Judge orders $180K payout for wrongfully convicted man
NEW ORLEANS - A judge has ordered Louisiana to pay $180,000 to a New Orleans man who spent almost a decade behind bars wrongfully on a murder charge.
Criminal District Judge Arthur Hunter ruled the state must compensate Kia Stewart, whose conviction was tossed two years ago. Several witnesses came forward to offer alibis for Stewart and to pin the shooting on another man.
Stewart spent most of his sentence in Louisiana's maximum-security prison at Angola.
The New Orleans Advocate reports the 30-year-old was freed in 2015, when a judge dismissed his conviction. However, Attorney General Jeff Landry's office fought to prevent him from receiving a payout from the state's fund for the exonerated.
With Hunter's ruling, Stewart will get $25,000 per year.
Landry's office has not said whether it will appeal.