Exoneration of the Day - Man wrongly accused of assault over failure to pay rent

Posted By Imhoff & Associates || 18-Oct-2016

A 24 year old tenant was arrested for assaulting his landlord and his landlord’s mother who was a senior citizen.

The tenant was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a box cutter, assault and battery of a person over 60 and threatening to commit a crime.

The landlord and the mother hatched a story of assault as a payback for the tenant not paying the $3,000 rent he owed. The landlord and her mother testified that the tenant owed about $3,000 in rent and that he threatened them with a box cutter when the landlord demanded payment.

The tenant was convicted of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery of a person over 60 and threatening to commit a crime. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

The tenant’s defense attorney later was able to get his convictions vacated and a new trial after presenting a recording of a conversation between the landlord and a woman the tenant’s wife had enlisted to record the conversation. During the conversation, the landlord boasted about falsely accused the tenant because of the unpaid rent.

According to a sworn statement, the landlord called the police and lied about the tenant swinging the box cutter and the mother of the landlord lied as well. They stated he deserved to be in jail for other things he had done in the past.

After hearing the new evidence presented by the defense attorney, the judge acquitted and released the tenant from prison.

The tenant later filed a lawsuit under a wrongful conviction statute, whereby it was settled for $150,000.

https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=4997

Categories: Assault, felony charge

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