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Man wrongly convicted in fatal shooting of a baby sues city, police

A 51-year-old man is suing the city and police officers who had a part in sentencing him to years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.
A jail cell is shown.
Posted at 4:11 PM, Jul 19, 2023

A Connecticut man who was exonerated after serving 28 years in prison for killing a baby in 1994 has filed a lawsuit against the city of New Haven and six now-former police officers involved in his arrest.

Adam Carmon, 51, was convicted of murder and other crimes and sentenced to 85 years in prison for the shooting that killed 7-month-old Danielle Taft and paralyzed her grandmother, Charlene Troutman. A gunman had fired more than a dozen shots through their apartment window from outside.

Carmon was released in December after a judge ruled that prosecutors withheld evidence from the defense and city police failed to pursue other suspects — including one who recanted a confession. The charges were officially dismissed last month.

In June, Carmon told The Associated Press in a phone interview that his name remained tarnished.

"I have to live with that the rest of my life, regardless of what transpired," he said. "Right now, I'm just working, trying to piece the pieces of my life back together."

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The lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Patricia King, corporation counsel for the city of New Haven, said in a statement that she could not comment on the specifics of Carmon's case, but that "the City is committed to cooperating with all parties and appropriately engaging in the civil litigation process to ensure there are reasonable resolutions on matters where city employees are deemed legally responsible for wrongful convictions or miscarriages of justice."

Carmon's attorney argued that evidence showed two other men — purported drug dealers — could have been involved in the shooting. Prosecutors failed to disclose to Carmon's lawyer that one of those men voluntarily went to the police station and implicated himself and another man in the shooting, the judge said.

Police abandoned their investigation of those men when the firearms expert concluded a handgun Carmon possessed was the murder weapon.

Carmon is working at a grocery distribution warehouse and said he will soon be marrying a woman he was dating before he went to prison. He said he is building a relationship with his 28-year-old son, who was a baby when the shooting happened.