Attorneys for a man wrongly accused in a Cass County double murder want former Douglas County CSI chief David Kofoed to pay $4.5 million in damages and attorney's fees for his role in the case.
Locke Bowman, who represented Matthew Livers in a federal civil rights lawsuit, filed a motion Wednesday asking U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon to award $3.3 million in punitive and compensatory damages and $1.2 million in attorney's fees.
“Obviously, there can be no objective measure of the loss plaintiff incurred by the pain, suffering and mental anguish he endured and continues to endure,” Bowman wrote.
Livers and his cousin, Nick Sampson, were arrested and jailed for months after the 2006 shotgun murders of Livers' aunt and uncle, Wayne and Sharmon Stock of Murdock, Neb. Two Wisconsin teenagers later pleaded guilty to the slayings and are serving life terms.
Kofoed was responsible for processing evidence from the crime scene. In 2010, a Cass County court convicted him of felony evidence tampering for planting blood specks in a supposed getaway car belonging to Sampson's brother.
Earlier this month, Livers and Sampson settled with Kofoed's codefendents in the federal lawsuit — investigators from the Nebraska State Patrol, Cass County and Douglas County — for $2.6 million.
Unemployed and living in North Carolina, Kofoed skipped the trial in the case, saying he couldn't afford the trip back to Omaha. Bataillon entered a default judgment against him.
He hadn't heard about the request for damages.
“I have no idea how to even respond to that. ... It's kind of pointless,” said Kofoed, who represented himself in the case. “I don't know why I would even fight it, since I don't have any money. They might as well make it a billion.”
Separately this week, Sampson's attorney, Maren Chaloupka of Scottsbluff, filed a motion for summary judgment in Sampson's case against Kofoed.
He has 20 days to respond, then the process of awarding damages plays out again.
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