A man cleared of murder after he was spotted in the background of outtake footage of Larry David’s TV comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm has been awarded damages of $320,000.
Juan Catalan, 28, spent five months in jail charged with the murder of 16-year-old Martha Puebla until he used outtake footage – showing him at a LA Dodgers game in Los Angeles when the crime occurred – to prove his innocence.
The episode featured David going to the baseball game with a prostitute so that he could drive in the car pool lane.
Catalan’s attorney Todd Melnik trawled through hours of footage of a televised game between the Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves that the defendant attended with his six-year-old daughter, before discovering the comedy was being shot at the stadium on the same day. Catalan could be seen clearly eating a hot dog in a scene that ended up on the cutting room floor.
A time code on the footage proved Catalan’s whereabouts – 20 miles from the murder scene in San Fernando.
Los Angeles City Council has agreed to pay $320,000 to Catalan.
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