Murder convictions tossed out for Raymond and Thomas Highers

(WXYZ) - Murder convictions were tossed out for Raymond and Thomas Highers after they served more than 25 years in prison.

They'd been convicted of killing 65-year-old Robert Karey at his home on Detroit's east side back in 1987, but today a judge tossed out their convictions which had them spending life behind bars.

"It's incredible. Justice has finally occurred. They're innocent," says Janet Napp who is the attorney for Raymond Highers.

"It's phenomenal," says Valerie Newman, who is the attorney for Thomas Highers.

Lawyers for the Highers brothers say it was social media that unlocked the case.

In 2009, Mary Evans posted on Facebook about the Highers brothers serving life sentences for the murder of Robert Karey.

Kevin Zieleniewski saw her post. He says it was only then that he learned the Highers brothers were serving life in prison for the murder of Robert Karey.

Zieleniewski says that's when he recalled a conversation with an eyewitness who had told him the killers were black.

Ultimately, that led to new witnesses coming forward and today a judge ruled it raised enough doubt to give the Highers brothers a new trial.

"We provided the evidence and everyone got involved," says Zieleniewski.

"I'm just blown away. I'm happy to know these guys are gonna get a chance at freedom. I'm happy and thankful for Facebook," says Mary Evans.

Before a bond hearing could be held today to decide if the brothers could go free while prosecutors appeal, someone pulled the fire alarm in the courthouse. Now that bond hearing will be held on Monday morning.

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