After serving 17 years in prison for the murder of Leon Stroud, Alprentiss Nash was cleared last year by DNA evidence and released. He now plans to sue the city of Chicago and a number of current and former Chicago police officers for his wrongful imprisonment and suppression of evidence.
Nash’s lawsuit claims that Stroud was a known bootlegger and sold alcohol, cigarettes, and crack cocaine from his house on the South Side of Chicago. On April 30, 1995, two masked men broke into Stroud’s home, robbed him, and shot him to death.
Nash, also a drug dealer at the time, was arrested after Stroud’s death and told police that he had been selling drugs and shopping that morning, and thus was not even in the area at the time of Stroud’s shooting.
“Seeing an opportunity to quickly resolve the case involving the death of a bootlegger in a poor neighborhood by arresting Nash, a drug dealer from the neighborhood who had been running his mouth about…officers, defendants conspired to defame Nash,” says Nash’s complaint.
A ski mask found at the murder scene was recently tested for DNA. Investigators found that the DNA did not match Nash’s. Because there was no way that Nash could have been the second suspect, his charges were dismissed last year and, in August, he was released form prison.
Nash has now filed suit against the city of Chicago as well as eight former and current police officers. He claims that police avoided interviewing witnesses that could have corroborated his alibi, led witnesses to identify him in a lineup, and chose to discard evidence supporting him. He seeks damages for violation of due process, failure to intervene, conspiracy, malicious prosecution, and emotional distress.