Gage County Will Appeal $28.1M Judgment To US Supreme Court

BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) — Gage County will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a $28.1 million judgment awarded to six people wrongfully convicted of murder.

County board made that decision Wednesday, a day after the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the county’s appeal for a review by the full court. A three-judge panel of the appeals court last month declined to overturn a jury’s 2016 verdict. The verdict was awarded to the so-called Beatrice Six for their wrongful convictions in the 1985 rape and killing of 68-year-old Helen Wilson in Beatrice. The six spent more than 75 years combined in prison until DNA evidence cleared them in 2008.

The ruling poses major financial problems for Gage County, which collects about $8 million a year in taxes and hired a bankruptcy attorney shortly after the verdict.

Gage County Board Chairman Myron Dorn says the county is also hiring a Kansas City financial firm and two attorneys from Omaha to investigate financial aspects of the judgment.