A man who has been in prison for 24 years after being wrongly convicted of murder charges police for $ 1.2 million
A man who has been imprisoned for more than two decades for a murder he did not commit is now suing law enforcement officers in New Jersey who helped him secure his wrongful conviction.
Jean Dorval, 47, filed a complaint with federal court on Monday to claim $ 1.2 million in damages, claiming Elizabeth police officer Thomas Koczur, former Union County Attorney Prosecutor John Furda and the Department of State finances are referred to as defendants.
“During the decades of my wrongful imprisonment, I suffered greatly. I was denied the company of my family and other loved ones … I was also deprived of the right to continue my education, or to learn a profession or trade, ‘the complaint says. “I have suffered emotional distress, including nightmares and horrors.”
Jean Dorval, who was wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to 70 years, charges investigators with federal court two years after his release
In March 1994, Dorval and his friend Duquene Pierre drove to Florida when 19-year-old Richard Jerry Myers was killed in a robbery in Elizabeth, New Jersey, some 750 miles away, NJ.com.
Despite evidence that he and Pierre were traveling on the orders for the murder of Myers, both men were arrested, tried and convicted.
Dorval was sentenced to 70 years in prison, while his fellow suspect was sentenced to 60 years.
Dorval’s friend and co-suspect Duquene Pierre was released in 2016 after being acquitted during a new trial
But in December 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that Pierre’s attorney was unable to provide evidence that the car was in a car hours before the South Carolina murder.
After crown witnesses revoked their identity, Pierre was acquitted and released in July 2016.
Two years later, the prosecutors announced that the same circumstances apply to Dorval, who was previously believed to have been granted parole only in 2034.
All charges against Dorval were dropped and he was released in April 2018, after 24 years in a Rahway prison.
Dorval’s federal lawsuit details the facts of the case, including evidence that he and Pierre could not have committed the crime in New Jersey because they were hundreds of miles away at the time.
Four hours before Myers was shot and killed in a robbery in Elizabeth on March 20, 1994, the two friends were stopped in their black Acura Legend for speeding offenses in Yemasee, South Carolina, and issued a ticket for driving 81 mph in a speed zone of 65 mph.
At around 1:30 a.m., Dorval and Pierre filled out a motel registration card in Savannah, Georgia, and checked out that morning, according to the civil complaint.
During the road trip, Pierre called his girlfriend eight times collect, including one in South Carolina, just two hours before the deadly shooting in New Jersey.
Dorval (pictured at the time of his release from prison in 2018) served 24 of his 70-year sentence for the murder of a 19-year-old man in New Jersey in 1994
Dorval (3rd left, pictured with state senators) claimed he was Pierre driving to Florida at the time of the Elizabeth assassination, and they had evidence to prove it
When Dorval and Pierre returned from their trip to Elizabeth, they were arrested in connection with the murder of Myers because they matched the profile of suspects based on eyewitness testimonies, reporting that they spot two Haitian men on a black Acura saw legend rule.
Prosecutors alleged that it was Pierre’s brother who drove his car and his driver’s license to Florida at the time of the murder, although Pierre mentioned the speeding offense from South Carolina as the driver.
The lawsuit accuses Officer Koczur and Detective Furda of coercion of witnesses, failing to transfer exculpatory evidence to the defense, and allowing false identifications of untrustworthy witnesses at trial.
The complaint specifically alleges that the investigators obtained false witness statements of “inappropriate and unconstitutional means” from Maguan Romelus, who was subsequently convicted of the murder of Myers, along with another man, John Louis. Both remain in prison.
At Pierre’s 2015 trial, two witnesses who placed him and Dorval at the crime scene in 1994 admitted that they could not positively identify either man.
According to his lawsuit, Dorval has lived with his family from the time of his release and has struggled to find a well-paid job to support himself.
Looking for $ 1.2 million in damages, Dorval says he has struggled to get back on his feet since his release two years ago.
Under the New Jersey False Imprisonment Act, Dorval could receive $ 50,000 per year for every year spent behind bars, but his suitability has yet to be determined.
Pierre also has a civil lawsuit pending the name Koczur, his defense attorneys and the Ministry of Finance.
A spokesman for the city of Elizabeth has made a statement on behalf of Officer Koczur stating that he has done nothing wrong.
The Union County Prosecutor’s Office has not commented on Dorval’s lawsuit.