MADISON, Wis. - The state Claims Board has awarded $25,000 to an Oak Creek man who served 13 years in prison after he was wrongly convicted in a runaway's death.
Chaunte Ott was convicted in 1995 in the death of 16-year-old Jessica Payne. He was freed in January 2009 after analysts found DNA on Payne from someone other than Ott. Last September, investigators announced they had matched the sample along with DNA from eight other homicides to Walter Ellis.
Ellis has been charged with seven of those homicides, although he hasn't been charged in Payne's death.
The Claims Board on Friday decided no physical evidence links Ott to Payne's death and two of the witnesses in his case recanted their testimony. The $25,000 is the maximum award for a wrongful conviction under state law.
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