Brown wins $2.6 million settlement for wrongful imprisonment

Roy Brown

A man who spent 15 years in prison for a murder he did not commit will be a millionaire as soon as the State of New York cuts him a check.

Roy Brown will be awarded $2.6 million in a settlement revealed today in the Court of Claims in Syracuse, moments before a trial would have begun to decide on damages. Brown was convicted of the 1991 murder of Cayuga County social worker Sabina Kulakowski. He spent 15 years in prison before DNA cleared him of the crime. While in prison, Brown was able to obtain police affidavits that were not revealed to his defense during trial that pointed to a man named Barry Bench, an acquaintance of Kulakowski. The same DNA that cleared Brown tied Bench, who committed suicide several years ago, to the murder.

After the settlement was announced, Brown told reporters, "It's some sort of justice. It doesn't correct things, doesn't make things right. I still feel the weight of them chains, but they're not that heavy anymore,"

Attorney Katy Karlovitz says after legal fees and medical expenses, Brown should pocket about $1.8 million. Brown nearly died just before he was freed. He underwent a costly liver transplant last year.

Brown tells Action News he intends to buy a house, get married and rehab homes on the city's west side. Karlovitz revealed she and Brown are collaborating on a book about his extraordinary ordeal.