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Judge Dismisses Lawsuit of First Wyoming Man Exonerated by DNA

Gavel close up.
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the first man in Wyoming to be exonerated of a crime based on DNA evidence.

U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl ruled the claims brought by Andrew Johnson were similar to those Johnson made in unsuccessful lawsuits before his exoneration.

Skavdahl pointed out a case can’t be re-litigated once judged on its merits.

Johnson served nearly 24 years in prison after being convicted in 1989 for sexually assaulting a woman and burglarizing her home. Decades later, DNA testing found a match for the woman’s fiance but not Johnson, who was released in 2013.

Johnson sued the city of Cheyenne and two police officers, alleging the police investigation damaged his life, well-being and ability to get a job.

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