User Login    
 + Register
TV Banner
News : Defendants Want Claims Dismissed In Ferguson Case
Posted by Randy on 2014/4/30 7:30:00 (335 reads) News by the same author

(columbiatribune.com) - Attorneys for six of the 13 defendants in Ryan Ferguson's civil rights lawsuit last week filed motions in federal court to dismiss some or all of the claims against their clients, according to online court records.
Click to see original Image in a new window

Former Columbia police Chief Randy Boehm's counsel filed Thursday a motion to dismiss three of the eight claims against him: defamation, malicious prosecution and a Monell claim, named for a precedent-setting case in the 1960s that said a person or entity found to have violated another person's rights also is civilly liable.

Boehm's attorneys did not seek to dismiss the other five claims against him in the eight-count complaint: destruction or suppression of exculpatory evidence, fabrication of evidence, failure to investigate, conspiracy to deprive constitutional rights and false arrest.

Defendants seeking to have all of their claims dismissed are Boone County, the city of Columbia, investigator Ben White and current Boone County Circuit Judge Kevin Crane, who was the county prosecutor at the time of Ferguson's trial. Then-Sgt. Stephen Monticelli's lawyer is looking to have one of six counts against him dismissed, malicious prosecution.

Ferguson was arrested in March 2004 and convicted in 2005 of first-degree robbery and second-degree murder for the Nov. 1, 2001, death of Tribune Sports Editor Kent Heitholt. Maintaining his innocence throughout his incarceration, he was freed Nov. 12, 2013, after a three-judge state appellate court panel vacated his convictions based on several Brady violations by the prosecution, headed by Crane. Brady v. Maryland, a 1960s U.S. Supreme Court decision, mandated that the prosecution in criminal cases must hand over all exculpatory evidence to the defendant's lawyers.

Ferguson's counsel, led by Kathleen Zellner, filed the civil suit in March and amended the complaint in early April. Other defendants include investigator William Haws, who played a central role in oral arguments and at least one Brady violation determined by the appellate judges, and six former police detectives, five of whom have since retired.

Boehm and Monticelli want to be removed from the claim of malicious prosecution under the qualified immunity doctrine, which makes it nearly impossible to sue an agent of the state or a city who was performing the normal duties of their role.

Crane's counsel wants both counts against him tossed: defamation and the Monell claim, in which he is sued in his capacity as prosecutor. The motion says Crane's comments about Ferguson after he was released were clearly opinions and that defamation must be an issue of fact and that Crane can no longer be sued as prosecutor since he no longer holds the office. Boehm's attorneys seek to have his defamation count dismissed on the same grounds as Crane.

On April 16, attorneys filed the motion for White, who wants out on all three claims against him: failure to investigate, malicious prosecution and conspiracy to deprive constitutional rights on the grounds, according to court records, that White only interviewed one witness and the complaint fails to state specific claims against him or provide evidence to support them.

The city, which, along with the county, is only a defendant in the Monell claim, hopes to be dismissed on the basis that there are insufficient facts supporting the claim. The county's motion also claims that Ferguson's attorneys don't fulfill the necessary conditions to substantiate a Monell claim.

U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey has not yet ruled on the motions, and Ferguson's counsel has not answered the motions.

Several attorneys for defendants and Zellner either declined to comment or couldn't be reached for this story.

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2014/8/29 10:05:43 - Lawson Softball Tips Chillicothe, 3-2
2014/8/29 9:51:45 - Truman State Hoops Coach Leaves For Pro Job
2014/8/29 9:50:00 - CHS Lady Hornet Volleyball Opens Season With Sweep Of Trenton
2014/8/29 9:40:04 - Softball Scoreboard : Gallatin Tips Milan 2-1
2014/8/29 9:22:50 - Savannah Tennis Beats Trenton, 8-1
2014/8/29 7:28:34 - Amber And Jim Shippen Latest Contributors To WMH Foundation
2014/8/29 6:20:30 - Hamilton Resident Life Flighted After Accident South Of Cameron
2014/8/29 5:21:37 - Trenton Downtown Improvement Association Approves Loans For Building Projects
2014/8/29 4:35:36 - Crews In Hazmat Suits Search Springfield Home For Ricin
2014/8/29 4:27:55 - Suspect In 6-Year-Old's Death Charged With First-Degree Murder
2014/8/29 4:23:52 - Missouri Unveils Aid Effort To Ferguson Businesses
2014/8/29 4:19:11 - Cat-Astrophic Revelation Purr-Turbs Hello Kitty Fans
2014/8/29 4:15:39 - 4-Year-Old Expelled Over His Mother's Facebook Post
2014/8/29 4:10:25 - Date Set For Local Recount On "Right To Farm" Issue
2014/8/29 4:03:50 - One Injury In Accident West Of Trenton
2014/8/28 15:01:25 - KC Royals Turning Back Clock To 1974
2014/8/28 14:50:00 - Milan Coaches Shows For Thursday, 8/28/14
2014/8/28 12:50:00 - Chillicothe Hornets Have Dominant Tennis, Golf Performances
2014/8/28 12:32:42 - KC Royals Urge Fans To "Wear Blue" For Rare Sunday Night Game
2014/8/28 12:27:24 - KC Royals Place Top Prospect Starling In Arizona Fall League
2014/8/28 12:21:45 - Brookfield Wins Extra-Inning Showdown With Penney, 3-2
2014/8/28 10:00:00 - Circuit Court At Trenton Busy With Cases
2014/8/28 9:54:14 - Firm Interested In Building Solar Farm North Of Trenton
2014/8/28 9:50:00 - Cameron Woman Injured In I-35 Accident
2014/8/28 9:50:00 - North Harrison Spoils Princeton's Home Opener, 3-1
2014/8/28 9:47:23 - Lawyer Criticizes Missouri Child Abuse Proposal
2014/8/28 9:41:40 - KC Chiefs Add To Line Depth, Signing Veteran McGlynn
2014/8/28 9:40:00 - Parents Complain About Alleged Punishment At Columbia Elementary School
2014/8/28 9:28:34 - More Than 200 Missouri Bills Become Law Today
2014/8/28 9:24:57 - Missouri Dairy Farmers Urge Veto Override



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM