For two years, North Charleston resident Eugene Wright sat in jail, saddled with the accusation that he killed his own 1-year-old daughter.

He insisted that he would never pick up the girl and throw her to the floor, as police alleged. At one point, though, they nearly convinced him that he had.

With Wright unable to pay bail, 25 months went by before authorities fetched records from his cellphone that proved his alibi, his attorney said.

He was freed. His daughter's baby sitter was arrested.

The lawyer, Alan Toporek of Charleston, said the police should have collected the evidence that cleared his name much sooner.

"He kept saying, 'I would never hurt my daughter. I love my daughter,'" Toporek said. "They had a snap to judgment, thinking they can charge this guy, close the case and not do any more work on it."

Wright, now 49, has filed a lawsuit in state court against North Charleston, along with four of its police officers, alleging that their shoddy investigation brought him public ridicule and damaged his reputation.

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