Archive for Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Kansas man wrongly imprisoned for murder, rape sues sheriff, district attorney

May 11, 2016

OSKALOOSA — Floyd Bledsoe, an Oskaloosa man who was wrongly imprisoned for 15 years for murder, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Jefferson County, including the offices of the sheriff and district attorney.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas.

The lawsuit accuses Jefferson County law enforcement officers and justice officials of “framing” Bledsoe “for the crime and railroaded him with a deeply flawed investigation and trial,” Bledsoe's law firm's news release said.

Jefferson County officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Bledsoe, 39, received legal help from the Midwest Innocence Project and Kansas University's Project for Innocence to gain his freedom from Lansing Correctional Facility, Dec. 8, 2015.

Since his release, Bledsoe has hired Loevy & Loevy law firm, which said in a news release it is one of the largest civil rights law firms in the country and has offices in Chicago and Boulder, Colorado. The firm's website says it specializes in police misconduct and whistleblowing.

Bledsoe and his attorneys will hold a press conference today at 12:30 p.m. at the office of the Midwest Innocence Project in Kansas City, according to the firm's news release.

Bledsoe was accused in November 1999 of raping and killing 14-year-old Camille Arfmann, who was Bledsoe's sister-in-law.

Floyd Bledsoe's brother, Tom Bledsoe, confessed to the rape and murder and led law enforcement officials to her body. Tom also turned over the murder weapon to police.

But after a few days, Tom changed his story and told law enforcement that his brother had committed the murder and that Floyd had forced Tom to confess.

Floyd was charged with the murder even though he had an alibi that was supported by a time-stamped receipt, phone records and dozens of witnesses, the news release said.

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