NEOSHO, Mo. (AP) – A man who spent 17 years incarcerated for a southwestern Missouri post office burglary has been awarded $600,000 in a malpractice lawsuit against his attorneys.
The Joplin Globe reports that jurors ruled in favor of 59-year-old Dwight D. Laughlin last week.
Laughlin was convicted in 1993 for first-degree burglary and property damage regarding a break-in at the Neosho post office. He was sentenced to consecutive terms of 30 years for burglary and 10 years for property damage, until the state Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 2010.
The jury assessed $600,000 in damages against Dewayne Perry and Ellen Flottman. Perry was Laughlin’s public defender in the trial 25 years ago. Flottman handled his appeal.
Laughlin’s attorney William Fleischaker says Perry and Flottman didn’t raise a jurisdiction issue that could’ve led to a better outcome.