After 13 Years In Jail, Gay Man Receives $13.2 Million In Wrongful-Imprisonment Suit

david ayers THA gay man has been awarded $13.2 million by a federal court after jurors determined he had been imprisoned for a murder he didn’t commit.

In 2000, David Ayers, 56, was found guilty of murdering Dorothy Brown, who had been found dead in her Cleveland apartment. Brown, 76, had been discovered naked from the waist down and with pubic hair in her mouth.

The Cleveland Police Department pursued Ayers (right) as a suspect, despite the fact that he was gay and DNA tests showed the hair wasn’t his. (At trial, officers dismissed the test results, saying “pubic hairs are everywhere.”)

The polices maintained Ayers had implicated himself in the crime, and detectives got a jailhouse informant to testify Ayers had confessed to him. The police report suggests anti-gay bias informed their decision to pursue Ayers:

“This male appeared very ‘gay’ like, but when we asked him if he was gay, he laughed and stated no …. But this male acted very ‘gay like’, also had candles lit up around his house and religious statues and holy water in cups,” the officer wrote.

“[Friend] Ken Smith is also a hairdresser and dressed and sat like a gay male. Note: David Ayres [sic] gives quite an impression of also being gay.”

On Friday, a jury ruled that detectives Michael Cipo and Denise Kovach violated Ayers’ civil rights by withholding evidence and falsifying testimony: “They manipulated the evidence, and didn’t look at anyone else except the most convenient suspect to convict,” said one juror. “The word ‘railroaded’ was thrown around the jury room during deliberations.” (Cipo and Kovach are currently retired with full benefits.)

Since he began serving a life sentence in 2000, Ayers lost both of his parents. “This should have been stopped a long time ago,” Ayers told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “My goal is that it never happens to anyone else ever again.”



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  • 2eo

    Those fuckers should be executed for their perpetual hate crime against an innocent man, and by extension they wouldn’t hesitate to do again and again, and I would bet money that they have.

  • hyhybt

    What most people overlook in this sort of thing is that, in cases where there clearly really was a murder, it’s far worse: not only was he punished for no good reason, but someone else has gone free.

  • Hansolo

    The money is not enough.

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    “My goal is that it never happens to anyone else ever again.”

    But it will. As long as cops are too lazy to work, it will continue to happen.

  • neostud

    @hyhybt: Everything that you said rings so true. Whoever committed this murder is out there roaming around free and possibly has done horrible things to people.

  • neostud

    I hope this man finds some solace in his new found freedom.

  • Cee

    That’s terrible. The fact he was incarcerated for something he didn’t do, and that his parents died during his incarceration. All that time lost that he will never get back. And the officers are retired with full pension or whatever. I swear there should be something in the books to take away their pension. They are not honorable.

  • niles

    I remember this case from Cold Case Files. In fact, there seemed to be a lot of circumstantial evidence that he may have been involved. For instance, he was supposedly seeing a man before the man became involved with the female murder victim. The cops suspected a jealous plot, but if all they had was some kind of hair comparison to tie him to the crime scene, one can see why he was freed. That evidence can be very unreliable.

  • Samuel

    May he find joy peace and lots of gay love in his new and due and deserved freedom. Good always triuimps over evil.

  • Bob LaBlah

    What happen to this guy was a tragedy to say the least. It is sad a “jailhouse informer” was used to help these two lying ass detectives get away with this.

    If you really want to see how a tragedy was and STILL is being ALLOWED to go unpunished you should check you local stations for the upcoming “CENTRAL PARK 5”. I saw it at the theatre last year and saw how I TOO had tried and convicted those boys without knowing that the police AND press had more or less conspired to supress the truth.

    After it was over I had to wait until my eyes dried. Yes, that’s just how powerful it was. To sit back now and see how painfully OBVIOUS it was how those teenage boys and their parents were manipulated in saying what SHOULD have amounted to outright BULLSHIT to the ears of ANY prosecutor, judge and members of ANY jury who made it to the ninth grade and knew how to read the comics and get the punchline and laugh.

    That was the first documentary I had ever been to where so many people in the audience were VERBALLY saying “WHAT”, “I’ll be damn” and other things that one would normally think but not say aloud. At least this guy was awarded a settlement. The city of New York has refused to admit guilt and to this day have not offered NOT ONE of thosw kids a settlement.

    By the way, the guy who did rape the jogger, Mathias Reyes, was in custody and the time AND did give a sample of his DNA. But hey, who cared. They were ALL minority kids and the jogger was…………….need I say more.

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