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Wrongfully Convicted Kansas Man Sues Prosecutor Who Convicted Him

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Elle Moxley
/
KCUR 89.3
Floyd Bledsoe, left, spent 15 years in prison for a murder his brother committed. His lawyer, Russell Ainsworth, announces a lawsuit against Jefferson County, Kansas, law enforcement officers.

An Oskaloosa man imprisoned for a crime his brother committed is suing the Jefferson County law enforcement officials and others who pursued his wrongful conviction.

“You go from being Floyd Scott Bledsoe to Bledsoe 70545,” said Floyd Bledsoe, who spent 15 years in prison for the murder of 14-year-old Camille Arfmann in 1999.

Bledsoe’s brother, Tom Bledsoe, first confessed to the murder, then later recanted. In a November 2015 suicide note, Tom Bledsoe again confessed to raping and murdering Arfmann.

“But what Tom’s suicide note details is it was the police and the prosecutor who told him he had to go with the story that Floyd was the perpetrator,” said Russell Ainsworth, Floyd Bledsoe’s lawyer.

The suicide note included a crude map of the crime scene, some 20 yards from where Arfmann’s body was discovered. There, police found an empty shell. 

DNA evidence also linked Tom Bledsoe to the crime.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court accuses Jefferson County, Kansas, law enforcement officials of framing Floyd Bledsoe.

Named in the suit are Randy Carreno, Roy Dunnaway, Troy Frost, Jeffrey Herrig, Robert Poppa and Orin Turner, all of whom worked for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office at the time.

Also named are Kansas Bureau of Investigations officers George Johnson, Jim Woods and Terry Morgan. Bledsoe is also suing then-Jefferson County Attorney Jim Vanderbilt and criminal defense attorney Michael Hayes.

Ainsworth said Bledsoe is seeking whatever it's worth to be “ripped from your family” and imprisoned for 15 years.

Elle Moxley is a reporter for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.

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