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Lawsuit May Be Filed For Reported Coached Testimony In Murder Trial

A man whose testimony helped in a murder conviction that was overturned years later is suing Trinity County, according to the Trinity Journal. 37-year-old Randolph Hogrefe was only 9-years-old when Gary “Hop” Summar was stabbed to death in a Hawkins Bar campground. Summar was suspected of sexually molesting a little girl. Seven people, including Hogrefe’s mother, were eventually convicted for involvement in the killing of Summar, on charges including robbery, conspiracy and murder. Bob Fenenbock was the man convicted of actually wielding the knife. He was exonerated in August after spending 28 years in prison, thanks to work done by an attorney with the Innocence Project who showed Hogrefe his original statement and transcripts. That’s when Hogrefe says he realized that his testimony had been coached and coerced by Trinity County detectives and therapists. He actually had told them multiple times that he hadn’t seen anything, but they allegedly told him what to say and force-fed the story he told as the key witness in court. At the age of 9, Hogrefe and his siblings were taken from their mother and placed into foster care. A claim against Trinity County has now been filed on Hogrefe’s behalf by Redding law firm Barr and Mudford. That’s the first step in what will likely be an eventual lawsuit.