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A man who was arrested for a homicide 10 years after the crime, and ultimately acquitted, will receive a $550,000 payment approved Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council.

Bernard Allen, who was arrested in 2013 and charged with the 2003 killing of Harold Bell, filed a federal lawsuit alleging two Los Angeles Police Department detectives withheld and falsified evidence in the case.

The city admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement, and a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office had no comment.

An attorney for Allen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The 72-year-old victim was found dead by asphyxiation in his apartment in the 500 block of South Hobart Boulevard on Jan 3, 2003, and the case went unsolved. The LAPD reopened the investigation in 2013. Two dozen 24 latent fingerprints taken from Bell’s apartment were analyzed, and two prints were linked to Allen, according to his lawsuit.

Allen said he told Detectives Thomas Small and Luis Carranza — who were both named as defendants in the lawsuit — that he may have been inside the apartment to take groceries or deliver something else for the building’s manager, but they filed a false report which said Allen was “adamant” he was never in the apartment.

The lawsuit also alleged that the detectives withheld critical evidence from the prosecution that was provided by Allen’s girlfriend, Kathy King, who told the detectives that he had likely been in Bell’s apartment delivering groceries, and that they falsely represented that the building manager claimed Allen had no reason to be in Bell’s apartment when the manager told them he could not answer that question.

Allen was acquitted of the killing in 2015.

–City News Service

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