HELENA (AP) — The state of Montana has denied a $97 million claim filed by a man who was exonerated after spending 18 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit.
Richard Raugust had to file the claim before filing a lawsuit. It was denied Monday.
Raugust tells Lee Newspapers of Montana that he has filed notice with the state, Sanders County and other entities that he plans to seek damages for the years of freedom lost and the physical and emotional damage he suffered while in prison.
The Montana Innocence Project, which helped overturn Raugust's conviction, noted another man had confessed several times to killing Joe Tash in July 1997 in northwestern Montana. The jury forewoman said she felt pressured to reach a verdict after the judge said it would be costly for the county to re-try the case.