Ex-Wife Can Collect on Cleared Rape Conviction

     DALLAS (CN) – A man who was cleared of serial rape charges after serving 24 years in prison must share a wrongful imprisonment award with his ex-wife, a judge ruled.
     Steven Phillips had been married to Traci Tucker for just under two years when he was arrested and charged for rape in 1982.
     DNA evidence ultimately cleared Phillips, but not before he had spent 24 years behind bars. Tucker had also divorced the incarcerated Phillips in Oklahoma in 1992.
     Under the Tim Cole Act in Texas, Phillips expects to receive more than $4 million in compensation for his wrongful conviction and imprisonment.
     Tucker is entitled to a piece of that award, the 255th Judicial District Court in Dallas ruled Wednesday.
     “Of the compensation and benefits received by the respondent for his wrongful imprisonment during the marriage to petitioner, $228,919 was the community property of the petitioner and the respondent, which was not divided by the divorce,” Judge Lori Chrisman Hockett wrote. “Petitioner is entitled to receive from the respondent $114,459.50 for her 50% community property interest.”
     In September 2009, Phillips sued his former attorney, Kevin Glasheen, of Lubbock, claiming that Glasheen failed to inform Phillips he was, at the time, entitled to $50,000 for each year of his wrongful imprisonment, even without filing a lawsuit.

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