- Associated Press - Friday, November 27, 2015

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A federal judge has approved the $8 million settlement of a wrongful conviction lawsuit against the city of Tulsa.

The Tulsa World reported (https://bit.ly/1OkuOpt ) Friday that Judge Terence Kern had approved the settlement with 43-year-old Sedrick Courtney.

Courtney was convicted of robbing a Tulsa woman in 1996 and sentenced to 60 years in prison. He was paroled in 2011 after Tulsa police said they had found hair from the ski masks believed to have been worn during the robbery. Subsequent DNA testing that was not available when he was convicted excluded Courtney as a possible donor of the hairs, according to court filings.

Courtney sued the city in 2014, alleging authorities used manufactured evidence to convict him, then obstructed his efforts to exonerate himself while he was in prison and on parole.

The Tulsa City Council voted unanimously to approve the $8 million settlement Oct. 22.

Under the agreement that Kern approved on Wednesday, the city will make a lump-sum payment of $5.25 million to Courtney and his New York-based attorney firm of Neufeld Scheck & Brustin, LLP. The remaining $2.75 million the city will pay will be used to fund two annuities that will make guaranteed periodic payments to Courtney through 2037.

The payment will come from the city of Tulsa’s sinking fund, which was created to pay for general obligation bond debt and judgments against the city.

After he was exonerated, Courtney received the statutory maximum of $175,000 from the state of Oklahoma after filing a tort claim for wrongful imprisonment.

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Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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