Local News

Goldsboro agrees to settle wrongly convicted man's lawsuit

Posted November 6, 2013 2:36 p.m. EST
Updated November 6, 2013 5:09 p.m. EST

— Goldsboro officials have agreed to settle a lawsuit filed against the city by a man who spent 18 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, City Manager Scott Stevens said Wednesday.

Dwayne Dail was convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl in 1987. DNA evidence cleared him of the crime in 2007, and another man was later convicted of the crime and sentenced to life in prison.

Dail filed a federal lawsuit in 2010 against Goldsboro, the city's current and two former police chiefs and several officers who worked on his case. He alleges they were negligent in their investigation, leading to his false imprisonment.

Stevens said the City Council met in closed session Monday and then voted in open session to authorize him to sign documents related to settling the case. Terms of the settlement weren't disclosed.

"The City of Goldsboro, in conjunction with a number of its insurance carriers, has reached a settlement with Mr. Dwayne Dail over the misplacing of the DNA evidence which eventually proved his innocence," city officials said in a statement. "The city would like to express its sincerest apologies to Mr. Dail for the fact that the evidence was not catalogued and maintained sufficiently, which prolonged his imprisonment.

"We feel that is it important to do what is necessary and within our power to rectify and address this situation," the statement continued. "The Goldsboro Police Department now has policies in place to absolutely ensure that these unfortunate errors will never be repeated."

The state has paid Dail more than $350,000 in compensation for his wrongful incarceration.