LISA HOBBS – Contributor
The Tennessee Department of Treasury board of claims voted to award Adam Braseel the cap of $1 million for his wrongful imprisonment/exoneration claim.
Braseel, a Grundy County native, spent more than 13 years in jail for a crime he did not commit. He was arrested in 2006 for the January murder of Malcom Burrows and assault of Rebecca Hill. He was tried in November 2029, found guilty and given a life sentence. After years of legal back and forth, Governor Bill Lee exonerated Braseel in December 2021.
The state’s board of claims provides general oversight of the Tennessee’s programs for compensating persons damaged by the state or its employees. The treasury department’s division of claims and risk management is responsible for paying all claims. All claims where an award for damages occurs are made payable from the risk management fund. Damages are limited to $300,000 per claimant and $1 million per occurrence.
Braseel will not see a large portion of that. Approximately $200,000 will go to pay attorney’s fees, while he will receive half of what remains over the next 30 years in annuity payments.
This state compensation is not the end of the legal battle. Braseel filed a civil rights lawsuit against those he claims framed him for the crime. Named are Grundy County Government and the following individuals: the estate of Brent Myers, former Grundy County sheriff; Lonnie Cleek, former Grundy County Sheriff Chief Deputy; Andrew West, former Grundy County Sheriff Deputy; and Larry Davis, former Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agent.