Catching up with this May 8 Fresno Bee story:
Nearly four years after Ethan Morse was falsely arrested on a murder charge, his federal civil rights trial ended Tuesday with a Merced County Sheriff's lieutenant and a detective denying any wrongdoing, but costing county taxpayers $526,649.
Before getting the final bill, Lt. Charles "Chuck" Hale and detective Erick Macias showed a little bravado Tuesday, telling jurors they stood by their investigation and Ethan Morse was not innocent — even though days before the jury had already ruled Hale and Macias had engaged in judicial deception.
Their lack of remorse stunned Morse's lawyers, Jayme Walker and J. Gary Gwilliam, who said they proved Hale and Macias had omitted key evidence in a warrant affidavit that would have exonerated Morse, and manipulated evidence to get a judge to sign it.
After deliberating a few hours, the jury ordered Hale to pay $17,855 in punitive damages to Morse, the son of Merced County District Attorny Larry Morse II. Jurors also ordered Macias to pay $10,494 for what Ethan Morse's lawyers called reprehensible conduct.