MINNEAPOLIS (NEWSnet/AP) — A Minnesota judge on Monday set aside the murder conviction of a man sent to prison for the 2004 killing of a man in a flower shop, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said.
Marvin Haynes, who was 16 at the time of the killing, was expected to be released from prison Monday. Working with the Great North Innocence Project, the inmate lobbied to plead his case before a Hennepin County district judge with the message: “I’m innocent 100 percent.”
Judge William Koch held two days of hearings on the case in late November.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office says Haynes’ release comes after prosecutors agreed Haynes had recently proven in court that his constitutional rights were violated during his 2005 trial for the killing of Randy Sherer, 55, who was at the family flower business.
In initial police interviews with Haynes, detectives falsely asserted that they’d found fingerprints, DNA and surveillance footage linking him to the crime.
But no physical evidence tied Haynes to the crime and he didn’t match the physical description that witnesses provided to investigators. Several people who testified at his 2005 trial have since signed affidavits recanting their statements.
Haynes’ lawyers argued that he was wrongfully convicted based on faulty eyewitness identification and improper police lineups
Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty said in a statement that a “terrible injustice” occurred when the state prosecuted Haynes.
“We inflicted harm on Mr. Haynes and his family, and also on Harry Sherer, the victim, his family, and the community. We cannot undo the trauma experienced by those impacted by this prosecution, but today we have taken a step toward righting this wrong.”
Copyright 2023 NEWSnet and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.