Wayne Co. Prosecutor's Office will dismiss two cases against men convicted in 1993, 2009

Posted at 9:34 AM, Jan 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-10 12:43:38-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office will move to dismiss two cases on Thursday against two different men.


In the first case, Kevin Lackey was convicted in January 1993 on two counts of First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct Involving Person Under 13 Years of Age; Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct; and Breaking and Entering an Occupied Dwelling With Intent to Commit Criminal Sexual Conduct. he was tehn sentenced to 15-25 years in February 1993, and re-sentenced in March 1993 to 10-15 years in prison.

It was alleged that Lakey carried an 11-year-old girl from her bed and sexually assaulted her on the back porch of the house. This allegedly happened in July 1992. After the attacker left, the girl woke her mother and called police.

They eventually arrested Lackey, who was known to the family for years, but the victim was unable to identify him in a line-up or by voice.

"It is clear that the identification of Mr. Lackey as the suspect was based upon profoundly invalid dog tracking evidence that was crucial to his convictions," the prosecutor's office said.

In a separate case, Michael Powels was convicted on a second degree murder charge in the death of Robert Sawyer back in December 20019. In June 2006, someone shot and killed Sawyer in Detroit, and a cab driver testified that he saw two men in a white SUv shot into Sawyer's vehicle. The driver couldn't identify either individual, and only one male witness connected Powels to the murder, despite the fact that the witness did not witness the shooting.

In January 2009, Powels was sentenced to 45-75 years in prison, and the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction and sentenced, while the Michigan Supreme Court denied leave to the appeal.

After investigating, the prosecutor's office Conviction Integrity Unit, it was determined that Powels should be granted a new trial.

"The remaining evidence presents a significantly weaker case than it did before the perjury was discovered. Allowing a conviction to largely rest on perjured testimony implicates the fairness and integrity of the criminal justice system," the prosecutor's office said.

During the hearing, the CIU will move that his conviction and sentence be vacated and the case be dismissed, and the unit also believes there is no path for a retrial of Powels.