RENO, Nev. "A Nevada woman who spent 35 years in prison for a murder she did not commit before being crippled by DNA evidence of a cigarette butt at a crime scene will receive $ 3 million in a partial agreement on a federal civil rights case," she said. her lawyer on Wednesday.
68-year-old Katie Woods will continue to seek additional damages from the City of Reno and former detectives, who she blames for forcing her to confess to her while she was a patient at a Louisiana psychiatric hospital. in 1979, according to her lawyer Elizabeth Wang.
Woods was released from prison in 201
Woods, who now lives with relatives near Anacorte, Washington, was the longest mistakenly detained woman in U.S. history, according to National Regi "19659002]" Although no amount of money will compensate Ms. Woods for what she has endured, it will come up with at least some way of caring for her, "Wang said.
Woods was extremely psychotic and should never have been questioned by detectives investigating the murder of 19-year-old Michelle Mitchell since 1976
Washoo County Commission votes 4-0 on Tuesday to pay 3 million she dollars to settle part of a federal lawsuit named by former District Attorney Cal Dunlap as defendant, Wang said she would ask a federal judge to release him after the partial agreement was finalized.
The state will continue earlier this month, too, Wang said, under a new Nevada law that went into effect this year, allowing wrongfully convicted people to seek civil damages of up to $ 3.5 million. The federal lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages.
Woods' original sentence in 1980 was overturned by the Nevada Supreme Court. It was re-sentenced in 1984, and the Supreme Court upheld that conviction in 1988.
The judge acquitted him permanently in 2014 after DNA technology that had not previously been linked to Halbower's evidence. Detectives in Reno and Northern California later identified him as the "Gypsy Hill Killer," named for an area in the San Francisco Bay Area of the Pacific where one body was found. Authorities believe Halbuer raped and murdered six women and girls – including Mitchell in Reno in 1976. But he was only charged with two murders and sentenced to life in prison last year for the murder of 17-year-old Paula Baxter and 18 year old Veronica Casio.
The district said in a statement it remained confident that there had been no misconduct by county employees, but that the settlement was ending expensive litigation.
"The conviction and subsequent arrest of Woods for murder is a tragic situation that he hopes Washoe County never repeats," the county said. "While money can seldom compensate an individual for loss of liberty, Washoe County truly hopes that this money settlement will be used to best serve Woods."
The 2016 Woods federal lawsuit says, that she was a poorly educated woman with a severe mental illness who had been “intentionally framed” by the authorities.
She was assaulted in Reno when Mitchell was killed. She later moved to Louisiana and her mother engaged her at a psychiatric hospital, where Woods told a counselor about "a girl named Michelle to be killed in Renault."
Washoe County Public Defender Maisie Pusic told the Associated Press in 2014, Woods wasn't "I don't remember confessing while in the hospital.
" They tell me it's a wish product to get a private room, "says Pusic." She was told she was not dangerous enough to qualify and within a short period she claimed to have killed a woman in Renault. "