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Wrongful Conviction Payout Set

A judge has ordered Kansas to pay more than $826,000 to the estate of a man who died in February following his release from prison after serving more than 12 years over a wrongful murder conviction.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced the resolution of a lawsuit filed in November by Olin “Pete” Coones only days after a Wyandotte County judge threw out his 2009 conviction for first-degree murder.

The order to pay Coones’ estate came from Shawnee County District Judge Teresa Watson, but Governor Laura Kelly and legislative leaders must review it.

Coones was sentenced to life in prison in connection with the 2008 death of his late father’s caregiver, Kathleen Schroll.

Coones’ defense argued that she framed him for murder when she killed herself and her husband because of investigations into how how she handled money for Coones’ father.

Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree called Coones’ conviction “a failure of our system.”

He declined to retry the case.


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