Update: The lawsuit was amended to add De’Marchoe Carpenter, Malcolm Scott’s co-defendant in his trial, as a plaintiff.
“It is their sincere wish that not one other innocent person is ever again forced to endure prolonged imprisonment, indignity, pain and humiliation for a crime he/she did not commit,” according to the complaint lawsuit, which seeks an unspecified amount in excess of $75,000.
Scott and Carpenter were each sentenced to life in prison plus 170 years after they were convicted of first-degree murder and related charges in a shooting that killed 19-year-old Karen Summers.
Below is the original story that appeared in Tuesday's Tulsa World:
A Tulsa man who was exonerated after spending 20 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Tulsa and two former detectives.
Malcolm Scott, who was declared innocent of a 1994 murder, filed the lawsuit “seeking justice for the unfathomable wrongs inflicted upon him,” according to his complaint, filed in Tulsa federal court.
“It is his sincere wish that not one other innocent person is ever again forced to endure prolonged imprisonment, indignity, pain and humiliation for a crime he/she did not commit,” says his lawsuit, which seeks in excess of $75,000 in damages.
Scott and De’Marchoe Carpenter were each sentenced to life in prison plus 170 years after they were convicted of first-degree murder and related charges in the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Karen Summers.
Scott and Carpenter, both 40, were freed from prison May 9, 2016, after a judge declared them “actually innocent” based on new evidence that was not presented to the jury that found them guilty in 1995.
The new evidence included sworn statements from three men who claimed to be the actual perpetrators of the drive-by shooting, as well as signed affidavits from eyewitnesses recanting their testimony at Scott and Carpenter’s trial.
Michael Wilson initially faced a murder charge along with Scott and Carpenter, but his charge was reduced to accessory after the fact after he testified against them at a pretrial hearing.
On Jan. 7, 2014, Wilson confessed in a videotaped interview with an attorney from the Oklahoma Innocence Project that he had fired the fatal shots and that Scott and Carpenter were not involved.
Wilson was executed two days later for another murder, and among his last words, he again stated that Scott and Carpenter were innocent.
The Oklahoma Innocence Project is a legal clinic at the Oklahoma City University School of Law.
Scott claims in his lawsuit that his right to a fair trial was violated by multiple instances of the suppression of exculpatory evidence by the failure to conduct basic forensic testing of physical evidence and the disregard of the overwhelming evidence pointing to Wilson as the shooter.
Scott also seeks relief for alleged violations of due process, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and civil conspiracy, among other claims.
The lawsuit claims that retired Tulsa Police Department Detectives Mike Huff and Gary Meek fabricated evidence “by coercing false inculpatory testimony from witnesses and co-defendants.”
The officers “were aware that … no true or reliable evidence implicated (Scott) in the Karen Summers homicide, and that all inculpatory evidence was coerced and fabricated,” the complaint alleges.
Scott sued the former detectives in their individual capacities. Huff, reached by telephone, declined to comment on the lawsuit. Meek could not be reached for comment.
A spokeswoman for the city of Tulsa did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but city officials typically do not comment on pending litigation.