Elkhart settles wrongful conviction suit with Keith Cooper for $7.5M

NOW: Elkhart settles wrongful conviction suit with Keith Cooper for $7.5M

Keith Cooper, who was wrongfully convicted in 1997, has settled with the city of Elkhart and former officers for $7.5 million, his attorneys announced.

Governor Eric Holcomb pardoned Cooper for his conviction of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury in 2017.

"Over 25 years of Mr. coopers life has been spent on this case. and we empathize with him and with his family. we sincerely hope this does provide some closure and ability to move forward," said Corinne Straight, Director of Communications for the City of Elkhart.

The governor cited multiple reasons why he granted the pardon.

  • All of the eyewitnesses have recanted their statements and have said they were mistaken
  • The jailhouse informant recanted his testimony
  • DNA evidence from the hat worn by the robber points to a man who is in prison for murder and has been identified by eyewitnesses as the man who shot the victim and committed the crime
  • No DNA from Cooper was found on the hat
  • The victim and eyewitnesses have requested a pardon be granted
  • The deputy prosecutor who convicted Cooper supports the pardon
  • The trial judge had no objection to the pardon
  • The Indiana Parole Board unanimously recommended the governor issue a pardon to Cooper.

Cooper's attorneys will be holding a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

"Trust building is huge. We want people to count on our police department. We want people to call police if they are in danger," said Straight.

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