Former Death Row Inmate Sues Ex-Police Chemist

Thursday, December 27th 2007, 7:12 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Former Oklahoma death row inmate Curtis McCarty is suing a former Oklahoma City police chemist whose testimony helped convict him more than 20 years ago.

McCarty's lawsuit also names Oklahoma City and current Police Chief Bill Citty and asks for unspecified damages.

The lawsuit accuses Joyce Gilchrist of fabricating evidence leading to him being convicted twice in the 1982 murder of 18-year-old Pamela Kaye Willis. He was sentenced to death three times but each conviction was overturned because of questions about Gilchrist's testimony.

McCarty was released in May when a judge dismissed the murder charge although authorities don't consider him to be exonerated.

Judge Twyla Mason Gray says evidence was tainted by Gilchrist but she still believes McCarty was involved in the killing.

Prosecutors maintain there was enough evidence to convict McCarty but decided not to appeal.

Gilchrist has been sued by at least two other former inmates who blame her for their wrongful convictions. Those inmates were exonerated by DNA evidence.