WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A federal jury on Wednesday awarded a North Carolina man $6 million after finding a detective made up evidence and performed an inadequate investigation that led to convictions that sent him to prison for more than 20 years.
The jury in Winston-Salem found former Durham police detective Darryl Dowdy fabricated evidence in the case and trial that resulted in Darryl Howard being convicted in 1995 of killing a woman and her daughter in 1991, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported.
Howard’s 80-year sentence was cut short in 2016 when a Durham County judge vacated his convictions, citing police and prosecutorial misconduct. In 2017, Howard filed a federal civil rights lawsuit that accused Dowdy, the city of Durham and others of actions that resulted in Howard being wrongfully convicted.
Howard and one of his attorneys said they were glad the jury recognized Dowdy’s actions but had hoped for a figure much closer to the $48 million in damages they requested.
Dowdy, 65, who denies the accusations in the lawsuit, worked for the Durham Police Department for 36 years before he retired in 2007. His attorney, Nick Ellis, said they accept the jury’s decision but disagree with its conclusions.