The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has agreed to a $3.9 million settlement with former death row inmate Alan Gell to end his lawsuit accusing the agency of fabricating evidence and obstructing justice, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. Officials could not cite a bigger settlement made on behalf of the agency. The state also spent $731,062.40 to defend the lawsuit.
Gell, who spent nine years behind bars , said the settlement amount is a concession of his innocence and the state’s wrongdoing. He was in jail on a car theft charge when the murder for which he was wrongly convicted occurred. The settlement was made on behalf of agent Dwight Ransome. He was the lead investigator into the 1995 killing of Allen Ray Jenkins, a retired truck driver. The agent’s lawyer said Ransome had decided Gell was guilty early on, despite having statements from 17 independent witnesses who saw Jenkins alive after Gell was jailed on unrelated charges.