A civil jury in Prince George’s County, Md., awarded nearly $6.4 million yesterday to a man who spent more than eight months in jail after he was interrogated for over 38 hours by homicide detectives, who then charged him with murdering his wife based solely on statements he allegedly made during the marathon interviews. The award to Keith Longtin after the two-week trial is believed to be the largest ever made by a jury in a civil case involving abuse by Prince George’s police, reports the Washington Post.
Longtin, now 50, was released from jail only after DNA evidence found in his slain wife was matched with a serial rapist. The sexual offender was later convicted of the murder. The Circuit Court jury awarded $5.2 million in compensatory damages to Longtin. It also leveled punitive damages of nearly $1.2 million against four county homicide detectives who, the jury found, violated Longtin’s civil rights.