Atlanta music producer David Cunningham — also known as “Dun Deal” — will receive $300,000 from the city of Augusta for being jailed without just cause.
After a 2014 heist in an Augusta Costco, the Richmond County sheriff was desperate to find the men who stole $80,000 worth of jewelry. Although Cunningham had never been to Augusta, investigators tied him to the case because he accepted a Facebook friend request from the woman involved.
However, Cunningham has never met the woman before. This was the beginning of a series of unfortunate events.
"I have fans, you know, people follow me. And I add people back. I have no issue with following people back," explained Cunningham to CBS.
Ronnica Westmoreland rented the getaway car used by criminals in the Costco robbery, according to court records. When police questioned Westmoreland about her involvement, they interrogated her for the names of the men who committed the robbery.
"She said, 'I loaned it to a guy named David.' David is a pretty common name so they went to her Facebook page, found everyone named David. They found a black man who wears a lot of jewelry. So they jumped to the conclusion, that must be him," said Cunningham's attorney, James Radford.
"The picture that they showed me of me was with Birdman. They asked me who that was. He was wearing a lot of diamonds and they slid me the picture, and they ask, 'Who's this? I'm like, that's Birdman!'" said Cunningham.
According to the arrest warrant, police believed Cunningham looked like one of the men in this security surveillance video. They even claimed they pulled his fingerprints from the crime scene — which they fabricated because Cunningham had never been arrested, thus he had no prints on file.
Cunningham said that police performed a raid on his recording studio in Atlanta.
"They threw tear gas over the gate, put guns in people's faces,” the producer told CBS.
He spent 10 days in jail with no opportunity to bond out before charges were dropped.
The four men who actually took part in the robbery were later captured and pleaded guilty in court.
Augusta commissioner William Fennoy admits that he feels bad this will take money from taxpayers, but he thinks giving Cunningham a $300,000 settlement was the right thing to do.
"I know that if it was me who spent 10 days in jail for something I didn't do, I would want as much money as possible," said Fennoy.
(Photo: WGCL-TV Atlanta, CBS Local News)
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