Lowell settles wrongful imprisonment suit with Dennis Maher

Lowell settles wrongful imprisonment suit with Dennis Maher

BOSTON –Dennis Maher and his lawyers reached a $160,000 settlement with the city of Lowell for his wrongful conviction for the rape and sexual assault of two women in 1983. He was sentenced to life in prison, but Maher won his freedom in 2003 after DNA tests cleared his name. Maher spent more than 19 years in prison.

The town of Ayer continues a legal battle to dismiss a civil rights case filed by Maher over his wrongful imprisonment. Maher accused Lowell and Ayer police of using improper identification techniques, failing to disclose evidence, failing to investigate, and fabricating evidence.

John Nardizzi has led the investigation into the events surrounding the flawed investigation done in Ayer and Lowell. Another Nardizzi client, the Estate of Kenneth Waters, also has a pending case against Ayer. Kenneth Waters was wrongfully arrested and convicted, and served nineteen years of a life sentence, for the 1980 murder and armed robbery of Katharina Brow. Waters was released from prison following the filing of a nolle prosequi in which the District Attorney acknowledged that new DNA evidence had revealed the blood of an unknown person at the murder scene. The DA did not acknowledge Waters’ innocence.

Waters later died as the result of an accident.

Film "Conviction" getting excellent reviews

The film "Conviction", which details Betty Anne Waters' odyssey to free her wrongfully convicted brother Kenny Waters, has received excellent reviews. Our investigation in a later civil case led to evidence that allowed the The Estate of Kenneth Waters to settle a civil rights case against The Ayer Police Department, Officer Nancy Taylor, and other Ayer police officers, for $3.4 million.

Kenneth Waters was wrongfully arrested and convicted. He served 18 years of a life sentence for the 1980 murder and armed robbery of Katharina Brow. Waters was released from prison after DNA evidence had revealed the blood of an unknown person at the murder scene. His sister, Betty Anne Waters, had put herself through law school in order to represent one client: her brother. She located the biological evidence and worked to have it subjected to DNA testing.

The Waters case alleged that the Ayer Police and Taylor's deliberate bad-faith suppression of favorable evidence led to his conviction – including suppression of evidence that Waters was not the source of the perpetrator’s bloody fingerprint on a piece of a toaster on the dining room floor; as well as suppression of Waters’ time card from work, which cemented his alibi. Taylor was also accused of used coercive and suggestive tactics to manufacture falsely incriminating statements from witnesses Brenda Marsh and Roseanna Perry.

Client Settles Civil Rights Case for $3.4 million

Our client, The Estate of Kenneth Waters, settled a civil rights case against The Ayer Police Department, Officer Nancy Taylor, and other Ayer police officers, for $3.4 million.

Kenneth Waters was wrongfully arrested and convicted. He served 18 years of a life sentence for the 1980 murder and armed robbery of Katharina Brow. Waters was released from prison after DNA evidence had revealed the blood of an unknown person at the murder scene. Waters died during an accidental fall shortly after being granted his freedom.

His sister, Betty Anne Waters, had put herself through law school in order to represent one client: her brother. She located the biological evidence and worked to have it subjected to DNA testing.

Waters complaint alleged that the Ayer Police and Taylor's deliberate bad-faith suppression of favorable evidence led to his conviction – including suppression of evidence that Waters was not the source of the perpetrator’s bloody fingerprint on a piece of a toaster on the dining room floor; as well as suppression of Waters’ time card from work, which cemented his alibi. Taylor was also accused of used coercive and suggestive tactics to manufacture falsely incriminating statements from witnesses Brenda Marsh and Roseanna Perry.

The civil rights case filed by Dennis Maher against many of the same defendants for similar actions during this era is pending.