Detroit man out on bond, new evidence could prove innocence

Detroit man out on bond, new evidence could prove innocence after life sentencing

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Elroy Jones Elroy Jones
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  • Local man wrongly convicted of murder to be set free

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(WJBK) -

Elroy Jones and his family have waited eight years for this moment.

"Always been praying that one day my brother would come home, and he's home!" says Charmaine Jones.

In 2006 he was convicted of murder and sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars. His conviction was overturned in 2008 when court transcripts were stolen and he was found guilty again, all the while maintaining his innocence.

"It was a nightmare! I couldn't believe that it was happening to me," Jones says.

But his nightmare changed in 2011 when the feds told Detroit Police Department they'd arrested a man who claimed he was involved in the murder and identified another person as the killer. That's when detectives like Sgt. Mike Russell took a second look at the case.

"It's a tale of the good and the bad of law enforcement," says Jones' attorney Craig Tank. He believes there was at least one member of the police department who tried to put Elroy behind bars despite the evidence.

For one, someone called a DPD precinct just days after the murder took place and named the current suspect but the tip went nowhere.

One unidentified witness told Fox 2 the now-former detective told him to choose Jones in a lineup: "The detective, he asked me, 'Do you see anybody that you saw that day pulled the gun on you or anything?' So I'm looking at the guys real good, and I told him 'No.' And he said, 'Well look even better.'"

Multiple witnesses said from the beginning Jones wasn't the killer.

One witness has even apologized. So with all this evidence, why was Jones convicted not once - but twice?

"I take a look at what happened at the trial and what happened during it, the evidence that was not turned over that was available to them - I mean it's absolutely disturbing," says Tank.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office says no evidence was withheld and it is still deciding whether to retry Jones, but sources say they do not expect that to happen. Meanwhile Jones, who is out on bond, could decide to sue the city of Detroit.

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