Lawsuit Says Prosecutors Threatened Witnesses With Murder Charges

Attorneys for an exonerated man who spent nine years in prison say the prosecution's key witnesses were threatened with first-degree murder charges when they considered changing their stories.

In a recent court filing, lawyers for Alan Gell say the murder
case's lead investigator and original prosecutor withheld the
evidence from prosecutors who tried Gell in 1998. The lawyers say
information was recently discovered and is in addition to the
withheld evidence that led to Gell's acquittal in 2004.

Gell filed a federal lawsuit against several officials involved
in the murder case including former Aulander police chief Gordon
Godwin and former state prosecutors David Hoke and Debra Graves.

The prosecutors had absolute immunity and were dismissed from
the case. Godwin and the Town of Aulander paid Gell almost 94,000
dollars to settle the case.


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