Associated Press

Judge rules Hornoff can be reinstated as detective, get back pay

Jeffrey Scott Hornoff has said he does not want to return to police duty, but he sought reinstatement so he could receive back pay and other benefits. A message left Tuesday with Hornoff's attorney was not immediately returned.

Hornoff was suspended from the police department without pay in 1994, two days after he was indicted in the murder of 29-year-old Victoria Cushman. He was wrongly convicted in 1996 and sentenced to life in prison.

The Warwick Police Department fired Hornoff in 2000, after the state Supreme Court upheld the murder conviction.

Hornoff was released from prison last year when another man, Todd Barry, confessed to the 1989 killing.

"An innocent man should not have spent six years in jail for a crime he did not commit, and an innocent man should not be burdened by a wrongful conviction," Superior Court Judge Joseph Rodgers Jr. wrote in his 12-page decision.

"Because Hornoff is an innocent man, he will be seen in that light by this Court," Rodgers wrote.

Hornoff's lawyers argued the former detective's exoneration wiped out the city's reason for firing Hornoff.

The city had argued its actions should be judged according to what happened at the time -- when Hornoff was considered a convicted murderer.

Rodgers wrote in his ruling that a hearing would be held on Jan. 27 to determine how much money Hornoff should receive.

Messages left with the Warwick police chief and the city solicitor were not immediately returned.

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