Prosecutor defends case after Davontae is freed

Posted at 9:52 AM, Jun 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-09 18:29:40-04

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is defending the actions of her office in the Davontae Sanford case.

In a lengthy news conference on Thursday morning, Worthy discussed the evidence that she says supported Sandford's conviction for the murders of 4 people in a Detroit drug house back in 2007.

At the time Sanford was arrested, he was 14-years-old. He confessed to the murders and pled guilty.

Sandford was sentenced to 37 to 90 years behind bars, but was released on Wednesday after a judge vacated his conviction. He had spent almost 9 years behind bars for crimes he didn't commit.

Worthy said, "I don't know what we could have done differently, as this case went through time, I really don't."

Worthy says that it wasn't until May 20th of this year, that Davontae's conviction was called into question.

She says it was the culmination of a Michigan State Police investigation, requested by her, that revealed what she says was a "tipping point" in this case.

Former DPD Deputy Police Chief, James Tolbert, had testified that a drawing of the crime scene was done by Sanford on a blank piece of paper.

However, when a MSP investigator recently asked Tolbert about that drawing, his statements contradicted his earlier testimony.

Tolbert can be heard on an audio recording saying "I think I did, I drew the house".

Worthy said that drawing was a key building block in the investigation and Tolbert's recent comments undermined what he had said in the past.

Supporters of Sanford believe he could have been cleared years ago because professional hitman Vincent Smothers confessed to the quadruple murders shortly after Davontae's conviction.

However, Worthy claims that wasn't enough and says Smothers had refused to testify.

Prosecutor Worthy showed a power point presentation that she says explains her case. You'll can view it here:

Davontae Sanford presentation