Murder convictions overturned in Family Dollar slayings

Posted at 11:33 AM, Aug 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 12:35:34-04

The Michigan appeals court has overturned murder convictions and ordered a new trial for a man accused of killing two people who worked at a Dearborn store.

The court says Lavere Bryant's trial was spoiled by testimony that wasn't relevant to the charges against him. He was accused of killing Joseph Orlando and Brenna Machus, both 20, who worked at a Family Dollar store in Dearborn.

Orlando's body was found in the store in July 2013 while Machus' body was found nearby in a wooded area. Bryant was a former co-worker.

During the trial, jurors heard about Bryant's prior convictions, his sex offender status and viewing of pornography. The appeals court says the testimony was "highly distracting" and not related to the slayings.

The 3-0 decision was released Wednesday.