NC man cleared of murder sues Buncombe County

Sep. 17, 2013 @ 12:31 PM

A man who spent 11 years in prison for a Buncombe County death is suing the county and former sheriff.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that Robert Wilcoxson filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the county, former Sheriff Bobby Medford and other officers in the case.

Wilcoxson and another man said they had pleaded guilty to the 2000 death of Walter Bowman to avoid possible death sentences. Judges later determined DNA and other evidence exonerated the men.

The lawsuit says investigators coerced false confessions and deliberately concealed DNA tests and other evidence that would have clear them.

An attorney for the county would not comment on the lawsuit.

Medford is serving a 15-year prison sentence for extortion, corruption and money laundering during his time as sheriff.