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Homicide charges dropped against brothers after 25 years in prison

Sept. 25, 2013 at 3:45 PM

DETROIT, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Two brothers who spent 25 years in prison before their convictions for a Detroit slaying were tossed will be freed after prosecutors decided not to retry them.

The case against Thomas, 47, and Raymond Highers, 46, will be formally dismissed Thursday, the Detroit Free Press reported.

"With the passage of time it is an unfortunate reality that this case cannot be put back together and we must dismiss it," Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy said Wednesday in a release.

The brothers were convicted in 1988 of murder and other charges in the 1987 shooting death of a Detroit drug dealer, but their convictions were overturned in 2012, the newspaper said.

In 2009 a man, Kevin Zieleniewski, read a Facebook post about the Highers brothers, the first time he knew of their imprisonment. Zieleniewski said he recalled a conversation with an witness to the shooting who told him the killers were black; the Highers brothers are white. Other witnesses came forward, raising enough doubt to force a retrial, WXYZ-TV, Detroit, said.

A new trial had been scheduled to begin Oct. 8.

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