Daniels seeking $25 million from Durham for negligent investigation, distress | News

Daniels seeking $25 million from Durham for negligent investigation, distress

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An update to our story published this morning on Erick Daniels, a Durham man who served seven years in prison on a wrongful conviction:

According to a settlement demand Daniels and his mother filed with the City of Durham, the family is seeking $25 million for a flawed and incomplete investigation that caused Daniels to be convicted of armed robbery in 2001 at the age of 15. Daniels was tried and convicted as an adult and released in 2008 after a Durham superior court judge dismissed the charges.

An attorney submitted the settlement request to City Attorney Patrick Baker, and a city spokeswoman confirmed this week that Baker, City Manager Tom Bonfield and others will hold a closed session with City Council to discuss the matter. The issue could be resolved as early as Friday.

In addition, Daniels is seeking an official pardon from Gov. Bev Perdue to wipe his record clear and make him eligible for money from the state—up to $50,000 per year he was wrongfully imprisoned.

Since his 2008 release, Daniels has retreated from interviews, he said, because talking about prison is like living through it all over again. In an interview Wednesday, Daniels said that despite his name being cleared in 2008, he still lives with a stigma. He believes many out there still think he's guilty, including members of the police department.

His innocence, he says, "was proven, but it still doesn't escape what happens to me on a daily basis. I don't even come outside. I don't want to see nobody."

Daniels also says his December 4 arrest, in which he was charged with a misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon and felony charge for possessing three pills of the powerful painkiller Percocet, are the result of police profiling. He had a prescription for the painkillers from a spider bite, which he intends to prove in a Jan. 19 court appearance. Daniels also said he should have registered the .357 Smith & Wesson, which he says was purchased legally from a gun trade show, but that he feels he needs it for protection in the high-crime area in which he lives.

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