Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday approved a $1.95 million payment to compensate a man wrongly sent to prison for more than 38 years for a double-murder in Simi Valley that is now being investigated to determine whether it was actually the work of the Golden State Killer.
The payment was approved to Craig Richard Coley, 70, who was recently determined by a court to be “factually innocent,” decades after his arrest for the murders of Ronda Wicht, 24, and her four-year old son Donald.
Brown did not comment Thursday in approving the settlement, but in his pardon of Coley in November, the governor said subsequent investigations ordered by his office and prosecutors determined the man was wrongly convicted.
“The grace with which Mr. Coley has endured this lengthy and unjust incarceration is extraordinary,” Brown wrote. “I grant this pardon because Mr. Coley did not commit these crimes.”
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