Ian Simmers from Kent, WA, spent nearly 23 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
In March 1995 Simmers, then 16, and his friend were picked up by police for allegedly shooting off flare guns near Lake Washington a few days after the brutal murder of a 35-year-old, Rodney Gochanaur.
Despite having no probable cause to link the boys to Mr. Gochanaur’s murder, police officers held them incommunicado from parents and Simmers’ attorney, ignored Simmer’s request to remain silent, and berated and cajoled the boys through the night. Simmers’ mother was refused access to her son. Isolated and exhausted, after nearly 10 hours Simmers finally gave a transparently false confession full of wrong information about the murder.
There was no physical evidence linking Simmers to the crime. Simmers spent his life from age 16 to nearly age 40 behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. DNA testing of the murder weapon, definitively clearing him, finally led to his release in 2019. In January 2021 Simmers sued Bothell, WA and King County and several of their police officers in federal court for illegally coercing a false murder confession out of him in 1995.
MASS MEDIA ABOUT THE CASE:
The initiative group has requested the clarification from US President Joseph Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland. The initiative group believes it is important to fight against police brutality and, if necessary, will provide legal and financial assistance to the family of the victim.