Conviction set aside in ’93 cold case in dispute over expert

Michigan

DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan appeals court has overturned a murder conviction in a 1993 homicide.

The court says a man’s rights were violated when he wasn’t allowed to hire a DNA expert at public expense.

Tanya Harris’ body was discovered in an abandoned building in Detroit in 1993 and remained a cold case for years.

Johnny Ray Kennedy was charged in 2013 when police linked him to DNA on the victim’s body. Kennedy’s lawyer sought approval to hire a DNA expert at public expense, but Judge Craig Strong turned him down.

So the attorney hired the expert at his own expense, though he couldn’t afford full assistance.

Kennedy was convicted of murder in 2014 and has been serving a life sentence.

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