The six – Ada JoAnn Taylor, Thomas Winslow, James Dean, Kathleen Gonzalez, Debra Shelden and Joseph White – spent together 75 years in prison after a cold case investigation falsely accused them.
After DNA evidence later proved that another man had committed the crime, the six were exonerated and eventually won a 2016 trial against the federal jury.
To date, the county has paid nearly $ 14.2 million for the verdict from a combination of property taxes, sales taxes, and insurance payouts. Including $ 2 million in legal fees and interest, approximately $ 16.8 million remains to be paid.
“We use every instrument we have access to to pay off these debts that crop up over the county every day,” Erich Tiemann, the current chairman of the Gage county board of directors, told the committee.
Tiemann said Dorn’s bill would not pay the federal verdict in full, nor would it pay half or even a quarter of the amount owed Gage County.
But it will help speed up the execution of the verdict for the Six and relieve the Gage County’s taxpayers.
“Once this ruling is paid, property taxes will go down and sales tax will be eliminated,” he said. “It will help our communities get back to normal faster and move forward easily.”