City of Columbus Makes Payment to Derris Lewis; Mr. Lewis Ready to Move Forward with His Life

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The Law firm of Scott and Nemann, Co. LPA received checks today from the City of Columbus in the amount of $950,000.00 in compensation for their client Derris Lewis. Mr. Lewis had been falsely accused, arrested and tried for the murder of his twin brother Dennis Lewis by the Columbus Police Department and the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office.

“I give thanks to God for getting me through this. I can never recover the year and a half, of my life. I’m trying to put this behind me, rebuild my life and move forward.” - Derris Lewis

The Law firm of Scott and Nemann, Co. LPA received checks today from the City of Columbus in the amount of $950,000.00 in compensation for their client Derris Lewis. Mr. Lewis had been falsely accused, arrested and tried for the murder of his twin brother Dennis Lewis by the Columbus Police Department and the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office (Franklin County Common Please Court, Case#08CR3527).

Adam Lee Nemann and Shannon Leis of Scott and Nemann, Co., LPA, defended Derris Lewis in his murder trial. The alleged key piece of evidence was a bloody palm print which the police claimed was Lewis’. It was through diligent defense efforts that the truth regarding the palm print came to light. The police experts had testified that the palm print belonged to Derris Lewis. Ultimately, the defense uncovered evidence that the print in fact belonged to the victim, Dennis Lewis. The defendant, Derris Lewis, was incarcerated for 18 months while awaiting trial and until the prosecution acknowledged police errors and dismissed all charges, setting him free. The State further offered an apology for their reckless investigation and testimony.

In a civil suit filed in Federal Court, (US District Court Southern Division of Ohio Eastern Division, Case#02:10CV125) Mr. Lewis sought damages from the City of Columbus, Ohio for violating his constitutional rights, unreasonable arrest and seizure and malicious prosecution. Mr. Lewis was represented in the civil action by Joseph E. Scott of Scott & Nemann, Co., LPA, as well as by David Shroyer, of Colley Shroyer and Abraham. In addition to the civil settlement, the City of Columbus, Mayor Michael Coleman, and Columbus City Counsel all offered apologies to Lewis and his family.

During the ordeal Derris Lewis was unable to care for his mother, April Lewis, who is confined to a wheelchair because of multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. Derris is her primary caregiver. At 18 years of age, Derris was denied the opportunity to graduate high school with honors, as well as accept his scholarship offer from The Ohio State University. Both revoked opportunities have since been reinstated, and Derris now attends OSU as a full-time student.

Today’s delivery of the check brings to a conclusion a case which fostered national media attention and television coverage by the Court TV (In Session) and the National Press. Derris’ reaction earlier today: “I give thanks to God for getting me through this. I can never recover the year and a half, of my life. I’m trying to put this behind me, rebuild my life and move forward.”

The murder of Dennis Lewis remains unsolved.

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Adam Nemann
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