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Kan. man sues over wrongful conviction, 15 years in prison

Lawsuit alleges that prosecutors pursued the case even though man’s brother confessed to crime


Floyd Bledsoe, right, accompanied by his attorney Jon Kurth listens to a judge in an Oskaloosa, Kan., courtroom Thursday, Dec. 9, 1999. (AP Image)

By Bill Draper
Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas man who spent 15 years in prison for a rape and murder to which his brother confessed several times, including in suicide notes, filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday alleging he was framed by investigators.

Floyd Bledsoe, 39, was convicted of raping and killing 14-year-old Camille Arfmann, who disappeared from Bledsoe’s Oskaloosa, Kansas, home on Nov. 5, 1999. The lawsuit alleges that prosecutors pursued the case even though Bledsoe’s brother, Tom, confessed to multiple people — including Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies — that he was responsible for the girl’s death.

Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Herrig told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he hadn’t seen the lawsuit and wasn’t in a position to comment on it. Phone messages left with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the state Attorney General’s Office weren’t immediately returned.

Floyd Bledsoe was freed in December, after DNA testing showed that evidence implicated his brother in the case. Tom Bledsoe killed himself and left several notes confessing to the crimes after the DNA results were released.

“I tried telling the truth but no one would listen,” Tom Bledsoe wrote in one note, according to the lawsuit and previous courtroom testimony. “I was told to keep my mouth shut. It tore me up doing it. I would ask for forgiveness, but I know none will come. Not even from God.”

Two days after the girl’s disappearance, Tom Bledsoe drove to the Jefferson County Law Enforcement Center and made three calls while sitting in the parking lot confessing to the girl’s death. Two of the calls were to his Sunday school teacher and one was to his parents, according to records.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press

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