Settlement reached in infamous ‘Norfolk Four’ case 

| December 7, 2018

Infamous ‘Norfolk Four’ sailors wrongly accused of a woman’s rape and murder are paid $4.9million in settlement 21 years after their conviction, following a campaign by novelist John Grisham

  • Four sailors were convicted in 1997 rape and killing of Michelle Moore-Bosko
  • Eric Wilson, Danial Williams, Joseph Dick and Derek Tice were later exonerated 
  • The city of Norfolk has agreed to pay $4.9million to the sailors and the state agreed to pay $3.5million  
  • DNA evidence linked another man, Omar Ballard, to the crimes
  • Three of the men were granted conditional pardons in 2009 but their convictions remained on the books
  • Wilson had failed to get his conviction overturned in court because he had already completed his sentence when he brought the challenge
  • The men have long said they confessed only after being intimidated by police

The city of Norfolk has agreed to pay $4.9million to four former sailors who were wrongly convicted of a woman’s rape and murder based on intimidating police interrogations. The state also has agreed to pay $3.5 million.

The payments close out a decades-long case that drew widespread attention as the men’s innocence claims were backed by dozens of former FBI agents, ex-prosecutors and crime novelist John Grisham.

‘These guys can now put all this behind them and try to recoup their lives,’ said Tony Troy, a lawyer who represented one of the sailors.

The men – Eric Wilson, Danial Williams, Joseph Dick and Derek Tice – were pardoned by then-Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe last year of the 1997 rape and murder of Michelle Moore-Bosko.

Omar Ballard admitted sole responsibility for the killing and is serving a life sentence

I will not even pretend I can understand what those 4 men went through.  Nor can I imagine the emotional nightmare the loved ones of Michelle Moore-Bosko have been through.

Source: Settlement reached in infamous ‘Norfolk Four’ case | Daily Mail Online

Category: Crime, Legal, Veterans in the news

Comments (30)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. AnotherPat says:

    It’s about time.

    They can never get their lives back, despite being awarded that large sum of $$$.

    As much as I don’t care for The Carpetbagger, he still did the right thing.

    • Some Guy says:

      Agreed. While I’m sure their lawyers will receive the lion’s share of the settlement, I hope what’s left over will be enough to live out their days in luxurious bliss. Nothing can give them back the last 20 years, but a couple million is a nice start.

      • David says:

        9.4 million less at least 25% leaves a four-way split of a tad over $7 million. For twenty years, less than $2 million breaks out to about $100K per year. Not enough.

    • Valerie says:

      Another example of white privilege./sarc

  2. Green Thumb says:


  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    Time is one thing that once it is spent, you can never replace or get it back.

    (1) Never cop a plea when you are innocent.
    (2) No where near enough money for me.
    (3) 10 minutes alone with the prosecutor and cops.
    (4) Life in prison is not enough punishment for the perp who did this to the girl.

  4. Liright47 says:

    I can’t begin to imagine what these poor guys went through.

    Money can help…but it will never fix the lifelong damage incurred.

  5. AW1Ed says:

    Norfolk- dogs and sailors keep off the grass; where the townies loved us twice a month. One of my happier moments was putting that place on my six, opening. But that’s nothing compared to what these men will feel. Of course the prosecutors and police who are at fault are long gone, retired, or otherwise unaccountable.

  6. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    How does anyone admit to rape and murder when he committed no rape and no murder? First, you start with a crooked cop. His name is Robert Glenn Ford. He questioned the men and reportedly assured them that they would receive the death penalty if they did not play ball. I am confident that he let each know that they would wish they were dead after being isolated for years on death row. And if you’re that crooked cop, you give the men information they could not have possibly otherwise known, maybe you tell them one thing and do another because you are not only cunning but corrupt. And the thing snowballs until it’s too late. Objections are sustained in court. If asked whether you signed a confession that you are given, there is “Yes” not “Yes, but….”

    Well, the crooked cop was himself nailed and has been doing Federal time for the past seven years. He’ll be out in 2022–maybe. Seems that for many years he was selling his testimony to defendants in drug cases to allow them to skate. There is (or was) at least one other case against the SOB, Robert Glenn Ford.

    • AW1Ed says:

      Got one, anyway. Thanks, Cav; a small bit of justice in a very unjust debacle.

      • HMC Ret says:

        Fuck you, Ford. No, wait, Bubba and Thor are taking care of that and they don’t like to share. I hope you rot. I despise those who use their power and authority to harm others. Again, fuck you and I hope every day is hell for you.

        Agreed … not nearly enough.

        One thing I have told family members is if arrested for anything, say the following: “I plan to be fully cooperative officer but only after I have an attorney.” The cops are NOT on your side if they arrest you. You’re just a perp and some detectives/officers will lie their asses off to get you to admit to a crime you did not commit. Notice I said SOME. The vast are decent, honorable law enforcement, but some, like this scumbag Ford, will sell you down the river just to close a case and/or look good.

        Looking back, I wonder if the Navy could have come to the assistance of these young men? Seems some JAG officers could have advised them, kind of off the record or whatever. It is incredible what happened to these men.

    • MSG Eric says:

      The other part of it is that law enforcement can lie all they want to you. They can tell you they have evidence, video, say that the others all copped to the charges, etc., to get you to say what they want you to.

      But, if you lie to law enforcement, you go to prison for a long time, just for that. Unless you’re Hillary Clinton.

  7. Club Manager, USA ret. says:

    I think it was in Shreveport where an Air Force Commander had the troops paid in two dollar bills to get the town leaders attention. First heard the story in 59′ so it must have been back in the day when the locals gave the military a hard time off base. Maybe more of that needs to be done today.

    • Dennis - not chevy says:

      It could work. One day while waiting for my $4.00 in change, the cashier told me I would have to wait until she got some $1 bills. I told her I could see two $2 bills in the till. She told me she didn’t know if she could use them. A true rocket surgeon at work.

      • HMC Ret says:

        Anyone paid with half dollars lately. I usually get a blank stare when I use them. Same with 2 dollar bills.

        My favorite is to give partial payment in change, say giving $7.09 for a bill of $6.59. They appear to be stunned. Had to explain it more than one time. I don’t do it to confuse them, but to rid myself of that pesky change, especially pennies and nickels.

        • 5th/77th FA says:

          I’m bad to do the same thing Chief; use dollar bills too. 21 & change for a 15 & change, anything to blow their minds and keep the ones & pennies out of my pockets.

          I’ve had ’em give me back the ones or some of the change and still give me more ones and change. Some of them can’t even get it when they punch in the amount tendered and
          then look at what change they’re supposed to give back. It’s entertaining to me. Wasn’t that good at math, but I was hell on ‘rithmetic.

        • UpNorth says:

          Way back when, my wife was the assistant manager in charge of hiring for a theater chain. During the hiring process, she would take the prospective hiree over to the concession stand and tell them things like, “a customer bought a large popcorn for $7.50, two l large pops for $2.75 each, a box of M&M’s for $1.25. What’s the total?”. She said it was amazing how many couldn’t figure it out, because she wouldn’t let them use the computer to total up the bill. They didn’t get hired.

  8. Sapper3307 says:

    This never happens on those T.V shows.
    Sue the bastards and keep suing.

  9. Tallywhagger says:

    This may be the first and only time McAuliffe has done a decent thing in his entire life.

    Money cannot restore the loss of life those guys suffered but it may provide an opening to pick up and carry on without relying on a society who sold them out, for nothing.

    You can only wonder what sort of counsel they had to represent them who would take such a deal.

    • 11B-Mailclerk says:

      On EM pay? Public Defenders

      • Tallywhagger says:

        Maybe so. I don’t do their work but understand that they could have been going through the motions, perfunctorily. It has to be difficult to defend someone as a burden of the court.

        Alas, there is at least one remedy for the defiled, cold heart.

        • 11B-Mailclerk says:

          Your PD may be a motivated Legal Eagle, but will still be overtasked and under-budgeted.

          Ultimately, they work for the same government that seeks to convict you. How much effort will that system put into thwarting that goal? It will be the absolute minimum required, and the rules will be gamed to minimize the effectiveness of any genuine PD zeal.

          Hire your own, spending lavishly, if you value your freedom.

    • Bill M says:

      I doubt he had much choice. DNA pointed to the actual perp and it was none of the four accused. McAuliffe probably hated the whole process.

      (Don’t much care for the man…)

  10. HMC Ret says:

    Four lives ruined. Had I been one of them, I would have consulted an attorney when offered the $. I would have considered bringing an individual lawsuit in the hopes I could take everything owned by Ford and his family. (Think house, cars, money.). Also the sum seems too low. I’m thinking more like $10 million to $20 million. They got screwed once and then again at settlement time. Not Enough Money.

  11. 100E says:

    Front page vs back page. Their lives were ruined, and the money is nice, but a complete eraser of that conviction would be better… but impossible.

  12. Ex-PH2 says:

    Jon Burge. Crookedest Chicago cop ever. There are still people whose lives he ruined because he tortured them into confessing to things they hadn’t done.

    People like Burge and Ford need to rot in jail and then rot forever in Hell. That’s all they are good for. Burge spent 4.5 years in jail, should have been more. Why isn’t Ford in jail?

    The “settlement” isn’t enough, period.

  13. MSG Eric says:

    Fair warning Norfolk, your taxes are going to go up and all the stuff that was in the budget will suddenly go undone and they’ll blame it on these four suing them for so much.

  14. Thunderstixx says:

    The fact that the media jumps on the low level of proof for all kinds of things, think about the last SCOTUS hearings in the Senate.
    The d-rats drug him, his entire family and anyone that even knew that honest and upright man and there have been no consequences for any of the idiots that brought up all the false accusations and just plain outright lies…
    I am so sick of these assholes, I wonder how or if there will ever be any repercussions for any of those fucks…

  15. HMC Ret says:

    Thunder: “I am so sick of these assholes, I wonder how or if there will ever be any repercussions for any of those fucks…”

    No more so than I. I honestly can not watch 99% of MSM news. I find myself actually cursing them on TV. The Russian makes me change the channel. Will there be repercussions? Yes, I think so. B/C if this crap continues, the conservatives in this nation will rise up. I believe we are at the tipping point. I despise these MOFOs

  16. timactual says:

    It is cases like this that caused me to rethink my support of the death penalty. I also realize now that Officer Friendly is not really my friend.