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Man exonerated from murder charge is suing state government and investigators

By Torrence Banks

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    NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WSMV) — A Nashville tow truck driver who was convicted of murdering a woman in 2000 and exonerated of the crime last year is now fighting back.

Paul Garrett is suing investigators and the Metro Nashville Government after he was exonerated of the June 2000 murder of Velma Tharpe.

Criminal Court Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton granted post-conviction relief to Garrett in August after new DNA evidence was discovered that led Metro Police charging Calvin Atchison II.

Atchison was charged with first-degree murder in Tharpe’s death, who died from strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head and neck.

Tharpe’s body was found in a north Nashville alley on June 15, 2000. Garrett pled guilty to a charge of voluntary manslaughter and served 15 years in prison.

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