Former inmate sues over conviction Pence wouldn’t pardon
INDIANAPOLIS — A Chicago man pardoned after spending nearly a decade in prison for a robbery he didn’t commit is suing a northern Indiana city, its police chief and three officers, alleging they fabricated evidence against him.
The federal lawsuit filed Monday in South Bend by 50-year-old Keith Cooper accuses Elkhart and the other defendants of violating his constitutional rights, including his right to a fair trial. He’s seeking unspecified damages.
Cooper was pardoned Feb. 9 by Gov. Eric Holcomb shortly after the Republican succeeded Mike Pence, who declined to pardon him while campaigning for vice president, despite the recommendations of the prosecutor and the parole board.
Cooper was convicted of a 1996 armed robbery during which a teenager was shot. He was released in 2006 after a co-defendant’s conviction was overturned, but the felony charge remained on his record until Holcomb granted him a pardon.