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Appeals court allows lawsuit in 1983 killing to move forward

Posted at 7:24 AM, Jul 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-31 10:24:05-04

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court has denied a request by North Carolina police officers to throw out a lawsuit filed by two brothers who spent decades behind bars after being wrongfully convicted in the 1983 killing of an 11-year-old girl.

Henry McCollum and Leon Brown were convicted of rape and murder in the death of Sabrina Buie in Red Springs, North Carolina. The intellectually disabled brothers spent years on death row before being cleared by DNA evidence linking another man to the crime. They were released in 2014 and later pardoned.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that their lawsuit alleging false arrest, malicious prosecution and other claims can move forward and be decided by a jury.

The court upheld a ruling by a U.S. District Court judge.