WORCESTER, Mass. (WWLP/AP) – Worcester Police Officers are being sued by a man for faking evidence against him after DNA excluded him as a suspect.
Dana Gaul, a 43-year-old father of four and resident of Worcester was arrested and jailed for five months. Gaul was wrongfully accused of the murder of Jehlon Rose. The Worcester Police have been accused of falsifying witness identifications and other evidence for nine other cases previously.
On November 24, 2020, Rose was stabbed on Water Street in Worcester and three days later he died from the stabbed wounds. Numerous witnesses saw a fight and stabbing occur on the public street near businesses.
Surveillance video from the area was captured both before and after, none show the stabbing incident. Police took still images from the video to allegedly build a false case against Gaul. Officers also allegedly convinced third parties to falsely agree that the unclear images were Gaul.
On June 24, 2021, due to the alleged fabricated identification evidence that police retrieved from video images, an arrest warrant was issued for Gaul.
The lawsuit indicates that none of the fabricated identifications of Gaul came from witnesses to the murder itself. Rather, a man that admitted to being the man in a fight with Rose, had matched the description witnesses had given of the murder.
Witnesses to the murder described the murder as a thin, skinny, light-skinned or white man, that appeared to be five feet and seven inches tall. Gaul didn’t match the witnesses depiction, he was that he was a black man that weighs 200 pounds and is five feet and 10 inches tall.
According to the Associated Press, the city will conduct its own investigation, according to a spokesperson for the city manager’s office. “The complaint will be forwarded to the Worcester Police Department’s Bureau of Professional Standards who will conduct an investigation,” Robert Burgess said in an email.
Worcester police Lt. Sean Murtha said in an email that the department does not comment on pending litigation and the case remains open.
According to a news release sent to 22News from Lovey and Lovey Attorneys at Law, Gaul didn’t know Rose and wasn’t in the location where the crime occurred.
The man that admitted to murdering Rose, had DNA that ended up on Rose’s body and clothes when he was fighting with him. The DNA was compared to Gaul’s. Gaul was excluded from being a suspect, but the Worcester Police Officers pursued murder charges against Gaul even after a DNA test.
Worcester Police Officers Joseph A. Albano, Elisa Baez, Dan Heavey, Sean Lovely, and Tim Foley are now being accused of choosing “to take an easy route to ‘solve’ the case by fabricating evidence” against Gaul, according to a case report from the in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
On February 11, 2022, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts asked the court to dismiss all charges against Gaul, but Gaul seeks justice for the harm the officers caused him.