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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Story by turnto10.com

The former Warwick police detective imprisoned for murder is filing a civil lawsuit against those involved in his wrongful conviction.

Jeffrey Scott Hornoff served six years, four months and 18 days for a murder he didn't commit. He was released in 2002 only after Todd Barry, a carpenter from Cranston, stepped forward and admitted to killing Victoria Cushman in August 1989.

Now, Hornoff has filed a lawsuit.

The complaint states that "beyond compensating Hornoff ... the lawsuit seeks to redress the unlawful municipal policies and practices."

The complaint names as defendants several Warwick and state police detectives, many now retired, and accuses them of willfully mishandling and omitting evidence that led to Hornoff's wrongful conviction.

The complaint also details Hornoff's time in prison, saying because he was a police officer, "he had to be held in protective custody," was "deprived of spending time with his three young sons" and "often shared a cell with violent sex offenders."

It also alleges Hornoff suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, physical problems, depression and claustrophobia, among other things.

There are 12 counts in all. The counts against all defendants include violation of due process and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Hornoff told NBC 10 News in a phone interview that although he would like to talk about the case, he can't at this time. His attorney also declined comment, as did state police.

Warwick police Col. Stephen McCartney told NBC 10 News he's not surprised by the suit, and said Hornoff has his right to have his day in court.
 

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Sounds like Warwick is going to be paying this guy a few years worth of back pay and a pension more than a few times over. Would be quite interesting to see what would happen if he wanted his job back. Unlikely he would though I'm sure, but it would make for an interesting case seeing he is released and someone else is on the hook. In any case, seems like the department has some egg on their face on this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Court Awards Hornoff Reinstatement, Back Pay

Detective Serves Time For Wrongful Conviction

POSTED: 4:29 pm EST January 6, 2004
UPDATED: 8:12 am EST January 7, 2004

A former Warwick police detective who spent six years in prison for a murder he did not commit can be reinstated to the police department and receive lost pay and benefits, a Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday.



A hearing was set for Jan. 27 to determine how much money Jeffrey Scott Hornoff should receive.

The back pay and benefits could total as much as $500,000, News Channel 10 reported.

Hornoff has said he does not want to return to police duty, but he sought reinstatement so he could receive benefits and back pay. A message left Tuesday with Hornoff's attorney was not immediately returned.

Hornoff was suspended from the department without pay in 1994, two days after he was indicted in the murder of 29-year-old Victoria Cushman. He was wrongly convicted in 1996 and sentenced to life in prison.

The Warwick Police Department fired Hornoff in 2000, after the state Supreme Court upheld the murder conviction.

Hornoff was released from prison last year when another man, Todd Barry, confessed to the killing. Barry, a Cranston carpenter, pleaded guilty to the crime last January and was sentenced to 45 years, with 30 to serve.

"An innocent man should not have spent six years in jail for a crime he did not commit, and an innocent man should not be burdened by a wrongful conviction," Superior Court Judge Joseph Rodgers Jr. wrote in his 12-page decision.

"Because Hornoff is an innocent man, he will be seen in that light by this Court," Rodgers wrote.

FeedRoom
Confession In Cushman Murder


Hornoff's lawyers argued the former detective's exoneration wiped out the city's reason for firing Hornoff, who had been an officer since 1983.

The city had argued its actions should be based on what happened at the time -- when Hornoff was considered a convicted murderer -- and that he was no longer covered under the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights.

That law requires compensation of accused police officers who are found innocent at trial or exonerated on appeal. The city solicitor had argued that according to the statute, any rights under the policeman's bill of rights do not apply after a conviction is finalized by the Supreme Court.

"That position forces the city to argue, in effect, that Hornoff's actual innocence makes no difference in consideration of this matter!" Rodgers wrote.

News Channel 10 reported that Warwick officials also say Hornoff lied during the investigation. The city can appeal to the Supreme Court.

Messages left with the Warwick police chief and the city solicitor were not immediately returned.

Cushman had worked at a Warwick sporting goods store where Hornoff, a member of the police department dive team, bought his scuba gear. She had an affair with Hornoff, who was married at the time.

On the morning of Aug. 11, 1989, Cushman failed to show up for work and a co-worker discovered her body, bloody and beaten, in her Warwick apartment. The fire extinguisher used to kill her was found nearby.

In 1991, with the murder still unsolved, the state police took over the case and focused on Hornoff. He was later convicted, but always maintained his innocence.

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Copyright 2004 by turnto10.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

 
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