5 of Beatrice 6 Testify in Lawsuit Trial

lawsuit-settlement(AP) — Five of the six people wrongly convicted and imprisoned for the 1985 slaying of a Beatrice woman have testified in court about the struggles they endured in prison for a crime they didn’t commit.

Debra Shelden, James Dean, Kathleen Gonzalez, Ada JoAnn Taylor and Thomas Winslow all testified Thursday and Friday in federal court as part of their lawsuits against Gage County and various law enforcement officials. The sixth, Joseph White, died in 2011 in a work-related accident.

Later Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kopf dismissed the case against Gage County and other defendants, but said the case could go forward against Deputy Burdette Searcey, part-time Deputy Wayne Price and the estate of then-Sheriff Jerry DeWitt, all parties involved in the investigation.