DETROIT (WWJ) – Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has decided to dismiss the charges against two metro Detroit brothers who spent 25 years in prison for what police claimed was a drug-related murder.
“I can tell you that it was a mother—,” said 48-year-old Thomas Highers, of his time behind bars.
“The anxiety played a role, but after a while you would learn how to kind of control it. You would have these surges,” he said. “The worst time it would affect me would be after a strenuous workout; and I would get a short nap … and then wake up and then just understand or realize where [I’m] at.”
While incarcerated, said Thomas Highers, he and his brother, Raymond Highers, never gave up hope. “Knowing, you know, that you’re here wrongfully … our day has to come. I mean, that’s what I always thought: It has to come.”
The brothers were sentenced to life in prison in the 1987 shotgun slaying of 65-year-old Robert Karey in an east side Detroit drug house.
Last year, Wayne County Circuit Judge Lawrence Talon threw out the brothers’ conviction after new witness testimony suggested they may have been misidentified. On Aug. 13, 2012, they were freed on bond, and the case was scheduled for retrial next month.
Although she believes the Highers brothers are guilty, Worthy said case will be formally dismissed on Thursday.
“Just as we did 26 years ago, we firmly believe in the evidence in this case. We have worked diligently to bring this case to trial,” Worthy said, in a statement released Wednesday. “With the passage of time, it is an unfortunate reality that this case cannot be put back together and we must dismiss it. Sadly, in this case, justice was not done.”
Since their release, the Highers brothers have been staying with family in Roseville.
Did they find much had changed since they were locked up in the 80s?
“So much! Everything’s so fast,” Thomas Highers said. “Land that used to be all wooded, you know, is now all subdivisions and stores and condos.”
Thomas Highers said he and his brother both have jobs, and he has a girlfriend.
They currently have no plans, he said, to file a civil lawsuit.