Man to receive almost $18 million for wrongful NY conviction

Dec 2, 2022, 5:43 PM | Updated: 6:03 pm
FILE - Johnny Hincapie raises his fist as he leaves the courthouse in New York, Jan. 25, 2017. Atto...

FILE - Johnny Hincapie raises his fist as he leaves the courthouse in New York, Jan. 25, 2017. Attorneys for Hincapie confirmed Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, that Hincapie, a man who was freed in 2015 after spending a quarter-century in prison for an infamous tourist killing, will receive nearly $18 million in legal settlements from the city and state of New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

A man who was freed in 2015 after spending a quarter-century in prison for an infamous tourist killing will receive nearly $18 million in legal settlements from the city and state of New York, his attorneys confirmed Friday.

Lawyers for Johnny Hincapie said it marks one of the largest settlements for a wrongful conviction in New York City history.

The Colombian-born Hincapie was among a group of young men accused of fatally stabbing Utah tourist Brian Watkins on a subway station platform in 1990. Eighteen years old at the time and with no criminal history, Hincapie said he was coerced to falsely confess to the notorious Labor Day crime.

Despite recanting his false confession, as well as other exculpatory evidence, Hincapie was convicted of felony murder and sentenced to 25 years-to-life in prison. He ultimately served 25 years, three months and eight days before his conviction was dropped.

In a statement released Friday, Hincapie said he hasn’t lost sight of what happened to Watkins that day, calling the man’s death “tragic.”

“I have never forgotten the loss his family suffered,” he said. “I am fortunate that my innocence has finally been acknowledged by my city and my state and I look forward to the next chapter of my life with my family.”

Attorney Gabriel P. Harvis, who represented Hincapie with fellow lawyer Baree N. Fett, credited Hincapie with pursuing his education while behind bars and for being a model inmate. Hincapie, who is now 50, earned his GED, associates, bachelor’s and master’s degrees while in prison.

“He really is the last victim in this case because it took so long for him to finally have his innocence recognized,” Harvis told The Associated Press. He said the large settlement is a recognition of his client’s “innocence and of his qualities as a person.”

Harvis has said previously that Hincapie “suffered severe emotional and mental anguish and pain as a result of being punished for crimes he did not commit.”

Hincapie is now living in Florida with his family and has two young children, Harvis said.

Under the settlements, the city will provide $12.8 million and the state $4.8 million. Nick Paolucci, spokesperson for the New York City Law Department, said in a written statement the settlement “resolves a longstanding civil case involving a horrific crime. Based on the findings of the DA (District Attorney) and our review, this agreement is fair and in the best interest of all parties.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A Leopard 1 tank drives in Storkau, Germany, on May 19, 2000. Ukraine may be able to add old...
Associated Press

Ukraine may also get old Leopard 1 tanks from German stocks

BERLIN (AP) — Ukraine may be able to add old Leopard 1 battle tanks from German defense industry stocks to deliveries of modern tanks that Berlin and other governments pledged last week to counter Russian forces in the war. German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit confirmed Friday that “export authorization has been granted” but declined to […]
6 hours ago
FILE - President Barack Obama, left, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sign the New START treat...
Associated Press

NATO urges Russia to respect nuclear pact with the US

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO called Friday on Russia to respect the only treaty it has with the United States aimed at keeping a lid on nuclear weapons expansion and urged Moscow to allow on-the-ground inspections of military sites to resume. The so-called New START Treaty was signed by Russia and the U.S. in 2010. It […]
6 hours ago
Associated Press

Reports: 8 migrants’ bodies recovered by Italian coast guard

MILAN (AP) — The bodies of eight migrants have been recovered by Italy’s coast guard during an operation overnight that also rescued 42 survivors in the central Mediterranean off the island of Lampedusa, Italian news agency ANSA reported Friday. The coast guard in Rome and in Lampedusa declined to immediately confirm details of the rescue, […]
6 hours ago
A Ukrainian serviceman controls a drone during a demonstration close to the border with Belarus, Uk...
Associated Press

Along Ukraine-Belarus border, a war of nerves — and drones

BELARUS BORDER, Ukraine (AP) — The reconnaissance drones fly several times a day from Ukrainian positions deep inside the thick forest that marches across the border into Belarus, a close Russian ally, scouring sky and land for signs of trouble on the other side. Ukrainian units are monitoring the 1,000-kilometer (650-mile) frontier of marsh and […]
6 hours ago
FILE - A vender waits for customers at a vegetable market place in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, June...
Associated Press

China confirms offer to Sri Lanka of debt moratorium

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government on Friday confirmed it is offering Sri Lanka a two-year moratorium on loan repayments as the Indian Ocean island nation struggles to restructure $51 billion in foreign debt that pushed it into a financial crisis. China lent to Sri Lanka as part of Beijing’s multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative to […]
6 hours ago
Associated Press

Jailed leader of Greek far-right party faces election ban

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s government is seeking to ban a far-right political party led by a jailed former lawmaker from participating in a general election later this year, with a legislative initiative that has gained cross-party support. Ilias Kasidiaris, 42, founded the Greek National Party two years ago. He is currently serving a sentence […]
6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Man to receive almost $18 million for wrongful NY conviction