Lawsuit Claims Bentonville Police Conspired to Frame Man for Murder

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A lawsuit has been filed against the Bentonville Police Department for conspiring to frame a man for murder.

James Bates, whose case earned national attention after authorities attempted to gather information from his Amazon Echo device, filed the suit Wednesday.

The lawsuit also names the widow of the deceased — Kristine Collins Homan — and Arkansas State Medical examiner — Dr. Charles Kokes, among others.

Bates was charged with first-degree murder and tampering in the death of Victor Collins in 2015, but prosecutors ultimately dismissed the charges and the case did not reach trial.

Homan filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Bates in November 2018.

The judge ordered a default judgment in the case after Bates missed a deadline last December. 

The trial is scheduled to begin this November.

Bates has hired notable attorney Kathleen Zellner to represent him in the lawsuit.

Zellner represents Steven Avery, the subject of Netflix’s hit docu-series “Making a Murderer,” and works extensively in wrongful conviction advocacy.

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