Sunday 4 December 2022

Man Wrongfully Convicted of NYC Subway Stabbing in 1990 to be Compensated $18 Million


Johnny Hincapie

A man who was wrongfully convicted of fatally stabbing a tourist at a New York City subway in 1990 will be compensated $18 million.

Johnny Hincapie spent more than 25 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Hincapie was released from prison in 2015 and his conviction was dismissed in 2017.

According to reports, Hincapie said he was “coerced” into falsely confessing to the fatal stabbing. 

Hincapie was sentenced to 25 years-to-life despite the fact that he recanted his confession and exculpatory evidence proved his innocence.

“I have never forgotten the loss his family suffered,” Hincapie said. “I am fortunate that my innocence has finally been acknowledged by my city and my state and I look forward to the next chapter of my life with my family.”

The New York Post reported:

A man who spent more than 25 years in jail for a high-profile subway stabbing before his conviction was tossed out will receive a nearly $18 million settlement from New York City and State.

Johnny Hincapie, 50, was among a group of men accused of stabbing Utah tourist Brian Wattkins, 22, to death in 1990 at the East 53rd Street subway station, but Hincapie said he had been coerced into falsely confessing to the killing.

Watkins and his parents had just returned to Manhattan from the US Open tennis tournament when the gang of armed muggers encircled them.

Hincapie recanted his confession, but was still sentenced to 25-years-to-life in prison and ultimately served 25 years, three months, and eight days before he was released when a state judge determined that there was insufficient evidence to keep him behind bars.

Hincapie’s conviction was dismissed in January 2017.

In April 2018, Hincapie sued the city, accusing the police who arrested him of using “unconstitutional tactics to declare ‘case closed’ within twenty-four hours.”

Under the terms of the settlement, the city will pay Hincapie $12.8 million and the state will shell out $4.8 million.

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