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L.I. Man Settles With State Over Wrongful Conviction For Parents’ Murder

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A man who spent 17 years in prison for killing his parents has settled a wrongful conviction lawsuit against the State of New York.

A spokesman for Marty Tankleff said Tuesday that the Long Island man settled the suit for nearly $3.4 million.

Tankleff was convicted in the 1988 killings of his parents in their eastern Long Island home.

He was freed in 2007 after an appeals court found key evidence in his trial was overlooked. Prosecutors ultimately decided against a new trial.

Tankleff’s attorneys have argued that his confession was coerced and that a family business associate was the real culprit.

A spokeswoman for the state attorney general did not immediately comment.

As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, Tankleff’s attorney, Bruce Barket said New York State will pay his client nearly $3.4 million. His lawsuit was settled Tuesday.

The settlement hinged on new evidence that two people killed Tankleff’s parents, Barket said.

“The individuals overtook his mother and his father separately,” he said.

As CBS News 48 Hours correspondent Erin Moriarty reported in 2008, Tankleff had just turned 17 when he was arrested for the murder of his adoptive parents, Seymour and Arlene. He had spent his entire adult life in upstate prisons when he was released.

Barket said there is plenty that points to a business partner of Tankleff’s father. But Suffolk County prosecutors have not gone after anyone else.

A federal lawsuit against Suffolk County and a detective who has admitted he coerced a confession from Tankleff was still pending as of Tuesday. And for now, Tankleff has been making up for lost time.

“He’s going to complete law school,” Barket said. “Called him up Sunday and said, “What are you thinking?’ He says, ‘I’ll see you tomorrow morning,’ rolled up his sleeves and got right back to work.”

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