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HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A man who was exonerated for killing his best friend after spending nearly 20 years in prison in Montana is seeking nearly $97 million in compensation from the state.

The Independent Record reported Sunday that Richard Raugust made the claim in a letter of demand to the state in May, the first step required before someone who was wrongly imprisoned can file a lawsuit. The 53-year-old is asking for $1 million a year from the date of his arrest to when his claim his settled, at least $22 million, as well as money for punitive damages, medical costs and attorney fees.

He alleges a judge pressured jurors to convict him and that he was subjected to medical, physical and emotional abuse in prison.

The state has until Sept. 13 to deny or grant his claim.

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