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Denver man acquitted of murder sues police for withholding evidence

A Denver jury acquitted Micah Kimball of first degree murder charges in 2020 after his fiancée took her own life.

DENVER (CN) — A Denver architect acquitted by a jury of first-degree murder last year sued the city's police department on Friday, claiming he was maliciously prosecuted after his fiancée took her own life.

According to the complaint, Micah Kimball was held for 72 days without bail while the police department withheld exculpatory evidence from his attorneys that would have allowed him to claim the prosecution lacked probable cause.

“The false charges resulted in Mr. Kimball being arrested, held in jail for 72 days, and having to defend against the false and baseless charges. The false accusations and the malicious prosecution of Mr. Kimball are the product of significant malfeasance, lies and manipulation of the justice system,” claimed the 14-page complaint filed in the District Court for the City and County of Denver.

Along with the city of Denver and its police department, Kimball named six officers and the chief of police as defendants.

A sweeping piece of reformative legislation signed by Colorado Governor Jared Polis last year prevents law enforcement from using the qualified immunity defense as a shield against litigation.

After Michelle Jacobson took her own life on Sept. 27, 2019, police handcuffed Kimball at gunpoint and placed plastic bags over his hands to preserve any evidence of gunpowder.

Three days later, the lawsuit contends the county medical examiner “refused to rule it a homicide.” Crime scene investigators found no evidence of blood splatter on Kimball’s clothes. The Denver Crime Lab found gunshot residue on Jacobson, but not on Kimball, suggesting a suicide rather than murder.

Within a month, the district attorney’s office was informed “there was no concrete evidence of a homicide.”

“Within weeks of Mr. Kimball’s arrest on September 27, 2019, after reviewing the forensic and scene evidence, Chief Deputy CSI Angela Deadmond told the Defendants that she did not believe that Mr. Kimball’s fiancée  died as a result of homicide but rather, believed she died from suicide,” the lawsuit said.

Still, Denver prosecutors failed to share this information with Kimball’s defense.

“If Mr. Kimball had known the prosecution’s expert had this opinion in October 2019, the defense would have raised this at the preliminary hearing and argued that it clearly showed there was no probable cause," the lawsuit claimed. "Mr. Kimball would not have had to endure the stress, time, and financial strain of hiring his own crime scene experts and litigating his murder charge through a jury trial."

Claiming unlawful seizure, malicious prosecution and failure to intervene, Kimball asked the court to order a formal apology from each defendant and impose “appropriate policy changes designed to avoid future similar misconduct.”

Kimball additionally seeks to be awarded punitive damages as well as attorneys fees. He is represented by civil rights attorney David Lane of Killmer Lane & Newman.

The city attorney’s office declined to comment on the pending litigation.

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Categories / Civil Rights, Criminal, Government

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