Mark Woodworth files lawsuit after dismissal of murder charge - KCTV5 News

Mark Woodworth files lawsuit after dismissal of murder charge

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A northwest Missouri man who spent nearly a quarter-century trying to clear his name after he was twice convicted in his neighbor's shooting death is suing a former special state prosecutor and others he says conspired to violate his civil rights through a false arrest and malicious prosecution.

Mark Woodworth, 39, of Chillicothe, filed suit Monday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City.

The filing comes less than one month after a special prosecutor dismissed a first-degree murder charge against Woodworth, finding insufficient probable cause while opting against a third trial in Cathy Robertson's 1990 death.

At the age of 16, Woodworth was sentenced to life in prison without parole before his first two convictions were overturned on appeal. He has been free on bail since January 2013, when the Missouri Supreme Court said prosecutors failed to share evidence that could have helped his defense.

Robertson was fatally shot while she slept in a farm home outside Chillicothe, about 90 miles northeast of Kansas City. Her husband, Lyndel Robertson, a business partner of Woodworth's father, initially identified another suspect from his hospital bed but later said he was only speculating.

The lawsuit names former state prosecutor Kenny Hulshof, later a six-term U.S. congressman; shooting survivor Lyndel Robertson and his daughter, Rochelle Koehly; the Livingston County Sheriff's Department; and 10 others.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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