Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Louis Alonzo Madden



Child Sexual Assault (activity) Attempted (with a minor)


"3 years, $910 restitution, and $3,503 costs and fees"

Years Imprisoned:


Year Crime:


Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


U.S. State or Country of Crime:


County or Region of Crime:

La Plata

City of Crime:



Judicially Exonerated

Summary of Case:

"Louis Alonzo Madden was wrongly convicted in 2000 of attempting to patronize a prostituted child and attempted third-degree sexual assault by force. Madden's prosecution was based on the allegation of a 14-year-old girl, S. J., that on a trolley in Durango, Colorado he encouraged her to have sex with him on January 20, 2000. S.J. wrote on her calendar for January 20 that a guy tried to do something to her on the trolley. Madden's defense was the incident never occurred because he didn't ride the trolley on January 20, but he did on January 21. S.J. was shown a photo lineup of men, including drivers who worked on January 20, but she didn't select any of them. Madden's photo was included in a second lineup of random men, and she selected Madden's photo from a photo lineup. After his conviction by a jury Louis Madden was sentenced to an indeterminate prison sentence and payment of $910 in restitution and $3,503 in other costs and fees. On direct appeal the Colorado Court of Appeal in 2003 overturned Madden's conviction of attempted sexual assault, while affirming his conviction of patronizing a prostituted child. The State appealed, and on April 18, 2005 the Colorado Supreme Court reversed Madden's conviction of attempting to patronize a prostituted child based on insufficient evidence of his guilt, while reinstating his attempted sexual assault conviction. The Court remanded for resentencing, and Madden was subsequently resentenced to three years in prison with credit for time served. Madden then filed a pro se motion for a new trial that alleged ineffective assistance of his trial counsel. The trial court assigned counsel and after an evidentiary hearing granted Madden's motion and vacated his conviction. The prosecution declined to either appeal the ruling or retry Madden, and the charges were dismissed against him. Madden filed a motion with the district court for reimbursement of the approximately $700 he had paid as part of his sentence, which included money taken from his inmate account. The State of Colorado opposed the motion, and the judge denied it on the basis it lacked the authority to order such a refund. Madden appealed. In 2013 the Colorado Court of Appeals unanimously reversed the district court judge's ruling, and remanded for consideration of the merits of Madden's motion for a refund. The State appealed. On December 21, 2015 the Colorado Supreme Court en banc reversed the appeals court's ruling by stating: "None of the statutes governing the costs, fees, and restitution that Madden was ordered to pay address whether the court may draw on those funds. Similarly, procedural rules for defendants seeking post-conviction relief do not address whether a court may order refunds from public funds. Madden did not pursue a refund through the procedures defined in the Exoneration Act, which provides statutory authority for a trial court to issue a refund. Therefore, the trial court did not have statutory authority to order a refund from public funds in this case." Madden submitted a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, which accepted his case, combining it with a similar Colorado case filed by Shannon Nelson (USSC No 15-1256). On April 19, 2017 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the State of Colorado must refund the money paid by Madden and Nelson."

Conviction Caused By:

Ineffective assistance of trial counsel

Innocence Proved By:

"Madden filed a pro se motion for a new trial that alleged ineffective assistance of his trial counsel, that the trial court granted and vacated his conviction. The prosecution declined to either appeal the ruling or retry Madden, and the charges were dismissed against him."

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:

Age When Released:



Information Source 1:

"People v. Madden, 111 P.3d 452, 460 (Colo. 4-18-2005) (Rehearing denied 5-16-2005)"

Information Location 1:


Information Source 2:

"People v. Madden, 87 P.3d 153 (Colo.App.2003) (Reversing in part and affirming in part.)"

Information Location 2:


Information Source 3:

"People v. Madden, No. 13SC496 (Colo. Supreme Court, 12-21-2015) (Affirming district court's denial of refund of money paid toward sentence after Madden's exoneration.)"

Information Location 3:


Information Source 4:

"People v. Madden, 2013 COA 56, ¶ 1, ___ P.3d ___"

Information Location 4:

Information Source 5:

"U.S. high court says Colorado must refund exonerated defendants, By Andrew Chung, Reuters, April 19, 2017"

Information Location 5:


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