(stjoechannel.com) - Mark Woodworth,who spent nearly a quarter-century trying to clear his name after he was twice convicted in his neighbor's shooting death is suing a former special state prosecutor and others he says conspired to violate his civil rights through a false arrest and malicious prosecution.
On Monday, his lawyer Robert Ramsey filed a civil lawsuit against those they say are responsible for his wrongful conviction.
Ramsey spoke out after Woodworth was freed in 2013.
"To me it shows that the system can work," he said after he was released.
Thirteen people are listed as defendants, as well as Livingston County, the Livingston County Sheriff's Department, the city of Chillicothe and the Chillicothe Police Department.
Among those named are former Congressman Kenny Hulshof, who was a special prosecutor in the original case.
Lyndel Robertson, the husband of the victim, Kathy Robertson, and the only witness to the shooter, is also named.
The lawsuit claims Robertson originally claimed the shooter was their daughter's boyfriend Brandon Hagan, but within weeks of the shooting, he changed his story.
The case claims he changed his story so his daughter Rochelle would not be prosecuted for the shootings.
Another defendant is Rachel Smith, who was assigned to the Missouri Attorney General's office to try Woodworth's second trial.
"Nobody wants to think somebody they know and love killed someone," she said during the second trial. "Unfortunately every murderer is somebody's friend, somebody's brother and somebody's son. That doesn't mean they didn't commit the crime."
The lawsuit claims Smith, engaged in overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy to wrongfully convict Mark Woodworth.
It also claims she gave false testimony in a 2011 evidentiary hearing.
The lawsuit is asking for punitive damages in the case.