Overturned conviction in 1987 murder results record $28M settlement

William Virgil served 28 years in prison on a murder conviction that was ultimately overturned. Virgil was accused of fatally stabbing 54-year-old Retha Welch in her Newport, Kentucky, apartment in April 1987. DNA testing determined that his semen wasn't among three samples found inside of Welch's body.

After decades of insisting its police officers arrested the right man in a 1987 stabbing death, the city of Newport has settled a wrongful conviction case with William Virgil’s family for a record-setting pretrial amount of $28 million.

The figure represents $1 million for every year Virgil spent in prison for the stabbing death of 54-year-old Retha Welch, a Newport grandmother and prison minister killed in her apartment. The case was featured in season 2 of The Enquirer's podcast "Accused." This is the second defendant highlighted in Accused with a recent legal victory: Last week, the Ohio First District Court of Appeals denied Hamilton County prosecutors' efforts to reverse a judge's decision granting a new trial to Elwood Jones, who served nearly three decades on Ohio's death row.

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