Man awarded $3M for bad lawyer - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Man awarded $3M for bad lawyer

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Associated Press - January 31, 2009 12:05 PM ET

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A Grant County man has been awarded $3 million for spending months in jail because of poor work by his public defender.

Felipe G. Vargas was awarded more than $3 million payable by his public defender by a U.S. District Court jury in Spokane after spending more than seven months in the Grant County Jail, falsely accused of child molestation.

Grant County public defender Thomas Earl allegedly pocketed much of his fee for representing Vargas, instead of spending it to mount an adequate defense, the jury decided. Vargas' alleged victim recanted three days after Vargas was arrested in November 2003, but authorities took no steps to free Vargas from jail.

Information from: The Spokesman-Review,

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