Man Freed by DNA Evidence Sues Police, Others

Man Freed by DNA Evidence Sues Police, Others

A man who was sentenced to life in prison for a 1988 murder but was released nearly two decades later when DNA evidence proved his innocence has filed a lawsuit against the police claiming that he was a victim of malicious prosecution, discrimination and was denied a fair trial.

The suit names Allegheny County, six detectives, and one of Whitley’s ex-attorneys as defendants.

What Happened

Drew Whitley, 51, was convicted in 1989 for the second-degree murder of Noreen Malloy, 22.

Stephen A. Zappala Jr., Allegheny District Attorney, dropped the charges in May 2006 when DNA evidence showed that the hairs used as evidence against Whitley in the trial were not actually his.

The suit claims that Whitley was the subject of discrimination because he was black. He was denied a fair trial and subjected to malicious persecution, the suit claims.

Seeking Justice

Whitley’s attorney, Lawrence Fisher, said that justice will not be fully served by the mere exoneration of his client.

“We must hold accountable those responsible for the violation of his civil rights, the malicious prosecution by which those rights were violated, and the flawed legal counsel that allowed it all to happen,” he said.

The suit claims that the detectives should have tested Whitley’s hands for gunshot residue but did not.

The suit further claims that the police ignored evidence clearing Whitley, including a hat found at the scene that did not fit him, saliva found on a mask that did not match his and footprints that were smaller than his.

Victim of Malicious Prosecution?

If you feel you have been the victim of malicious prosecution, please contact us today for a complimentary consultation with an experienced and effective personal injury attorney who can answer your questions, examine your situation thoroughly, and help you plan the best course of action.

Find a Lawyer Now

Search for a Personal Injury lawyer in your state or province by using the forms to the right.