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Innocent Man Who Spent 12 Years in Prison Sues N.C. Dept.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --

A man who spent nearly 12 years in prison, wrongfully convicted, is now suing several Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers for at least $10,000.

In 1999, a jury convicted Massey of robbing and kidnapping a woman at her West Charlotte apartment.

Years after his sentence, Duke Law school students looked into his case and found critical evidence that helped set Shawn Massey free in May 2010.

The 13-page suit filed in federal court Friday details the events leading up to Massey's conviction.

According to the suit, no physical evidence linked Massey to the robbery and kidnapping and he did not match the description the victim gave police.

Massey's attorney's accuse 13 CMPD officers of fabricating evidence, false reporting and moving forward with prosecuting him without probable cause.

Eyewitness News spoke with Massey about why he decided to file the lawsuit. "If the police department would have actually did their job I think I would have never got convicted of this crime." Massey said, "By them being lazy and lax on their job caused me to have to do 12 to 14 years of my life."

Eyewitness News reached out to CMPD about the federal lawsuit. A representative for the department said, "We will reserve comment until our attorneys have an opportunity to review the complaint."

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