Can't Get Much Higher: Ex-Warden to Back Release of Highers Brothers
Not to get cute here, but the Highers brothers Raymond and Thomas couldn't go much higher in mustering up support for their release after 25 years behind bars.
Jim Schaefer of the Detroit Free Press reports that the brothers are getting the support of their now-retired warden Carol Howes, who is convinced of their innocence and will testify at an upcoming hearing to support their release.
"I really was convinced that they didn't commit the murder," Howes told Schaefer in a phone interview on Tuesday. "And it was based on conversations that I had had with both of them." Howes, 71, was the warden at Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater.
Wayne County Circuit Judge Lawrence Talon last week ruled that new witnesses, who have come forward in the 1987 murder of a marijuana dealer, have raised serious questions about their guilt. He tossed out the conviction and ordered a new trial.
The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, which has not decided whether it will press forward with a new trial, is appealing the ruling and is asking Talon not to release the brothers until a higher court rules on its appeal.
Talon, who delayed ruling this week on whether to release the brothers, is expected to make a decision on the release at a hearing on Aug. 13. He said in court this week that he wanted to see more prison reports and get input from pre-trial services.