Wrongfully Imprisoned Man May Sue Mesa County, Palisade
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo. - Robert Dewey, the man who wrongfully spent more than 15 years in prison for the murder of a Palisade woman, feels he's owed more than just his freedom.
A notice of claims obtained by NewsChannel 5, which must be filed before a lawsuit, was sent to the town of Palisade and Mesa County by Dewey's attorneys.
The claim stated that although the full extent of loss has yet to be realized, they believe damages will exceed $18 million for Dewey's wrongful imprisonment.
The claim says that Mesa County and Palisade employees "conspired to violate Mr. Dewey's civil rights and to ensure that Mr. Dewey was wrongfully convicted of ... rape and murder."
These employees are accused of improperly destroying evidence and pressuring witnesses to implicate Dewey falsely.
In 1996, Dewey was convicted of the 1994 rape and murder of 19-year-old Jacie Taylor of Palisade, but advances in DNA technology exonerated the 52-year-old last year. Dewey was released from prison on April 30.
The newly-analyzed DNA evidence led investigators to charge Douglas Thames, 40, with Taylor's murder. Thames is currently serving life in prison for the 1989 murder of Susan Doll of Fort Collins.
Officials in the Mesa County District Attorney's office tell NewsChannel 5, they are waiting on any further action, such as a lawsuit filing, from Dewey's attorneys before they will comment or proceed.