- 10:58 am - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011
- 20 notes
Ray Towler, the 254th person in the U.S. to be freed from prison after DNA testing proved innocence, was awarded his settlement: a record $2.59 million.
Towler doesn’t have big spending plans once the money is deposited into his accounts. He plans to pay off the $13,800 he owes on his 2010 Ford Focus. He plans to upgrade from a one-bedroom apartment to maybe a two- or three-bedroom place. Most of the money will be put into savings accounts and an annuity, but Towler is going to take part of the settlement to thank those who have stood by him and believed in his innocence.
"I want to be smart with the money, but life is just too short to center my world around money," Towler said. "Being out for a year has made me realize some of the things I missed for so long. But things happen for a reason, and I have no hate for anyone."
Towler, who was in prison for 29 years for a rape that DNA testing proved he did not commit, was the third man freed from prison in connection with a Dispatch investigation, “Test of Convictions,” which highlighted 30 prisoners’ cases with the Ohio Innocence Project.