John Grisham Named in Civil Complaint over Book

TULSA, OK - Legal thriller writer John Grisham, a northeast Arkansas native, has been named in a libel lawsuit filed over a nonfiction book he wrote about the 1982 murder of Debbie Sue Carter in Ada, Oklahoma.

The lawsuit, filed yesterday morning in federal court, also names several other defendants and seeks relief of more than $75,000.

The two men originally convicted of Carter's murder, Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz, were later exonerated by DNA evidence and freed after 12 years in prison.

Their experiences are chronicled in two books, Grisham's first nonfiction book, "The Innocent Man," and Fritz's "Journey Toward Justice."

Fritz is among those named as a defendant.

The plaintiffs are Pontotoc County District Attorney Bill Peterson, based in Ada, and Gary Rodgers, a former agent for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

Grisham was born in Jonesboro and spent his early childhood years in Black Oak and eastern Craighead County.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)