70° Good Afternoon
70° Good Afternoon

City to pay $6.25 million to man wrongly jailed for murder

A New York City man imprisoned for nearly 25 years for a murder committed while he was vacationing at Disney World has agreed to settle a lawsuit against the city for $6.25 million, officials said on Tuesday.

Jonathan Fleming, 53, spent about half of his life in prison for the 1989 killing of his friend Darryl Rush, which prosecutors maintained stemmed from an argument over money.

After years of appeals and an internal review by the Brooklyn district attorney's office, Fleming was exonerated last year by a judge who cited telephone records, photos and witness accounts placing him in Florida at the time of the murder.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said in a statement the city would pay $6.25 million to settle a $162 million lawsuit filed last year.

"We cannot give back the time that he served, but the City of New York can offer Jonathan Fleming this compensation for the injustice that was committed against him," Stringer said.

Lawyers for Fleming said they were pleased the settlement had come relatively quickly.

"The swift settlement will enable Jonathan and his family to build a new life without the painful and costly prospect of further litigation," the lawyers, Paul Callan and Martin Edelman, said in a statement.

Fleming had always maintained his innocence in the 1989 shooting, and claimed that prosecutors, in a rush to close the case, ignored troves of evidence that would have cleared him.

He was sentenced to 25 years to life for the murder even after a key witness in the case recanted her testimony.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

News photos & videos