Andrew Royer, wrongfully convicted of murder, files lawsuit against city of Elkhart and Elkhart County Prosecutor
ELKHART, Ind. -- Andrew Royer was wrongfully convicted for the murder of Helen Sailor in 2002, after being coerced into giving a false confession after two grueling days of interrogation led by Det. Carl Conway-- overseen by current Elkhart County Prosecutor Vicki Becker.
“I felt like I was helpless. Like I was cornered," Royer said, describing the interrogation.
Royer, who has special needs, spent seventeen years in jail and was eventually released in 2020 after it was discovered the evidence had been manipulated.
“I didn’t know what to think, being-- finally-- free," he said.
Now that he's been released-- Royer has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Elkhart, the state of Indiana and those involved in his investigation, who allegedly knew the evidence had been falsified-- including Conway and Becker.
Royer's attorney, Elliot Slosar said “What Andy wants is his seventeen years back. But Andy can’t get that, because these people took that all from him. They took it from him in a very unfair way, in an unconstitutional way, and the only way that Andy can get justice is through filing a federal lawsuit.”
Becker and the Elkhart Police Department have issued no comment on the lawsuit.
Royer and his attorneys are not seeking a specific dollar amount in damages for his wrongful incarceration; they say that will be for a jury to decide.
He hopes that this lawsuit will help hold this involved accountable for their actions.
“Well, I kind of hope they pay for it," Royer said. "I hope that this won’t happen again. I hope that I will be a reminder to people.”
"That’s for the jury to decide, what justice is, and to send a message to police and prosecutors-- not just in Elkhart, but across Indiana-- that you can’t do this stuff," said Slosar. "You can’t do this stuff to anyone and you especially can’t do it to the most vulnerable in our society.”
Royer's lawsuit can be read here: