- Associated Press - Thursday, March 15, 2018

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A federal judge has rejected an exonerated woman’s allegation that an Oklahoma city violated her civil rights when she was prosecuted for murder in connection with the 1994 death of her son.

Michelle Murphy was freed after serving 20 years in prison when new DNA evidence was discovered, The Tulsa World reported.

Murphy told police she found her 3-month-old son with his throat cut on Sept. 12, 1994.

Former Tulsa District Attorney Tim Harris suggested Murphy could’ve been the source of some of the blood found at the crime scene. Forensic tests have since proven that none of the blood at the scene was Murphy’s.

Murphy sued the city of Tulsa in 2015, alleging prosecutors, police and the city committed various wrongful acts during her prosecution. She later amended the lawsuit to limit the target of her allegations to the city. She alleged that the city violated her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination through the use of her allegedly coerced statement to police at her trial. She alleged that her 14th Amendment right to a fair trial also was violated.

But Chief U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell granted ruled in favor of the city on Tuesday after determining attorneys for Murphy failed to produce evidence that Tulsa had a policy or custom that led to the violation of her rights.

David Keesling, an attorney for Murphy, said she plans to appeal to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“This just presents us with the next step, which is not the last step in this process,” Keesling said.


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

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