Michigan Innocence Clinic Client Released After Confession Statement
Marwin McHenry, 25 years old, was released from prison after spending almost five years of his life behind bars for being misidentified in a shooting incident that left one person injured. A confession statement from the real perpetrator was given. McHenry was a Michigan Innocence Clinic (MIC) client. The MIC, established in 2009, works to free those who have been wrongly convicted of various charges and focuses particularly on cases where there is no solid DNA to test and authorities have limited evidence against the convicted inmates. The MIC took the case in fall 2016, and McHenry became the organization’s 14th client. The majority of MIC clients are serving lengthy sentences after pleading not guilty and being convicted on circumstantial evidence.
The request to vacate charges against McHenry was delivered by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Gregory Bill. McHenry was originally sentenced to prison for a July 2012 shooting that occurred as two groups of women began to fight on a street in downtown Detroit. The shooting left one of the women injured.
McHenry had been convicted by a jury and sentenced in October 2013 to serve 16 to 27 years in prison on three assault charges with intent to murder, felonious assault, and felony firearm possession. The prosecution’s case relied solely on eyewitness testimony, there was no associated DNA evidence, and one of the victim’s along with two of her relatives who were present falsely identified McHenry as the shooter. All three pinned McHenry for the crime after being shown a photo by police.
The three women who identified McHenry had originally indicated they believed the gunman to be the brother of one of the women in the opposing group, but picked him out anyway, and McHenry was convicted even though the defense countered with the testimony of another woman who said the shooter was indeed her own brother, James Bosley. McHenry’s conviction was upheld on appeal, but Bosley eventually walked into the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and delivered a confession. An investigator took the testimony of other witnesses present that day who stated they were sure Bosley was the perpetrator before making the decision to arrest the man.
Student attorneys Sarah J. Precup and Brooke E. Theodora, and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy had been working McHenry’s case at the MIC. They filed a joint request to overturn McHenry’s conviction after Bosley’s confession and dismiss the charges, and Judge Bill approved their request on May 1st.
“Marwin McHenry lost nearly five years of his life because he was misidentified. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office deserves much of the credit for ensuring that justice finally prevailed here,” said Clinical Professor of Law David Moran, head of the MIC. “I am very glad Marwin can now start to put his life back together and reconnect with his young son.”
Precup said,“I’m so grateful I got to meet Marwin, and to be a part of the team that helped exonerate him. As law students, we spend a lot of time with casebooks and hypotheticals. Meeting Marwin was a much needed reminder of what makes all the hard work worthwhile.”