Trial Date in Wrongful Conviction Lawsuit Set for Next Year

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A federal judge says a wrongful conviction lawsuit against a West Virginia prosecutor’s office and a county commission can go forward.

Former minor league baseball player Jimmie Gardner sued the Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Kanawha County Commission and others after his 1990 sex assault conviction was vacated in 2016 due to a ruling that his trial was tainted by false testimony from then-state police forensic serologist Fred Zain, whose discredited work resulted in millions of dollars paid to wrongfully convicted defendants.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver dismissed some defendants in the lawsuit, but allowed it to proceed against the prosecutor’s office and the county. He scheduled the trial to begin on June 16, 2020.

Gardner reached a settlement of $175,000 with the city of Charleston in April.