Friday, July 10, 2009

Judge grants new trial for men imprisoned 9 years

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2009 at 11:28 AM

An uncle and nephew imprisoned for nearly a decade in the shooting of an Ecorse man will get a new trial, a Wayne County Circuit Judge ruled today.

"We're going to try and get them out on bond as quickly as we can," says David Moran, attorney for DeShawn Reed and his uncle Marvin Reed.

The Reeds were convicted by Wayne County Circuit Judge Michael Hathaway in a bench trial in the 2000 shooting of Shannon Gholston, who was left a quadriplegic after he was shot in the back of the neck as he was driving near his home. Hathaway sentenced them to 20 years.

No physical evidence tied the Reeds to the shooting, but Gholston testified he had seen Marvin Reed driving a car while DeShawn Reed shot out the passenger-side window. Hathaway, at sentencing, said he relied on that testimony for his verdict.

Other witnesses testified the Reeds were at home at the time of the shooting and another witness said he saw a man named Tyrone Allen actually shoot Gholston.

After the conviction in August 2001, the Reeds' then-attorneys discovered that Detroit police had killed Allen during an attempted car jacking between the time of Gholston's shooting and the Reeds' trial. A gun found on Allen at the time of his death was shown by Michigan State Police ballistics testing to have been the gun that shot Gholston.

Because the gun was not part of a post-conviction appeal, the Reeds' current attorneys from the Innocence Clinic at University of Michigan Law School argued they deserved a new trial. In addition, Gholston testified in April at an evidentiary hearing that he did not see who shot him. That recantation of his trial testimony, the Reeds argued, was also grounds for a new trial.

Without Gholston's testimony, the Reeds could not be convicted, the Reeds' attorneys say.

After a series of evidentiary hearings in April and May, Wayne County Circuit Judge Patricia Fresard issued her ruling today, granting the Reeds a new trial. A clerk in her office says the written opinion would be available this afternoon.

Wayne County Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Maria Miller says a decision will be made in the next few weeks about "what course of action will be taken."

Tienail Reed, DeShawn Reed's brother, says the family is celebrating. He talked to his brother this morning.

"He was just crying and shaking, thanking his lawyers. There were just tears on the phone, tears of joy," he says. "I'm still in shock. I can't believe it's over with. It was a strain on the whole family."

DeShawn Reed is at the Mound Correctional Facility in Detroit. Marvin Reed is at the Saginaw Correctional Facility.


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