Detroit man wrongfully imprisoned for 25 years files $125 million suit

Posted at 5:51 AM, Aug 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-24 18:46:37-04

A Detroit man wrongfully convicted is planning a massive lawsuit against a Detroit police officer and evidence tech in the case.

Desmond Ricks was convicted of murder in 1992 but walked free in June when it was proven the bullets used in the murder didn't match those of Ricks' gun. He's seeking $125 million.

"My most motivating factor was I didn't want to die in there," he said. "I didn't want to die in there."

He claims that the lab test of the bullet used in the murder of Gerry Bennett were fabricated by Detroit police officer-in-charge Donald Stawiasz and evidence tech David Pauch.

The two said bullets test-fired from Ricks' mother's .38 special handgun matched the bullets found in the victim's body.

The civil action suit also claims the conspiracy to frame Ricks went a step further when Staiwasz gave test-fired bullets to a court-appointed expert. That expert questioned if the bullets were the actual ones from the murder, and according to the lawsuit, Staiwiasz said yes.

Ricks was set free after efforts form the University of Michigan's Innocence Clinic resulted in photographs of the actual bullets from the murder getting released.

The court-appointed expert looked at those pictures and said the bullets didn't match the ones he was originally given.

More testing done by Michigan State Police confirmed that the bullets used in the murder could not have come from Ricks' gun.

The $125 million lawsuit covers Ricks as well as his two daughters, one of whom was just five days old when he was arrested.