Michigan man free on bond after 45 years in prison

AP News
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Posted: Dec 14, 2017 5:00 PM
Michigan man free on bond after 45 years in prison

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit man whose 1972 murder conviction was thrown out has been released from prison while prosecutors appeal a decision that grants him a new trial.

Richard Phillips' conviction was erased in August after 45 years. But the 71-year-old had remained in custody until a judge this week said he could be released with an electronic tether.

Phillips pointed to the sky Thursday as he left a Detroit-area jail. The temperature was 22 degrees (-5.56 Celsius), but he says he would have walked in his bare feet. Phillips says, "It's already a merry Christmas."

He has long declared his innocence in the fatal shooting of Gregory Harris. In 2014, University of Michigan law school learned that a co-defendant said Phillips had no role. The disclosure had been made to the Michigan parole board.

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This story has been corrected to show conviction was in 1972.