ROSEVILLE, MI (WXYZ) - Raymond and Tommy Highers talked to 7 Action News Tuesday about their first full day of freedom after spending 25 years in prison for a murder they've always said they did not commit.
With their aunt Janet Hirth escorting them around Roseville, the brothers picked up new clothes and their first cell phone.
"This is the first time I even held one," said Raymond Highers who, like his brother, seemed overwhelmed by the technological advances they never experienced while behind bars.
Born just eleven months apart, Raymond and Tommy are both 46-years-old. And, once home, friends and family also tried to show them how to navigate the internet.
"It's fascinating just the things that you can find out. Anything you want to find out you can Google it and it comes up," said Tommy Highers.
The Highers brothers were granted a new trial last month after a seemingly random posting on Facebook about their incarceration led to new witnesses coming forward in the 1987 murder of a marijuana dealer.
With the new testimony, Judge Lawrence Talon tossed out the convictions. And, on Tuesday, the Highers were released after a bond was posted for each of them by relatives in the amount of $1,000.
One person the brothers wish they could have embraced was their mother. She passed away in 2008 and always believed her sons were not guilty of the murder.
"We never had the chance to make her proud. We owe her so much," said Raymond Highers. "It's like a shame that we couldn't come out, be something and let her see that her boys did something with themselves."
A spokesperson for the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office says their appeal of the judge's grant for a new trial is due by Thursday, August 16. A decision whether to appeal the bond is still pending.
Prosecutors say they have not heard from the victim's family since the defendants were released.
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