Jonathan Fleming, who was wrongly convicted of a 1989 murder and jailed for nearly 25 years, has reached a $6.25 million settlement with New York City. He had filed a lawsuit against the city in June 2014 after he was freed.
Fleming, 53, was found guilty in 1990 of shooting friend Darryl Rush in New York despite having an alibi of being on a family trip to Disney World in Florida. Fleming was set free after spending 24 years and 8 months in jail, when new evidence emerged proving his alibi.
"We cannot give back the time that he served, but the City of New York can offer Jonathan Fleming this compensation for the injustice that was committed against him," City Comptroller Scott Stringer said, in a statement, Reuters reported.
Fleming's lawyers welcomed the decision and lauded the city for a speedy settlement. "The swift settlement will enable Jonathan and his family to build a new life without the painful and costly prospect of further litigation," attorneys Paul Callan and Martin Edelman reportedly said.
According to the New York Daily News, the lawyers said that, after signing the settlement documents, Fleming, who is an only son, went to see his ailing mother in a hospital who is "close to death" because of a serious illness.
Authorities began reviewing Fleming’s case in 2013 after a witness -- who had confessed to seeing Fleming committing the crime --recanted and new witnesses incriminated another person, the Associated Press reported.
The fresh investigation also turned up an Orlando hotel receipt of a payment Fleming made about five hours before the shooting and reportedly had in his pocket when arrested. According to AP, the officials did not give his defense that receipt or a 1989 Orlando police letter telling New York authorities that some employees at the hotel remembered seeing Fleming, who was set free last April.
Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson said Fleming was “clearly wrongfully convicted” and “no amount of money will ever give him back that time,” the Wall Street Journal reported.