Local News

State pays ex-death row inmate $3.9M

Posted October 2, 2009 11:23 a.m. EDT
Updated October 2, 2009 11:58 a.m. EDT

— The state paid $3.9 million to a former death row inmate who was wrongly convicted to settle his lawsuit, according to .

Alan Gell spent five years on death row for the April 1995 slaying of retired truck driver Allen Ray Jenkins in Hertford County. He was awarded a new trial in 2002 after it was determined that prosecutors withheld evidence of his possible innocence from defense attorneys during his trial.

A jury acquitted Gell in a 2004 retrial.

The State Bureau of Investigation paid Gell $500,000 on behalf of Special Agent Dwight Ransome, who pushed prosecutors to try Gell for Jenkins' slaying despite witness statements and other evidence that Gell wasn't involved.

Insurance companies for the state will pay Gell and his attorneys almost $3.4 million under the settlement, including a monthly payment of $7,857 to Gell, beginning in September 2011.

Two prosecutors named in Gell's federal lawsuit were dismissed because they have immunity for their actions in prosecuting cases. The town of Aulander previously settled with Gell for the role its police played in the investigation and prosecution.

A State Bar disciplinary panel reprimanded prosecutors Debra Graves and David Hoke in 2004 for violating judicial codes of conduct in Gell's original trial.

Gell is serving a five-year sentence for indecent liberties with a child and sexual exploitation of a minor. The charges stem from his relationship with a girl who was 15 years old at the time.

Gell and the girl are the parents of a 3-year-old boy.