• U-of-M Lawyers fighting to free second man convicted on slim evidence in ’99 Mother’s Day murder [VIDEO]

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    (WXYZ) DETROIT – A mother’s prayers have been answered. She has new hope that her son will be freed from prison thanks to the Michigan Innocence Clinic and the 7 Action News Investigators.

    Innocence lawyers think they have a good shot at winning a new trial for Kendrick Scott, based in part on a new witness The Investigators found two years ago. The case involves a 1999 Mother’s Day murder that has two men serving life for a crime they swear they did not commit.

    In our earlier reports we told you about the work lawyers at the University of Michigan are doing to help Justly Johnson prove his innocence.  Now they’ve taken on the case of his co-defendant Kendrick Scott, filing a motion that they hope will lead to a new trial.

    For Scott’s seventy-year-old mother, Ernestine Smith, this is a God send.

    “Do you think you’ll ever see the day when he walks out of there?” asked Investigator Scott Lewis.

    “I’ve been praying for that ever since the day that this happened,” Smith replied.

    “They took my child and he didn’t do anything.  I could understand if he had did it.  But he didn’t do that,” Smith said emphatically.

    Fifty miles from Smith’s apartment, on the University of Michigan campus, student lawyers toil away, looking for angles to free prisoners who they believe were wrongly convicted. Lauren Rosen is one of two students working Scott and Johnson’s case.

    The crime was a horrific one. Lisa Kindred was gunned down sitting in her minivan on Mother’s Day, 1999.  Her three young kids were in the car, including a newborn.

    Scott and Johnson were convicted on the thinnest of evidence. Two young men from the neighborhood told police they heard Johnson and Scott talking about “hitting a lick”, street slang that has multiple meanings, including committing a robbery.

    Both witnesses later recanted and said the police pressured them to finger Scott and Johnson.

    Now the Innocence Clinic has filed a motion seeking a new trial for Scott.

    Read more about this Mother’s Day Murder and Scott Lewis’s investigation on WXYZ

     

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