innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Phoenix OKs $3 mil Krone settlement

Man was twice wrongfully convicted in 1991 death of bartender at lounge

Beth Defalco
Associated Press
Sept. 28, 2005 12:00 AM

PHOENIX - The city of Phoenix has agreed to pay $3 million to settle a
lawsuit filed by a man who was twice wrongfully convicted of murder and
sentenced to death, city officials said.

It's the second settlement Ray Krone has received this year from the
government. In April, Maricopa County agreed to pay Krone $1.4 million in
compensation.

"I'm just glad for it to be over," said Krone, who spent more than a decade
behind bars, including two years on death row. "I hope I won't ever need
lawyers again."

City Council members approved the settlement last week, city spokeswoman
Toni Maccarone said.

Krone was a postal worker when he was arrested in 1991 in the killing of Kim
Ancona, a bartender who worked at a Phoenix lounge where Krone played darts.

He was convicted in 1992 and sentenced to death, based largely on expert
testimony that supposedly matched his teeth with bite marks found on Ancona.

His conviction was overturned in 1994 on procedural grounds. A new trial was
ordered, and Krone was convicted a second time in 1996.

In sentencing him the second time, the judge in the case said he wasn't sure
that Krone was the killer. He spared Krone the death penalty and sentenced
him to life imprisonment.

In 2002, new DNA testing proved Krone wasn't the killer. Using an FBI
database, DNA from the crime scene was linked to a man already in prison for
another crime. A trial for the new suspect is pending.

Krone was freed that year, but his wrongful-conviction lawsuit dragged on.

In his lawsuit, Krone alleged that Phoenix police did a shoddy job of
investigating the murder and didn't look at other suspects closely enough.
His lawsuit alleged the county used "altered and manufactured evidence" and
that a bite mark expert "gave false testimony which he knew to be untrue."

In addition to his mental anguish, Krone said he sued state agencies for the
physical pain and suffering he endured. He said he was stabbed, had his arm
broken and contracted hepatitis C while in Arizona prisons.

Neither the city nor county admitted wrongdoing in settling, lawyers in the
case said.

Krone won't see all the $4.4 million from the lawsuit. He said some of the
money will go to his parents, who spent upward of $300,000 and mortgaged
their home to pay for his defense. Krone said he also owes around $500,000
in attorney fees.

Also this year, Krone got a new look from the ABC reality show Extreme
Makeover. Once dubbed the "snaggletooth killer" for his crooked smile,
Krone, 48, now flashes a straight row of pearly whites.

He lives in Dover Township, Pa., near his family. He's spent the past few
years traveling, speaking out against the death penalty and advocating DNA
testing. He serves on the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's
Prisons.

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