Murder conviction scratched
DETROIT (AP) — A man in prison for 45 years could be on the cusp of freedom after another man said he had no role in a 1971 murder in Detroit.
A judge last week threw out Richard Phillips’ conviction and granted a new trial. Wayne County prosecutors have pledged to appeal.
For decades, Phillips, now 71, has declared his innocence in the fatal shooting of Gregory Harris. He was convicted largely on the testimony of a trial witness who has since died.
But now he’s been cleared in a remarkable way. Richard Palombo, a co-defendant at the 1972 trial, admitted his role in the fatal shooting during a parole board hearing in 2010. Palombo also repeatedly said Phillips wasn’t present.
“All I can tell you about Mr. Phillips is I met him on July 4, 1971. It was eight days after the murder,” Palombo told the board.
The next hearing is Aug. 25.