Saturday, 26 March 2011

Free Davontae! Davontae Sanford .

Free Davontae!
Davontae Sanford rally DIANE BUKOWSKI PHOTO
Sentenced at 14 for crime another has confessed toBy Diane Bukowski
Michigan Citizen

DETROIT — Taminko Sanford led a rally for her son Davontae Sanford outside the offices of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy on St. Antoine in downtown Detroit, June 29. Sanford was 14 when he was charged and convicted in four slayings to which another man has confessed.

“Davontae was sentenced to 37 to 90 years for four counts of second-degree murder,” said his mother. “You can’t put a child in jail for something he didn’t do. He’s in the Thumb Correctional Facility, he lost his grandmother, his ear is damaged and he’s blind in one eye. He’s not doing so well, sometimes he’s talked about killing himself.”

Sanford said her son, who is also developmentally disabled and reads at a third-grade level, was held alone by police for 16 hours before signing a confession that his attorney Kim McGinnis termed “coerced.”

Davontae is the second oldest of Sanford’s five children. His sisters and brothers, along with other supporters, chanted repeatedly, “Unlock the doors, unlock the doors, free free free Davontae,” as they leapt into the air.

Vincent Smothers, 27, has confessed to the four slayings which occurred in a house on Runyon Street where marijuana was being grown, in Sept. 2007. Sanford said Smothers has denied her son participated in the killings, but the prosecutor’s office claims Davontae, who took a plea deal rather than face life in prison, was justifiably convicted.

On July 1, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Brian Sullivan ordered the prosecutor to provide statements made by Smothers about the Runyon Street killings. A police officer alluded to the statements during one of Smothers’ preliminary exams.

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