DETROIT – A judge on Friday threw out the murder conviction of a Detroit man who is in prison for 25 years after the new tests on the bullets, supported his claim that the police framed with falsified evidence.
Mr. Ricks, now 51, is released from a prison in west Michigan.
The Innocence Clinic at the University of Michigan law school asked Judge Richard Skutt to reopen the case after the prosecutors turned over photographs of the two bullets removed from Gerry Bennett. The bullets were in a bad shape and do not resemble the pristine bullets that were presented as evidence of Detroit police in 1992.
Police at that time said a gun belonging to Ricks’ mother was the murder weapon, but also new tests have now ruled out that there is a connection, Innocence Clinic director David Moran said.
One of the bullets does not match the gun, and the other bullet was too mutilated for a thorough analysis, ” he said.
The law school has acquitted 10 people and freed four others since 2009, by exposing the bad police work in Michigan, finding new witnesses and tapping specialists.
In 1992, Ricks was with Bennett when Bennett was shot in the head outside a burger joint. Ricks said he ran away, dodging gunfire. But a few days later, the police pinned the murder on him, and grabbed his mother’s gun.
“I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. I had nothing to do with this,” Ricks told The Associated Press earlier this year. “They switched the bullets on me.”
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