Wrongfully convicted Kansas man to get $7.5 million
OSKALOOSA, Kang. –
A Kansas man who served 16 years in prison for rape and murder he didn’t commit will receive $7.5 million from the county where he was arrested and convicted.
The Jefferson County Commissioner last week approved a settlement with Floyd Bledsoe, who was released from prison in 2015 after DNA evidence showed he was not the killer of 14-year-old Camille Alfman of Oskaloosa.
According to The Kansas City Star, Bledsoe will receive $1.5 million initially, with the rest to be paid out over the next 10 years.
Bledsoe, now 46, was 23 when he was convicted of murdering a girl in 2000. He was arrested even though his brother Tom confessed to the murder in 1999 and turned himself in to lead authorities to the girl’s body.
According to a lawsuit filed by Floyd Bledsoe in 2016, Jefferson County officials persuaded Tom Bledsoe to retract his confession and “made up” his brother by hiding evidence of his innocence.
In 2015, DNA testing revealed that Tom Bledsoe was the likely source of the victim’s sperm. Tom Bledsoe committed suicide that year after writing a note confessing again to murdering Alfman.
The charges against Floyd Bledsoe were dismissed and he was released from prison that year.
One of Bledsoe’s attorneys, Russell Ainsworth of Loevy & Loevy in Chicago, said Jefferson County could face up to $40 million in liability if the case goes to trial.
Jefferson County Commissioner Richard Malm said the county’s annual budget is about $20 million and the commission would have had to propose a bond if Bledsoe didn’t agree to pay over 10 years.
In 2019, the state agreed to pay Bledsoe US$1.03 million under a false conviction statute.