BEATRICE – Gage County has decided to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its appeal of the Beatrice Six case. County Supervisors today met in closed session with attorneys, following the 8th U.S. Circuit Court’s decision this week not to reconsider an appeals panel decision upholding the more than $28 million civil rights judgment.
Gage County Board Chairman Myron Dorn said the board decided to go forward with pursuing the case to the final stage.
:16 “a longer stay”
Dorn says the county is also hiring a Kansas City financial firm and two attorneys from Omaha, to investigate financial aspects of the judgment, including examining bonding.
The county will have to wait to see whether the U.S. Supreme Court will agree to hear the case involving six defendants wrongly convicted in the 1985 murder and rape of Helen Wilson of Beatrice, in her downtown apartment.
:09 “or not”
The six defendants served over 75 years in prison before DNA evidence implicated a drifter, named Bruce Allen Smith. He died in Oklahoma, in 1992. The State of Nebraska exonerated the six people…one convicted at trial…and the others, in plea agreements.
Dorn says the hiring of the financial firm and Omaha attorneys will be at a cost of $250 to $300 per hour.
:07 “preparing for that”
The county supervisors spent the late morning discussing the Beatrice Six case, prior to meeting as a Board of Equalization early Wednesday afternoon. The supervisors were hearing property valuation protests. Seventy-four protests were filed with the county, this year.