Man calls wrongful imprisonment a blessing

February 15, 2009 11:59:22 AM PST
A Pennsylvania man mistakenly jailed for three months says his imprisonment was a blessing because it resulted in a $77,500 lawsuit settlement. Thirty-six-year-old Hazleton resident Eric Delvonne Smith was arrested in January 2006.

Police said his fingerprints matched those of a man with a similar name who was wanted on a warrant issued in King County, Wash.

Eric Smith wasn't released until April 11, after authorities rechecked his prints and found they did not match the other man's.

Shelly Centini, Smith's attorney, says the settlement was reasonable. Smith says he hopes to bless others with the money from the lawsuit.

Hazleton attorney Jack Dean says the city does not admit to any wrongdoing.

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Information from: Press Enterprise, http://www.pressenterpriseonline.com

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