his freedom ruled police covered up the fact that blood found at the scene ruled out Allen as the murderer.
Allen was 26 in 1982 when he was arrested in connection with the death of Mary Bell, who was stabbed in her St. Louis apartment. The suit charged that officers confused Allen for a suspect in the case, Kirk Eaton, and arrested Allen even after he produced identification. St. Louis police officers interrogated Allen despite his mental illness until Allen confessed to the crime. Allen was found guilty of rape, murder and burglary in 1983 and sentenced to life in prison. In 2011, the New York-based Innocence Project filed documents seeking to have Allen’s conviction thrown out based on new DNA evidence. A Cole County judge did so in 2012, and set Allen free when then-Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce decided not to retry the case. By then, Allen had served 30 years in prison.