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$1.7M Settlement Awarded to Man Wrongly Imprisoned for Eight Months

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Photo by Tim Pearce, Los Gatos via Flickr

Photo by Tim Pearce, Los Gatos via Flickr
The city of Glendale has agreed to pay $1.7 million to Edmond Ovasapyan after he was wrongly imprisoned during a murder investigation and was exonerated through DNA evidence, according to the Glendale News-Press.The settlement comes nearly a year after a jury determined last February that Ovasapyan should not have been held in prison for eight months while the DA's office reviewed the charges against him in the 2005 shooting death of 21-year-old resident Christopher Shahanzari.

City attorneys appealed the decision in June last year, but in December, a three-judge panel upheld the February ruling. Ovasapyan's attorney, Mark Geragos, has accused the city of drawing out the case unnecessarily.

At the time of the murder, police believed there was enough probable cause to arrest Ovasapyan and the case was quickly turned over to the district attorney's office. That's where the trouble for Ovasapyan started. He remained in county jail while waiting for a preliminary hearing. During his time in jail, detectives collected the DNA evidence the ultimately proved he was innocent.

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The settlement will be paid from Glendale's liability insurance fund.