Cleveland to pay $1 million to families of victims who were abducted, murdered by Anthony Sowell

The city of Cleveland has agreed to pay $1 million to six families of victims who were murdered by Anthony Sowell.
Anthony Sowell
Anthony Sowell
Updated: Sep. 17, 2018 at 10:28 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The families of six women who were abducted and murdered by Anthony Sowell in 2009 have settled on reimbursement with the city of Cleveland.

The city of Cleveland has agreed to pay $1 million, divided equally to the families of Nancy Cobbs, Telacia Fortson, Amelda Hunter, Le’Shanda Long, Diane Turner, and Janice Webb, according to the law firms of Friedman & Gilbert and Friedman, Domiano & Smith.

The payment is on behalf of the Cleveland Police Department’s sex crimes unit, who, according to the law firms, “failed to follow up on the missing persons reports that were taken, accompanied by the failure to monitor detectives’ work.”

The deaths of all of these women was preventable, had Det. Hussein properly handled the Sowell case in December 2008. As noted by the Eighth District Court of Appeals, Hussein’s reckless and sloppy police work caused Sowell to be released from jail in December 2008, after he was arrested for a brutal attack on Gladys Wade, who barely escaped from Sowell’s upstairs apartment. Ms. Wade, beaten, bloodied, and shaken, was able to flag down police who then arrested Sowell at his Imperial Avenue home. But Det. Hussein told a City prosecutor that she did not believe Wade’s account over the statement of Sowell, who was a registered sex offender, having only a few years earlier completed a 15-year sentence for a similar rape of a woman. Hussein’s release of Sowell not only led to the murder of these six women, but also led to another brutal attack on Latundra Billups – who barely escaped after jumping from a second-floor window.

Friedman & Gilbert, Attorneys at Law

In total, Sowell was convicted of killing 11 women between June 2007 and Sept. 2009. The victims' remains were found inside and outside of Sowell’s Cleveland home on Imperial Avenue.

Sowell remains an inmate on death row. An execution date has still now been set.

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