(BALTIMORE) -- Antoine J. Pettiford, a former suspect in a 1994 Baltimore homicide, filed notice on Nov. 21 with the state treasurer and city solicitor of his intention to sue police and local government for malicious prosecution, false arrest and violation of his civil rights.
Murder charges against Pettiford, 29, in the April 1994 shooting death of Oscar E. Lewis were dropped in June. In a statement outlining the suit, attorneys for Pettiford named as defendants two Baltimore police detectives who handled the Lewis investigation and several assistant city state's attorneys who prosecuted the case.
In dismissing charges against Pettiford - who argued for his vindication for five years - a city Circuit Court judge ruled that Detective Robert L. Patton "deliberately" misled the defense.
Pettiford was wrongfully convicted in June 1995 of first-degree murder in Lewis' death because police and prosecutors, in violation of state and federal laws, never disclosed evidence that could have helped his defense.
A Baltimore judge erased Pettiford's murder conviction two years ago and struck down a manslaughter plea bargain in early summer, ruling that evidence violations made the case "a miscarriage of justice."
Police have maintained that detectives did nothing wrong in their investigation of Pettiford, who is seeking damages totaling at least $1.5 million.
(iSyndicate; The Baltimore Sun; Nov. 22, 2000) Terms and Conditions: Copyright( 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.