25 years in prison, murder charges dropped against brothers

Murder charges to be dismissed against brothers who spent 25 years in prison

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(Credit: WJBK|myFOXDetroit.com)  Raymond and Thomas Highers in court (Credit: WJBK|myFOXDetroit.com) Raymond and Thomas Highers in court

DETROIT (AP) -- Charges tied to the 1987 slaying of a Detroit man will be dismissed against two brothers who spent 25 years in prison after being convicted of the murder.

"I'm ecstatic. We've been waiting for this a long time," Tom Highers tells Fox 2's Amy Lange. "I always felt - internally - that the truth would come out one day, and I'm so happy it did."

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says Wednesday that the case against Raymond and Thomas Highers will be formally dismissed Thursday. The case was scheduled for trial on Oct. 8.

The Highers brothers were convicted in 1988 of felony murder and assault with intent to murder in the slaying. The victim was described as a marijuana dealer.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Lawrence Talon ordered the brothers retried last year and freed on $10,000 bonds after new witness testimony suggested they may have been misidentified.

"There wasn't any DNA back then so it took technology to bring this all out. So, we're happy about that," the brothers' aunt, Janet Hirth, explains.

Worthy appealed the ruling to the state Court of Appeals which declined to reverse it. She also issued this statement:

"Just as we did 26 years ago, we firmly believe in the evidence in this case. 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. Sadly, in this case justice was not done."

"We would like to be exonerated, but I think this is the closest we're going to get," Highers says.

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