Patterson Harkavy obtained a $3,250,000 settlement for Willie Grimes, an innocent man who served 24 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
In July of 1988, Mr. Grimes was wrongfully convicted of the rape and kidnapping of an elderly woman in Catawba County. On October 4, 2012, thanks to the work of the North Carolina Center for Actual Innocence, a three-judge panel unanimously found that Mr. Grimes was innocent.
Patterson Harkavy attorneys Burton Craige, Narendra Ghosh, Paul Smith, and Brad Bannon represented Mr. Grimes in his civil suit for damages arising from his wrongful incarceration. The complaint alleged that Grimes was wrongfully convicted because the Hickory Police Department unlawfully suppressed evidence, failed to conduct a constitutionally adequate criminal investigation, and gave inaccurate information about the evidence it possessed that ultimately led to Mr. Grimes' exoneration.
Mr. Grimes’ wrongful conviction and exoneration have received extensive media coverage, including in the Winston-Salem Journal and the Denver Post. His settlement has been covered in the Raleigh News & Observer and the Hickory Record.