DETROIT (WXYZ) — The exoneration of a Detroit man is on hold.
Terance Calhoun, who is now 35 years old, was supposed to be released from prison Friday after 15 years behind bars for crimes we are told he did not do.
Calhoun’s attorney Michael Mittlestat, the assistant defender with the state Appellate Defender’s Office, says he is disappointed, and he’s never seen anything like what he witnessed in court Friday.
“I was quite shocked,” Mittlestat said.
Shocked by the turning of events inside a courtroom.
Mittlestat appeared in court virtually with Calhoun for his exoneration hearing.
In 2007, Calhoun was sentenced for several crimes in two separate cases. The charges include first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping.
Now 15 years later, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is dropping the charges.
Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s office says they have new evidence.
In a statement Worthy says:
“A series of fortunate events and a lot of very hard work by quite a few people led to my decision to exonerate Mr. Calhoun. The decision in this case was the culmination of years of long work on this and unrelated cases. We will leave no stone unturned to get to justice for defendants like Mr. Calhoun.”
She goes onto say, “We are currently prosecuting the defendant who is alleged to be the perpetrator of criminal sexual conduct crimes.”
“There is no doubt that Mr. Calhoun is an innocent man he’s been exonerating by DNA evidence,” Michael Mittlestat said.
But not everyone feels the same. A Detroit police officer interrupted the hearing.
“I can’t believe an officer would just feel the freedom to march into a court and bring a proceeding into a halt like that,” Mittlestat said in disbelief.
He says the officer walked up to Judge Kelly Ramsey with a binder.
“Mr. Cane tried to give her material and she declined to accept it. She did not review it. She turned it over to the prosecutor,” Mittlestat explained.
He says according to the prosecutor's office, nothing new was brought to the table.
We reached out to the Detroit Police Department about the actions of their officer.
In a statement they shared with WXYZ, they say:
"The events that unfolded in court today in the People v. Terance Calhoun matter were outside of the Detroit Police Department policy and are not how the administration expects our investigators to act. The officer did not adhere to our policy or procedures to prevent such a situation. We have been in communication with the Prosecutor’s Office and are working to rectify the situation.”
Mittlestat says his client did make a brief statement in court on Friday.
“He is used to being patient. He understands that the process is slow, that he has waited waited 15 years. He, of course, is disappointed. He knew his family was out there waiting for him,” Mittlestat said.
Mittlestat says Calhoun’s family is obviously devastated. A lot of them came all way from Tennessee to Michigan for the hearing.
Another exoneration hearing for Calhoun is scheduled for next Wednesday.