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Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Cops Accused Of Coercing Double Murder Confession From Mentally Disabled Man

OMAHA (CN) - Cass County Sheriff's officials and Nebraska State Patrolmen coerced witnesses, fabricated evidence, concealed exculpatory evidence, brought false murder charges against a mentally disabled man, forced him into falsely confessing by threatening him with the death penalty, and falsely imprisoned him for seven months until DNA evidence cleared him, Matthew Livers claims in Federal Court.

Livers' civil rights claim involves the April 17, 2006 murders of Wayne and Sharmon Stock in Murdock, Neb. Named as defendants in this case are Cass County Sheriff's Investigator Earl Schenck, Nebraska State Patrol Investigators William Lambert and Charles O'Callaghan, Cass County Sheriff's Sgt. Sandra Weyers, and the County of Cass, Nebraska.

Livers, then 28, is the Stocks' nephew. His IQ is 63, placing him in the 1st percentile for mental functioning. He is "a highly compliant individual who is far more likely than normal persons to give in to the demands of a stressful investigation," the complaint states. He denied his guilt "on 102 separate occasions in the course of the interrogation," it states. But 11 hours of interrogation with no food did the trick, his attorneys say. They claim Cass County condones this treatment by its policies.

Livers is represented by Robert Mullin with Lieben, Whitted, Houghton, Slowiaczek & Cavanagh.

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