Two Men Exonerated in 1994 Killing Sue Investigators

Paul Jenkins and Fred Lawrence served more than 23 years in prison for the murder of Donna Meagher

By Associated Press

MISSOULA — Two men who served more than 23 years in prison before being exonerated of a murder charge are suing three counties and several people who investigated the 1994 killing of Donna Meagher in Montana City.

Federal lawsuits filed Tuesday by Paul Jenkins and Fred Lawrence allege investigators acted on a tip from a known liar, coerced a confession, coerced mentally unstable people to corroborate false evidence and failed to follow up on evidence that linked the case to another man whose DNA was eventually found on a rope near the victim’s body.

An attorney for Lawrence told the Missoulian the lawsuit will prove the misconduct allowed the true perpetrator to kill again.

DNA ties the case to David Wayne Nelson, is serving a life sentence for an October 2015 double murder in Deer Lodge. Meagher’s killing remains under investigation.