A federal jury has awarded the Beatrice Six $28 million for their wrongful convictions in the rape and murder of Helen Wilson.
The six were wrongfully convicted in Wilson’s brutal death in 1985. DNA test results exonerated the six and led to the conviction of Bruce Allen Smith.
The six spent a combined total of around 70 years in prison.
The six sued Gage County, the late Sheriff Jerry De Witt, Sheriff’s Deputy Burt Searcey, and psychologist and reserve deputy Wayne Price. The lawsuit claimed the investigation four years after the murder was reckless.
Jurors awarded $28,105,000 against Gage County as well as Searcey and Price individually.
Ada JoAnn Taylor, Thomas Winslow, and Joseph White received $7.3 million each.
Kathy Gonzalez and James Dean were awarded $2.19 million each.
Finally, Debra Shelden was awarded $1.8 million.
A civil rights trial in 2014 ended in a hung jury. The second trial lasted for three weeks.