'We did it': Man released from prison after 15 years and exoneration delay

Posted at 6:52 PM, Apr 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-27 19:18:17-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — It’s a reunion a mother waited on for 15 years.

“It finally happened. I knew he was innocent from that start,” Kimberly Monroe said.

Her son Terance Calhoun is free after spending almost half of his life in prison for sexual assault crimes that he was charged with in Detroit back in 2007.

Calhoun didn’t make any comments when he was released, but you could see the excitement on his face when he found out he was coming home.

You can see him smile when his attorney Mike Mittlestat says, “We did it.”

On Friday, Judge Kelly Ramsey dropped his charges after DNA evidence proved he is an innocent man.

“All the charges are dismissed with prejudice,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey was in the process of dropping Calhoun’s charges last week, but the exoneration hearing took a turn when a Detroit police officer walked into the court with files he said the court needed.

To ensure the courts opportunity to due diligence, Ramsey gave the prosecution the files and rescheduled the hearing.

Valerie Newman is with the Conviction Integrity Unit at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

She says there was nothing new in the envelope the officer handed over.

Detroit Police Department Chief James White says the officer’s actions are “not how the administration expects our investigators to act.”

7 Action News was told the department is currently investigating the incident.

“It was an act of vigilantism more so than something you expect from a public servant,” Middlestat said.

Calhoun is coming home not only to a loving family, but he has support from the Organization of Exonerees, a group of men and women who were also wrongfully convicted.

“Mr. Calhoun is going to need everything. He’s going to need to rebuild his life and it’s really going to take a whole community in order to do that,” Marvin Cotton Jr. with the Organization of Exonerees said.

Calhouns father Terance Sr. says he’s happy his boy is home.

“All is well. It’s a beautiful day today. I just give praise to Allah for this day,” Terance Calhoun Sr. said.

His family plans to take Terance to Tennessee where he plans to start his new life outside these gates.

The Organization of Exonerees released a statement:

"The Organization of Exonerees is a group of Exonerated individuals that have all been released through the efforts of dedicated people and organizations whose entire existence is based around freeing INNOCENT people from prison cells in Michigan and across the country. We have come together because we know exactly what it is like to be in situations similar to what Mr Calhoun has faced. We stand with him in his moment of justice.

"It is important to note that even in the face of unwavering DNA evidence, a rogue DPD officer and stalled justice the Organization of Exonerees is glad that Mr Calhoun’s freedoms have finally been restored. We are glad that Justice has finally prevailed for him and his family and he will walk free. It’s sad and extremely unfortunate but the obstacles to Mr Calhoun’s freedom is the true definition of what corruption looks like. As unfortunate as this situation may be, the events of last week should highlight exactly why Criminal Justice Reform is so important. Having to spend an additional 5 days in prison, on top of the 15 year’s already served for a crime that he did not commit, and that indisputable scientific evidence supports he did not commit, is torture of the worst kind.

"The sad reality is that Detective Kane will go off into retirement having wrecked the lives of so many people associated with this case and have no consequences for his actions. He will retire with his full pension intact and not a blemish on his record.

"The Organization of Exonerees is beyond grateful to Valerie Newman of the Wayne County Conviction Integrity Unit, David Williams of Cooley Innocence Project and Michael Mittlestat of SADO for their continued commitment to seeing justice through all the way to the end.

"We will be here every step of the way to see to it that Mr Calhoun has all of the resources necessary and that he gets the assistance needed to help him reintegrate back into society. As individuals that have been exonerated ourselves, we know firsthand the struggles that Mr Calhoun is experiencing. We will stand with him in his journey back into society. When he walks out of prison today, he will shed the label of a prisoner and gain the title of an Exoneree.”