Philadelphia

Man Who Was Wrongfully Convicted of Rape and Murder Reaches $9.85M Settlement With Philly

“For the sake of my young grandchildren, I am encouraged that the City of Philadelphia will continue to take steps to make sure that what happened to me never happens to my grandchildren or any other child.”

A Philadelphia man who was wrongfully convicted of rape and murder reached a settlement of more than $9 million with the city.

Anthony Wright was arrested and convicted for the rape and murder of his neighbor Louise Talley, 77, in October of 1991. Talley's nude body was found face-down on a bedroom floor in her North Philadelphia home. She had been raped and then stabbed 10 times in the neck, chest and back with a kitchen knife.

Wright was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was 20 years old at the time and maintained his innocence throughout his prison stay.

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The district attorney's office agreed to a new trial in 2014 at the request of Wright's defense team, led by the Innocence Project, after DNA tests showed that sperm found inside Talley's body belonged to Ronnie Byrd, a former Philadelphia-area crack addict who died in a South Carolina prison.

The testing also showed that only Talley's genetic material was inside clothing that homicide detectives alleged Wright told them he wore and that was found inside his bedroom in his mother's house.

Wright was tried for a second time in August of 2016. After less than an hour of deliberations, Wright was found not guilty and finally released after serving 25 years in prison.

After his release, Wright filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia as well as several retired Philadelphia police detectives. Wright accused the detectives of coercing and fabricating his 1991 confession as well as planting evidence used to convict him.

On Wednesday, Wright and the city of Philadelphia agreed to settle for $9.85 million.

“Although I will never get over the 25 years I spent in prison for crimes I did not commit, or missing time with my mother before she died or with my son the whole time he was growing up, I am relieved that I can now get on with my life,” Wright said.

“For the sake of my young grandchildren, I am encouraged that the City of Philadelphia will continue to take steps to make sure that what happened to me never happens to my grandchildren or any other child.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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