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Old 06-18-2013, 03:05 PM
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Ex-Wife Wants Cut of Payout For Innocent Man Jailed for 24 Years!

So much for standing by your man! Woman like this give us all a bad name!

Innocent Man Jailed 24 Years, and His Ex-Wife Wants Cut of His Payout

17 hrs ago

This one isn't going to do much for the reputation of ex-wives.

Many folks might argue that Steven Phillips deserves any break he can get. Convicted of a number of sex crimes in the '80s, Phillips was exonerated by the courts after spending 24 years in prison when DNA implicated another man.

He was provided with a, "compensation package," totaling around $6 million for those two and a half decades — and the woman who divorced him while he was in jail, Traci Tucker, wants a cut.

Last year, a judge awarded her $150,000, and now Phillips is appealing that decision, "To make a claim on those years I spent in prison is really freaking outrageous," he says

~Courtesy of msn.com~

*Original Source - The Texas Tribune*

Exoneree Faces Ex-Wife in Compensation Lawsuit
by Brandi Grissom

June 16, 2013

“He’s extremely ambitious and a very hard worker, a pretty brilliant guy,” she said. “And I was right there by his side the whole time.”

The spring of 1982 seemed full of promise for Steven and Traci Phillips, who had just started a roofing business in Dallas and were expecting their first child.

But their family life ended that year, when Steven Phillips was named a suspect in a string of sex crimes. In two trials in 1982 and 1983, he was convicted based largely on eyewitness identifications, despite his wife’s vehement protestations from the witness stand that he could not have committed the crimes.

He pleaded guilty to additional charges to prevent a third trial and a likely life sentence. She said she spent the next decade visiting him in prison, raising their son, sending money for items her husband needed, and hoping to find a way to get him out. Eventually, though, the couple grew apart and divorced in 1992.

Phillips spent 24 years in prison before DNA tests connected another man to the rapes and prompted the courts to declare Phillips innocent.

In 2009, the state awarded him lump sum payments totaling more than $2 million, and a monthly annuity of more than $11,000. In total, his compensation package for the time he spent in prison is worth nearly $6 million, not including health care and education benefits he is also eligible to receive.

His ex-wife, now Traci Tucker, is arguing that she is entitled to a portion of that money. The two are locked in a legal battle that her lawyers say is the first of its kind in the nation. Tucker sued Phillips, and last year, a Dallas County state district judge awarded her about $150,000.

“He was a victim of a wrongful justice system, and his family was also,” Tucker said.

Phillips is appealing the decision, and both sides expect the case to make its way to the Texas Supreme Court, the state’s highest civil court, for a decision on whether former spouses of exonerees are entitled to compensation. It is a question that one legislator who helped write the compensation law said lawmakers had not considered.

“This is an example of the law of unintended consequences,” said state Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas. “We did not think about entitlement by spouses who had become divorced from these innocent men while they were in prison.”

Phillips said his ex-wife’s lawsuit was among a handful of legal fights he has faced since he was released.

When the cheese is on the table, the rats come out,” he said, adding that he did not have ill feelings toward Tucker. Phillips sued a lawyer who billed him more than $1 million for lobbying lawmakers to increase the compensation for exonerees. And another ex-wife is seeking to recover child support that went unpaid during his years in prison.

He said that he has spent at least $300,000 on lawyers since he was freed and that despite the compensation, he has struggled to keep his business afloat.

“The legal bills just tore me up,” Phillips said.

In his appeal, Phillips argued that the compensation was not for lost wages, as Tucker contended. The compensation, his lawyers wrote in the appeal, is a mandatory response required under the law based on the years he was imprisoned, not on the amount of money he might have earned if he had been free to work.

And, he argued, because he was ineligible for compensation until well after the divorce, the money he received should not be subject to division under state community property laws.

Phillips said that he appreciated Tucker’s support during his trials, but contended that she had rarely visited him in prison. “To make a claim on those years I spent in prison,” he said, “is really freaking outrageous.”

Matt Kita, a lawyer for Tucker, said the law should account for the damage done to spouses of the wrongfully convicted, who lose companionship and income and face the stigma of having an incarcerated mate.

“She could have been an awesome spouse, or she could have been a terrible spouse, but the law hosed her,” Kita said.

Tucker said she could not calculate how much money she and her family had spent on lawyers, travel and necessities from the prison commissary during the decade she was married to Phillips.

“To me, marriage was for life, and I was going to be with him forever, and we were going to get through this — or so I thought,” she said.

The divorce, she said, had been requested by Phillips, who grew distant and wanted her to move on.

An expert testified in court that Tucker’s half of the earnings Phillips could have made during the time they were married was about $114,000. The court also granted Tucker legal fees, bringing the total award to about $153,000, 2.6 percent of Phillips’ compensation.

Tucker said she hoped the case would prompt legislators to consider the havoc that wrongful convictions wreak on families.

“It’s not all about the money,” she said. “There’s just no recognition whatsoever. Just ‘sorry folks, sorry we ruined your life and took your provider and your best friend.’ Nothing.”

Oh, boo hoo, ex-wifey!

Second Photo by Allison V. Smith
Steven Phillips photographed in his home in Farmers Branch, Texas.

Your Source For Death Pictures and Death Video
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Old 06-18-2013, 03:22 PM
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Re: Ex-Wife Wants Cut of Payout For Innocent Man Jailed for 24 Years!

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Originally Posted by diamondsmiles View Post
So much for standing by your man! Woman like this give us all a bad name!
um not really Not sure about the divorce but cant assume it was just her ditching him.

Despite the fact he was wrongfully imprisoned, the legality of divorce terms are in black and white. She would be due part of the income during the time they were married while he was imprisoned.

Dude may have been able to try to avoid that by having the payout arranged differently or to reflect it as a settlement...

i.e. Ohio Law - Winnings Payout (lotto ticket) by either spouse while married = 50/50 payout - Insurance Settlement Payout (car accident) to a spouse while married = no monies owed.

Who knows how their marriage was or the nature of their divorce so you cant rightfully say "so much for standing by your man"... nor "woman like this give us all a bad"!? Really? Who is to say she didnt get what she "should" in divorce court and this helps her??

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Old 06-18-2013, 03:30 PM
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Re: Ex-Wife Wants Cut of Payout For Innocent Man Jailed for 24 Years!

well you obvioulsy added 10times as much info since I posted but regardless I think its shit you are coming down on the ex wife - the state rep even said they didnt consider this type of situation hence only paying out to the guy. As shitty as one may view it, I dont see why she wouldnt be entitled to compensation... Who knows how their lives would be had he not been wrongfully convicted - they may still be married.

And the info you added also shows she did stand by her man

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Old 06-18-2013, 03:53 PM
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Re: Ex-Wife Wants Cut of Payout For Innocent Man Jailed for 24 Years!

I'm sure it's hard on the wife, but, he suffered who knows what? in prison. In PA, a wife or husband may be compensated for lack of consortium and companionship.

If he didn't get anything, she wouldn't be talking to him again. With the name change, I assume she remarried.

Perhaps he asked for the divorce so she'd be free in case he never got out of prison. It doesn't mean he changed his sexual preference, but, perhaps he did.

I'd feel the same if she had been in jail and an ex-husband wanted her compensation.

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Old 06-18-2013, 04:03 PM
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Re: Ex-Wife Wants Cut of Payout For Innocent Man Jailed for 24 Years!

Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondsmiles View Post
I'm sure it's hard on the wife, but, he suffered who knows what? in prison.

If he didn't get anything, she wouldn't be talking to him again. With the name change, I assume she remarried.

I'd feel the same if she had been in jail and an ex-husband wanted her compensation.
Stop assuming in the news section lol

You say - who knows what he endured in prison - this is true and he did divorce her so for all we know he changed his sexual preference so had he not been jailed perhaps they would have been happily ever after I dont want to assume tho! lol

Feelings aside, I'd love to see how this plays out. Obviously a new law will be made from this case... and hopefully one no one has to refer to again.


Side thought:
Makes me think of the new "Amanda, Michelle and Gina Victims of Kidnap law" involving state compensation for the kidnap victim.... I know you have been hanging out in that thread! Same thing as this situation - should there be a victim who was married and maybe hubby executed a divorce thinking she was estranged (and moved on or what not) or if the kidnap was a minor at the time, could they ex-husband or family/guardian of the victim try to collect on the settlement?? Just a thought...

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Old 06-18-2013, 04:51 PM
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Re: Ex-Wife Wants Cut of Payout For Innocent Man Jailed for 24 Years!

Those women went through Hell! I don't think there was a husband. Didn't Michelle's mother have custody of her son?

In my opinion, the girls deserve any monies they receive. Family is supposed to take care of family.

If one or more had been minors, a trust fund should have been set up.

In Michelle's case, the law ASSumed she ran away.

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Old 06-18-2013, 10:38 PM
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Re: Ex-Wife Wants Cut of Payout For Innocent Man Jailed for 24 Years!

Swap the roles around, husband sues ex wife to claim a few million. The case would be laughed out of court. Jezebel and its followers would hound the guy to his grave and probably get him arrested and jailed on false rape charges.



Biased law systems.

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Old 06-18-2013, 10:55 PM
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Re: Ex-Wife Wants Cut of Payout For Innocent Man Jailed for 24 Years!

her life changed drastically due to his conviction, she did stand by him for 10 years. I think she deserves more than the 150.000, not necessarily from him ,but from the system that fucked up her life as well as his

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Old 06-19-2013, 02:04 AM
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Re: Ex-Wife Wants Cut of Payout For Innocent Man Jailed for 24 Years!

Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondsmiles View Post
So much for standing by your man! Woman like this give us all a bad name!

Innocent Man Jailed 24 Years, and His Ex-Wife Wants Cut of His Payout

17 hrs ago

This one isn't going to do much for the reputation of ex-wives.

Many folks might argue that Steven Phillips deserves any break he can get. Convicted of a number of sex crimes in the '80s, Phillips was exonerated by the courts after spending 24 years in prison when DNA implicated another man.

He was provided with a, "compensation package," totaling around $6 million for those two and a half decades — and the woman who divorced him while he was in jail, Traci Tucker, wants a cut.

Last year, a judge awarded her $150,000, and now Phillips is appealing that decision, "To make a claim on those years I spent in prison is really freaking outrageous," he says

~Courtesy of msn.com~

*Original Source - The Texas Tribune*

Exoneree Faces Ex-Wife in Compensation Lawsuit
by Brandi Grissom

June 16, 2013

“He’s extremely ambitious and a very hard worker, a pretty brilliant guy,” she said. “And I was right there by his side the whole time.”

The spring of 1982 seemed full of promise for Steven and Traci Phillips, who had just started a roofing business in Dallas and were expecting their first child.

But their family life ended that year, when Steven Phillips was named a suspect in a string of sex crimes. In two trials in 1982 and 1983, he was convicted based largely on eyewitness identifications, despite his wife’s vehement protestations from the witness stand that he could not have committed the crimes.

He pleaded guilty to additional charges to prevent a third trial and a likely life sentence. She said she spent the next decade visiting him in prison, raising their son, sending money for items her husband needed, and hoping to find a way to get him out. Eventually, though, the couple grew apart and divorced in 1992.

Phillips spent 24 years in prison before DNA tests connected another man to the rapes and prompted the courts to declare Phillips innocent.

In 2009, the state awarded him lump sum payments totaling more than $2 million, and a monthly annuity of more than $11,000. In total, his compensation package for the time he spent in prison is worth nearly $6 million, not including health care and education benefits he is also eligible to receive.

His ex-wife, now Traci Tucker, is arguing that she is entitled to a portion of that money. The two are locked in a legal battle that her lawyers say is the first of its kind in the nation. Tucker sued Phillips, and last year, a Dallas County state district judge awarded her about $150,000.

“He was a victim of a wrongful justice system, and his family was also,” Tucker said.

Phillips is appealing the decision, and both sides expect the case to make its way to the Texas Supreme Court, the state’s highest civil court, for a decision on whether former spouses of exonerees are entitled to compensation. It is a question that one legislator who helped write the compensation law said lawmakers had not considered.

“This is an example of the law of unintended consequences,” said state Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas. “We did not think about entitlement by spouses who had become divorced from these innocent men while they were in prison.”

Phillips said his ex-wife’s lawsuit was among a handful of legal fights he has faced since he was released.

When the cheese is on the table, the rats come out,” he said, adding that he did not have ill feelings toward Tucker. Phillips sued a lawyer who billed him more than $1 million for lobbying lawmakers to increase the compensation for exonerees. And another ex-wife is seeking to recover child support that went unpaid during his years in prison.

He said that he has spent at least $300,000 on lawyers since he was freed and that despite the compensation, he has struggled to keep his business afloat.

“The legal bills just tore me up,” Phillips said.

In his appeal, Phillips argued that the compensation was not for lost wages, as Tucker contended. The compensation, his lawyers wrote in the appeal, is a mandatory response required under the law based on the years he was imprisoned, not on the amount of money he might have earned if he had been free to work.

And, he argued, because he was ineligible for compensation until well after the divorce, the money he received should not be subject to division under state community property laws.

Phillips said that he appreciated Tucker’s support during his trials, but contended that she had rarely visited him in prison. “To make a claim on those years I spent in prison,” he said, “is really freaking outrageous.”

Matt Kita, a lawyer for Tucker, said the law should account for the damage done to spouses of the wrongfully convicted, who lose companionship and income and face the stigma of having an incarcerated mate.

“She could have been an awesome spouse, or she could have been a terrible spouse, but the law hosed her,” Kita said.

Tucker said she could not calculate how much money she and her family had spent on lawyers, travel and necessities from the prison commissary during the decade she was married to Phillips.

“To me, marriage was for life, and I was going to be with him forever, and we were going to get through this — or so I thought,” she said.

The divorce, she said, had been requested by Phillips, who grew distant and wanted her to move on.

An expert testified in court that Tucker’s half of the earnings Phillips could have made during the time they were married was about $114,000. The court also granted Tucker legal fees, bringing the total award to about $153,000, 2.6 percent of Phillips’ compensation.

Tucker said she hoped the case would prompt legislators to consider the havoc that wrongful convictions wreak on families.

“It’s not all about the money,” she said. “There’s just no recognition whatsoever. Just ‘sorry folks, sorry we ruined your life and took your provider and your best friend.’ Nothing.”

Oh, boo hoo, ex-wifey!

Second Photo by Allison V. Smith
Steven Phillips photographed in his home in Farmers Branch, Texas.
Another reason gays should reconsider their fight for marriage.

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Old 06-19-2013, 02:36 AM
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Re: Ex-Wife Wants Cut of Payout For Innocent Man Jailed for 24 Years!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ldelgadillo View Post
her life changed drastically due to his conviction, she did stand by him for 10 years. I think she deserves more than the 150.000, not necessarily from him ,but from the system that fucked up her life as well as his
if her life was negatively impacted by this, she should definitely receive some money. that doesn't mean it has to be taken from the guy though.

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