DA Bill Peterson Who Is Suing John Grisham Dennis Fritz Robert Mayer and Their Publishers Retiring Jan.
Bill Peterson district attorney for the 22nd district that includes Pontotoc, Seminole and Hughes counties, in Oklahoma said he plans to retire after Jan. 1. after 27 years.
In Sept. this year less then 2 months ago, Bill Peterson decided to sue John Grisham and Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.
The lawsuit also names:
•Dennis Fritz, the author of “Journey Toward Justice.”
•Robert Mayer, author of “The Dreams of Ada.”
•Barry Scheck, one of Fritz’s lawyers who helped exonerate him, and a co-author of “Actual Innocence,” that discusses the case of Williamson and Fritz.
•The Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, publisher of “The Innocent Man” and “Actual Innocence.”
•Random House Inc., which owns Doubleday Dell.
•Broadway Books, publisher of “The Dreams of Ada.”
•Seven Locks Press and/or James C. Riordan, publisher of “Journey Toward Justice.”The lawsuit, filed in federal court, alleges civil conspiracy, libel, placing a person in a false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Peterson says the defendants "coordinated their efforts to launch a massive joint defamatory attack" on him.
William N. Peterson got murder convictions on two men, Dennis Fritz and Ron Williamson, who did 12 years in prison before they were cleared by DNA evidence. Fritz and Williamson's experiences are chronicled in two books, John Grisham's first nonfiction book, "The Innocent Man," and Dennis Fritz's, book, "Journey Toward Justice". Bill Peterson got questionable convictions on two other men, Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot, in a separate murder case.
They are still in prison.
Robert Mayer, is the author of “The Dreams of Ada.” A book written primary about the murder of Denice Haraway and the subsequent investigation, prosecution and conviction of Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot. The other Plaintiff in the lawsuit is Gary Rogers, a former agent for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.Bill Peterson and Gary Rogers were instrumental in the conviction of Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz in the murder of Debbie Sue Carter in Ada, Oklahoma in 1982.
"It is something I've been thinking about for a while and came to the conclusion that it is time,” Bill Peterson" told the Ada Evening News. "I am 64 years old and came to the realization it's time to go to another phase in my life.”