Two brothers who were imprisoned for 25 years for the murder of a Detroit marijuana dealer and released last year only to await a retrial and possible re-imprisonment have now had their names cleared for good.
The murder charges against Raymond, 47, and Thomas Highers, 48, will be dismissed thanks to a lack of evidence pinning them to the 1987 crime.
The case is expected to be officially dropped Thursday by Wayne County, Michigan Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Talon, the same judge who ordered the brothers be released after a quarter century in prison on August 13, 2012 after new evidence warranted a retrial.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy appealed the ruling to the state Court of Appeals, which declined to reverse it. The case was scheduled for trial on Oct. 8.
‘Just as we did 26 years ago, we firmly believe in the evidence in this case,’ Worthy said Wednesday in a release. ‘We have worked diligently to bring this case to trial. With the passage of time it is an unfortunate reality that this case cannot be put back together and we must dismiss it.’
The brothers got the news that their 26-year-long saga was over from their attorney. Raymond was at work while Tommy was having lunch with his girlfriend.
‘I’m just elated,’ Tommy told the Detroit Free Press. ‘It means a fresh start for me. It means freedom for me to do the things I want to do, to visit family in other states. I have no felony conviction on my record.’
His little brother, of course, agreed.
‘It means freedom and life. It’s been a long day coming,’ Raymond said. ‘Over 26 years, we’ve fought for this, and it’s finally here. It’s like being vindicated.’
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