Daniel Wade Moore files civil suit against city, officer - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Daniel Wade Moore files civil suit against city, officer

By Elizabeth Gentle - bio | email
Posted by Dana Franks - email

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - A Decatur man found not guilty on capital murder charges last week has filed legal paperwork of his own.

Daniel Wade Moore is suing the city of Decatur and one of its officers. Moore's attorneys actually filed the paperwork in 2005, but while Moore was incarcerated on capital murder charges, his civil case went cold and part of it was thrown out by a federal judge.

But after a jury found Moore innocent in the slaying of Karen Tipton in 1999, that opened the door for a new civil case.

The original civil lawsuit was filed in Morgan County court in July of 2005 against the city of Decatur, Officer Michael Pettey, and Assistant Attorney General's Don Valeska and William Dill.

In the five page complaint, Moore's attorney claimed Pettey and other Decatur police officers negligently failed to preserve all evidence gained and collected in their investigation into the death of Tipton.

It also charged that Valeska and Dill failed to turn over materials to the defense. Because of that, Moore was denied his constitutional rights to due process and a fair and speedy trial.

The federal judge threw out the lawsuit, but ruled Moore could refile his claims if he won a criminal appeal that could set him free. However, the judge dismissed claims against Dill and Valeska with prejudice, meaning Moore cannot refile his lawsuit against them.

Scott Anderson, who does not represent Moore, said that verdict opened the door to a civil case.

"Based on the court ruling, the state withheld evidence, did willfully give them one prong of the test in this case. It will remain to be seen how the facts pan out," Anderson said.

Moore's civil case is set for trial by jury Nov. 30. WAFF 48 News asked Dr. David Tipton, Karen Tipton's husband, via email if he plans to file suit. He said that's not likely.

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