After 45 years, murder conviction scratched for Michigan man

AP News
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Posted: Aug 17, 2017 12:08 PM

DETROIT (AP) — A man in prison for 45 years could be on the cusp of freedom after another man said he had no role in a 1971 murder in Detroit.

A judge last week threw out Richard Phillips' conviction and ordered a new trial. It's not clear if prosecutors will take that step or drop the case.

Phillips has declared his innocence for decades. He's been cleared based on the words of Richard Palombo, who was a co-defendant at the 1972 trial. Palombo admitted his role in the shooting during a parole board hearing in 2010, but he insisted that Phillips wasn't present.

Four years later, University of Michigan law school learned about Palombo's testimony and successfully reopened the case.

Phillips, now 71 years old, has an Aug. 25 court hearing.