Judge: Man acquitted of murder after 18 years in prison can sue police, but not prosecutor

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PITTSBURGH — A federal judge says a western Pennsylvania man acquitted during a retrial after spending 18 years in prison can pursue a civil rights lawsuit against police but not against a prosecutor.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://bit.ly/1aFLDdo ) reports that U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon ruled Friday that 39-year-old Terrell Johnson can sue five current or former Pittsburgh police officers.

But she said he can't sue Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr. for retrying him in the 1994 shooting death of 20-year-old Verna Robinson.

Authorities had alleged that Johnson killed Robinson to prevent her from testifying against a friend in a drive-by shooting. He won a new trial based on testimony that an eyewitness wasn't near the scene.

Johnson alleges that detectives withheld evidence that raised doubts about the testimony.

Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, http://pghtrib.com

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