Marvin Haynes, 35, was hugged by supporters as he was leaving the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater, Bayport, after a judge vacated his murder conviction.
After spending nearly 20 years in prison for a wrongful murder conviction, a Minnesota man was released from a Minneapolis prison Monday, authorities announced.
Marvin Haynes, now 36, was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2004 shooting death of 55-year-old Randy Scherer at a Minneapolis flower shop. He was only 16 years old at the time.The case against him relied almost entirely on eyewitness evidence. One witness later said he didn’t get a good look at the suspect, and the other recanted his testimony.
In reviewing the lawsuit brought by the Great North Innocence Project, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office agreed that Haynes’ due process rights had been violated.
The Great North Innocence Project said in a news release that Haynes’ conviction was vacated at a hearing in November, and that his attorney “confirmed that the identification procedures used to convict Haynes were in accordance with best practices.” “We have presented evidence that is contradictory and unnecessarily suggestive.”
“I want to thank the Great North Innocence Project, Julie Jonas, my family and friends, and everyone who has supported me throughout this long journey,” Haynes said in a release.
Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty called Haynes’ prosecution a “terrible injustice.” Monday news release.
“There was no forensic evidence such as fingerprints or DNA. There was no video linking him to the crime. The murder weapon was never recovered,” Moriarty said.
“We caused harm to Mr. Haines and his family, to the victim, Harry Scherer, to his family, and to the community,” she continued. “While nothing can undo the trauma experienced by those affected by this prosecution, today we are taking a step toward righting this wrong.”
The county attorney also apologized to Haynes, saying: I am truly sorry about that. ”
Correction: An earlier version of this story gave Haynes’ age incorrectly. He is 36 years old.