Patrick Pursley files a wrongful conviction lawsuit

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Rockford man released on bond last year for a 1993 murder he says he didn't commit files a lawsuit for what he claims was a wrongful conviction for the death of Andrew Ascher.

The lawsuit filed by Patrick Pursley names the defendants as the city of Rockford, several then-officers and detectives of the Rockford Police Department and unidentified employees from the Illinois State Crime Lab.

In the lawsuit, Pursley alleges he was wrongfully convicted of the murder that he spent 23 years in jail for.

Pursley alleges the Illinois Crime Lab fabricated evidence used in his conviction. He also claims officers mentioned in the lawsuit used illegal interrogation tactics to get a false statement from a witness.

According to attorneys for Pursley, the defendants in the lawsuit built a false case without any evidence. Pursley says his wrongful conviction and 23 years behind bars has left him with, "tremendous damage physical sickness and injury and emotional damages."

The lawsuit names the defendants as: Detective James Barton, Detective Jim Bowman, Detective Howard Forrester, Ofc. Ron Gallardo, Deputy Chief John Genens, Ofc. Charlene Getty, Detective Jeff Houde, Lt. Christine McAnally, Sgt. Sam Pobjecky, Ofc. Gary Reffett, Ofc. Mark Schmidt, Detective Bruce Scott, Detective Doug Williams, The city of Rockford, Daniel Gunnell, Peter Striupaitis, Jack Welty and unidentified employees of the Illinois State Crime Lab.