Ray Krone to receive 1.4 million dollars from Maricopa County. (AZ)
March 24, 2005
Krone to get $1.4 million
A county in Arizona will settle his lawsuit over wrongful murder
By BETH DeFALCO, Associated Press
PHOENIX - Maricopa County in Arizona has agreed to a $1.4 million
settlement with a Dover Township man who was twice wrongfully convicted of
murder and sentenced to death.
County supervisors are expected to approve the lump-sum settlement April
6, nearly three years after Ray Krone's release from prison, a spokesman
for the county said. Krone has also received apologies from several people
in county administration, said his attorney, Alan Simpson.
Krone said, "It's a start in the right direction."
He spent a decade in prison, including more than two years on death row.
"There is starting to be some accountability, some responsibility," he
After years of fighting for her son's innocence and waging civil battles
against those who wrongly convicted and incarcerated him, Carolyn Leming
said she's happy about the outcome.
"It took an awful lot of work on our part to confront them with their
errors," she said. "They would have never admitted any wrongdoing, until
they were put in a position where they couldn't deny it."
Her son's settlement sounds like a fortune, but no amount can replace a
decade, his mother said. "When you think about 10 years of salary gone,
pension gone, him losing his home and his cars - it's really not much,"
Krone, 47, said he plans to use the money to pay back his parents, who
mortgaged their Dover Township home to pay for his defense. He estimates
they spent as much as $300,000 on lawyers and experts.
Krone also said also owes about $500,000 in attorney's fees.
Most of all, he wants to reestablish himself. "I'd like to look for some
property where I can have a family home," he said.
Since getting out of prison, he's lived on a shoestring budget. "Now, I
can buy nicer clothes, instead of shopping at bargain stores, for stuff to
wear when I give speeches."
Krone had a number of speaking engagements in the last few years, sharing
his thoughts on criminal justice reform, abolishing the death penalty and
accountability of law enforcement agencies. He recently accepted a
contract with a speakers' bureau for more engagements.
His legal battles, however, continue. Krone still has a lawsuit pending
against the city of Phoenix.
Krone was a postal worker when he was arrested in 1991 in the killing of
Kim Ancona, a bartender who worked at a Phoenix lounge where Krone played
He was convicted in 1992 and sentenced to death. His conviction was
overturned in 1994 on procedural grounds. A new trial was ordered and
Krone was convicted a second time in 1996.
In sentencing him the second time, the judge in the case said he wasn't
sure that Krone was the killer. He spared Krone the death penalty and
sentenced him to life imprisonment.
In 2002, new DNA testing proved Krone wasn't the killer. Using an FBI
database, DNA from the crime scene was linked to a man already in prison
for another crime. A trial for the new suspect is pending.
Krone was freed that year, but his wrongful conviction lawsuit dragged on.
When approved, the settlement will be the first monetary compensation
Krone has received since leaving prison.
Earlier this year, however, Krone was awarded a new look from the ABC
reality show "Extreme Makeover." Once dubbed the "Snaggletooth Killer" for
his crooked smile, Krone flashes a row of straight white teeth.