Governor Jennifer Granholm has agreed to release a man who has repeatedly declared his innocence in the 1983 murder of a teen girl near Battle Creek.

Granholm commuted the life sentence of Thomas Cress on Tuesday, which clears the way for his release from prison on parole.   In 1985, Cress was convicted of killing 17-year-old Patricia Rosansky, whose body was found in a wooded area in Calhoun County’s Bedford Township.

 The Michigan Supreme Court in 2003 refused to grant a new trial despite no physical evidence against Cress and the subsequent confession of another man.   Cress’ plea for clemency had many supporters, including U.S. Senator Carl Levin.

Granholm leaves office Saturday after eight years as governor.

The AP contributed to this report


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