Wrongly Imprisoned Man Gets $2.25M Settlement From State

Spent More Than 22 Years Locked Up For Murder He Didn't Commit

Associated Press
August 12, 2020 - 5:45 am

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada state officials gave final approval Tuesday to paying $2.25 million to a Las Vegas man who spent more than 22 years in state prison for a 1994 murder before he was determined to be innocent and released in 2017.

DeMarlo Berry’s financial award won final approval from the state Board of Examiners made up of Gov. Steve Sisolak, state Attorney General Aaron Ford and Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske.

Berry, 45, is the first person to receive a certificate of innocence and damages for wrongful imprisonment under a new state law passed last year.

Berry testified before the state Legislature before passage of the measure that made Nevada the 35th state to promise compensation for wrongful convictions.

His conviction in the killing of Las Vegas fast-food restaurant manager Charles Burkes was dismissed after Steven Jackson, a Las Vegas man already serving a life sentence for a separate murder, confessed to killing Burkes.

Berry’s legal team also found a former jailhouse informant who recanted trial testimony that Berry told him he killed Burkes.