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Former murder suspect sues police

A man who was cleared of a murder charge has sued the police force for the$20,000 he spent in legal fees.

In his lawsuit, Stephen”Die’Stubbs, who spent 17 months in prison charged with the 2007 fatal drive-by shooting of Samuel”Mouche”McKenzie, accuses police investigators of fabricating evidence to link him to a crime they knew he did not commit.

A magistrate in January 2009 dismissed the case against Stubbs after ruling there was not enough evidence to support the charge.

Stubbs turned himself into the Central Detective Unit on December 4, 2007. While there, he alleges Assistant Superintendent Leon Bethell, who at the time headed the homicide squad, and Chief Inspector BK Bonamy Jr. beat him as Bethell demanded that he confess to the murder.

Stubbs claims that officers whom he cannot identify slammed his head into a wall after he refused to admit to the murder.

The suit also alleges that police used force to get Lamont Penn, an alleged eyewitness, to give a statement that implicated Stubbs.

During the course of the hearing before the magistrate, Penn testified that police had forced him to give the written statement that implicated Stubbs.

Stubbs alleges that police acted maliciously because they knew he would be remanded to prison because of the nature of the offense, although they knew that Penn’s statement was false.

Stubbs is seeking aggravated damages because he alleges he was treated inhumanely, which resulted in both mental and physical injuries. He says his reputation has been harmed and he incurred expense to defend himself.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Isaacs is hearing the lawsuit. Penn is expected to testify on Stubbs’behalf today.

Roger Gomez Jr. appears for Stubbs. Gary Francis and Stacie Williams represent the Crown.

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