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Michigan man imprisoned for 1986 murder will remain behind bars for life

By Ashley Williams
Michigan man imprisoned for 1986 murder will remain behind bars for life
Temujin Kensu, serving a life sentence for a 1986 murder, will remain behind bars as officials said he has not provided new evidence supporting his factual innocence claim. Photo courtesy Michigan Department of Corrections

May 19 (UPI) -- A Michigan man serving a life sentence for a 1986 Port Huron murder has hit another roadblock in a 30-year-fight to overturn his conviction.

The state attorney general's office on Thursday said it found no additional evidence backing Temujin Kensu's innocence claims.

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Kensu, formerly known as Frederick Freeman before converting to Buddhism, will remain imprisoned for the killing of 20-year-old Scott Macklem, who died in the parking lot of St. Clair Community College.

Kensu, who was 23 years old when he was accused of murder, argues there was no crime scene evidence connecting him to the murder and that he was hundreds of miles away in Michigan's Upper Peninsula at the time of Macklem's death.

"The (Conviction Integrity Unit's) decision is driven by the criteria set forth for the AG's office CIU," according to a statement from Valerie Newman, who heads the unit in Wayne County, according to MLive.

"There is nothing that qualifies as new information supporting the factual innocence claim. Kensu's case is now closed in this office," wrote Newman, MLive reported.

During the trial, a prosecutor's portrayal of Kensu, 58, as a cunning ninja who hired a plane to transport him from one end of Michigan to the next earned him the nickname of "ninja killer."

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He has been denied clemency three times.

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