Lawsuit filed by man wrongfully convicted headed to trial - - Jackson, MS

Lawsuit filed by man wrongfully convicted headed to trial

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By Bert Case - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -  A lawsuit against the City of Jackson is set for trial next week. The suit was filed by a man who served more than a decade in prison for a crime he did not commit. Cedric Willis was freed in March 2006 after DNA evidence showed he was not involved in a 1994 robbery and homicide. 

It was an unforgettable scene captured by WLBT News when Willis came down the jailhouse steps into the waiting arms of his family, June 5th, 2006. 

He had been locked up for 12 years for the fatal shooting of Carl White, Jr. and the robbery of White's wife at their Jackson home.  Willis was convicted in 1997 and sentenced for 30 years for each of three counts of armed robbery. 

 Willis never wavered in proclaiming his innocence and now feels he is owed something for losing 12 years of his life. He is getting a $500,000 settlement from the state over 10 years. But he is still suing Jackson for $36 million dollars.  Judge Winston Kidd is expected to rule in the case any day now on whether to rule in favor of Willis without a trial, because the city failed to file motions in a timely fashion, or  to go ahead with the trail next week. 

Rob McDuff, Willis' attorney now says he nor his client will not talk publicly about the case.  The Innocence Project got Willis released from jail. 

Willis worked for a while at Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church, but is no longer there.  We were unable to contact him Tuesday. 

Late Tuesday afternoon, Judge Kidd ruled that a summary judgement in this case is not appropriate.

So, apparently the trial will go on next week as scheduled. He also set a deadline of July 16th for a response to plaintiff's motions for admission. 

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